For most drunks, there's nothing remarkable about getting banned from a downtown Fullerton bar. Shit, stroll along Harbor Boulevard on Friday between the hours of midnight and 2 a.m., and you'll see sidewalks teeming with wayward boozers, some spilling urine and other bodily fluids into the planters. But for this frequent downtown Fullerton patron, getting banned from the Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen holds a bit of a mystery—sort of.
I first learned of my 86 status from a friend who was at the bar to check out Jeramiah Red. She took notice of the bouncer's podium, which had on it two photos of yours truly, along with a mandate to not allow me on the premises under any circumstances. The pictures most likely came from my Facebook page.
The shock in all of this comes from the fact I haven't been to the bar since I reviewed the Dead Ships in August—a show I graded positively. While I've been kicked out of the nearby Tuscany Club following a brief altercation with an obnoxious drunk years ago, I've never been unruly at the Slidebar.
The likely scenario? The place got irritated by posts I'd written after multiple sources told me a Slidebar manager made the fateful phone call to police that ended with Fullerton's finest savagely smashing mentally ill vagrant Kelly Thomas' face.
All kidding aside, it's not a surprise, even though I've reviewed several up-and-coming bands at the establishment—from Dead Sara and Blok to punk icons The Adicts. The Slidebar winces at any negative publicity thrown its way in the wake of Thomas' murder, and while I've tried multiple times to get a response from the bar for my stories, no one has called back.
So, here, I'll give the Slidebar guys another chance to respond: Fullerton Police spokeshole Andrew Goodrich has maintained police were responding to calls made that night of a man breaking into cars near the transportation center (which is next to the Slidebar). After the fact, there has been no indication Thomas was actually breaking into cars. Did the caller falsely tell police they saw him doing so to elicit an aggressive response to a nuisance? Did police coach the Slidebar in how to make the call? Do the police and the Slidebar, as some commenters have suggested, enjoy a cozy relationship?
A call was placed to the bar about my ban—and again, there's been no response yet. From a Dec. 28, 2011, post.
This column appeared in print as “Weekly Writer Banned From Slidebar.”