Rock Your Googie Off
Photo by ChickenhawkToday, we rock and bowl; tomorrow, we die: the end may be near for venerable Costa Mesa bowling-alley-cum-venue Kona Lanes—immortalized on at least two live recordings and in one fat police dossier—but there's no reason to let the home of Rock & Bowl go gentle into that not-so-good night. Punk shows at Kona disappeared for a while after the Costa Mesa P.D. nixed a July 1999 U.S. Bombs show because they erroneously thought the band had Nazi ties—curiously, the Shack didn't have similar problems, despite its status as possibly the premier Nazi venue in OC; maybe Anaheim is just more tolerant of the arts—but they've been quietly creeping back, moving onto the carpet by the lanes and featuring a modest but enthusiastic selection of local bands. And since there probably won't be anything left of Kona Lanes by summer besides an entry in a book of Googie architecture under "DEMOLISHED," there's no reason to be shy anymore: look for free all-ages Saturday-night Rock & Bowls at 10 p.m. from now till the wrecking ball swings into action, with Long Beach's Fifth Story Tenants, OC new-wave snobs the Distraction and teenage mods the Intelligista going on this weekend and future concerts pending people managing to get organized. For information, call Kona Lanes at (714) 545-1112. (Chris Ziegler)
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So there we were last week, perusing the aisles of our neighborhood Tower, when what should appear on a rack before us but a DVD of our first sexual encounter—and on sale for just $19.95, no less! Well, not exactly, but pretty close. Rather, it was merely View From the Vault IV, the latest in the ongoing line of Grateful Dead concert videos. This one, though, just happens to be our first Dead show ever—the July 26, 1987, Anaheim Stadium gig, which the Dead played as part of a six-date tour with Bob Dylan that month (no Dylan on the DVD, though—copyrights and all, y'see—but you do get both sets, from "Iko Iko" through "Not Fade Away"). As any 16-year-old memory that unexpectedly comes flashing back to you in full, complete, caught-on-tape glory, it's shocking when you realize how much of your Dead deflowering experience you've forgotten or blocked out, and we swear we weren't even on acid or anything else at the time, either. Like, was Bob Weir really wearing a Madonna T-shirt and skintight Daisy Duke cutoffs? Yup. Did "Drums/Space/The Other One" really only last 13 minutes, even though it felt like eight hours (made worse by hokey "psychedelic" digital effects, replicated here in all their vomitous grandeur)? Yup. Did Weir really localize "New Minglewood Blues" with the lines "Couple shots of whiskey/These Disney Minnies start lookin' good" and "It's T right here in Anaheim/Where the little girls know what to do" (thank you, subtitle feature!)? Yup. Other moments that smacked our reminiscence gland into high gear include the very sight of the old enclosed stadium—look! The Rams press box!—and the riveting set itself, even though we thought the Dead were kinda boring at the time (26 more shows after this would change our minds): the "Iko Iko" opener, where we got our first full-on whiff of second-hand herb smoke; the transcendent picking of Jerry Garcia during "Looks Like Rain"; the waves of beauty and wonderment we felt during "Stella Blue," only to have those feelings dissipate moments later while walking the concrete stadium ramps during "Throwing Stones" while searching for seats to moor our tired, sunburned ass. Still, this was one of those life moments for us, an event that made us wonder what we'd look like if we grew our hair down to our butt crack (which we'd later do), the show that led to us seeing the Dead in London and putting the trip on plastic so it would feel like it was free, the show that led to us getting beat up and robbed at 3 a.m. in a Fullerton gas station while on the way to see the Dead in Vegas, the show that eventually introduced us to the power and splendor of veggie burritos. And somewhere in the crowd on the Jerry side, buried about 30 people deep, we swear we can pick ourselves out if we slow-motion the DVD just enough, hopping on the bus, wanting to stay 19 forever. (Rich Kane)
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