Plenty Trepidatious

If you've been looking for pictures of Santa Ana planning commission guy Don Cribb stroking his ding dong, please—please!—head right over to the new Don Cribb Project Room at the Grand Central Art Center. Cal State Fullerton's Artists Village satellite has 22 portraits of Cribb—widely hailed as the godfather of the Artists Village—by master portraitist Don Bachardy. The two have been friends since the days when Cribb first began dropping names like Angelica Hustonand Nureyev (or was it Nijinsky?), and the portraits date from the present back to the mid-'70s, with a young, fleshy-lipped Cribb often nude and occasionally in drag. The Elton John glasses and Carol Channing wig on a happily guffawing, bustiered Cribb are a particularly unexpected delight. (As a full disclosure, I've sat for Bachardy, too, though I wasn't touching my ding dong in any of the resulting paintings.)

As annoying as it is that Cribb comes in for so much ass-licking in the whiter sections of Santa Ana (there's a Don Cribb Theater, too, in addition to the newly named gallery), the exhibit is surprisingly terrific. I was incredulous when I heard an entire exhibit would be devoted to portraits of one civic booster, but the resulting show chronicles a journey from youth to middle age; what should have been a preposterous ego trip illuminated instead a surprising catholicity. Plus, it answers the oft-posed questions: “What would Don Cribb look like if he were Italian?” “What would Don Cribb look like if he were Bud Cort from Harold & Maude?” “How big is Don Cribb's scrotum?” See Cribb's scrotum now through Dec. 2.

Who was that reopening the Doll Hut Saturday? 'Billy couple Blue and Anthony Castaneda, who met at the legendary Anaheim shack with the distressing carpets and ceiling tiles that regularly got knocked down by crowd-surfing rock stars. (Offspring's Dexter Holland once sweetly sent previous owner Linda Jemison a check to cover the damages.) And who was there for the multiband extravaganza? Absolutely no one I knew, but the sangria was creeper, like good bud, so I imagine I'll be back. Tons of work have been put into the Hut—which has been around since 1957, and it showed. Blue and Anthony peeled back layer after layer of linoleum, going all the way down to mildewed dirt. They ripped out storage closets, the jukebox and the trophy cases, leaving actual room to walk. They painted the walls a solid crimson, put up pretty starburst light fixtures, and hung the requisite pinup girls on the wall. It's purty, and the beers are just $1.75.

Hanging outside by the barbecue, I ignored most of the music, but I could no longer stuff my ears when Seattle's Cannon Hill came on. I sniped to Dave “The Chairman” Mauthat they sounded exactly like Stevie Ray Vaughan—about four seconds before they launched into a Vaughan cover. I'm good. Catch Cannon Hill this Friday at the Hut.

Friday's misadventures at SnoopTown's Wasabi began simply enough. I was just there for a quick drink and a rainbow roll. Nothing bad could happen, right? By 6 p.m., a bizarre twosome had already not-been-86ed for throwing drinks on people; instead a higher-up sent them to the downstairs bar, where they presumably would make less trouble (or at least make trouble less noticeably). The twosome were an Irish-setter redhead who looked like someone's maiden aunt and her heavy, light-skinned African-American friend, who had the tiniest eyebrows ever to meet a pair of tweezers.

By 6:30 p.m., the maiden aunt was grinding on every man in the downstairs bar, trying to get someone to dance with her. The customers weren't receptive, and an exodus began. Then she started touching my face. Sensually. Like five times. Even aside from the whole not-being-a-man thing, she still wasn't my type. I was scared!

An hour later, she still hadn't been kicked to the curb, even though every bartender in the place had begged the manager to pack her off. Did someone have plans for later?

If you do decide to brave the den that is Wasabi, try the HB Tap Water. The terrifying, dark-gray concoction looks radioactive, sludgy and positively vomitous—just like Surf City's real thing! But with peach schnapps, Malibu rum, raspberry liqueur, vodka, blue curaao and pineapple juice, it goes down smooth—at least according to the hard drinkers who were sitting behind me. But then they had already happily downed a couple of Jagermeister-and-Red Bulls, so make of their opinion what you will.

The thought of the Hard Rock Caf was almost as scary as that face-touching lady—and that means it's plenty trepidatious. But the hip-swinging rhythms of 00 Soul would be heard as LA's Best Dance Band (so named by our sister paper the LA Weekly) made yet another of their triumphant returns to the stage Friday, and I wanted to see if the Newport jocks and frat boys and girls with cute li'l blond flips would writhe over one another as well as the crowds of hairdressers and Vietnam vets used to during 00 Soul's residency at the late, lamented Foothill. Surely not?

But the Hard Rock wasn't terrifying at all. Sure, there were pretty girls with good hair on dates with dumb guys who make lots of money. But there were also lots of neato people, like chanteuse Coleen Rider and's handsome Doug Skoro. The place wasn't at all jammed with the normal monstrosities who think a chain restaurant is a destination; plus, the stage now sits high and wide up front instead of being jammed into a tiny hole at the wrong end of the bar, and the drinks weren't too dear. My vision of 10 minutes in and then back out screaming with a whole column's worth of boors went unfulfilled. Thank God. (Last time I hit the Hard Rock, it was filled with debs in pink tube tops; surely, you understand the horror?)

Instead, the cantas of El Mysterioso strained through the crowd. It was lovely; it was tuneful; it was en espaol. Then it got really loud, and the few old people who'd been there for dinner did funny little hip dances (hands over their ears) back to their tables. Did the blondes cover their ears? No, the blondes stood firm, ears naked—perhaps because there was nothing between them. Ha! That was a good one!

Ha! Bet you thought this week's column was actually going to be about the physicists' convention, didn't you? Didn't you? Well, it wasn't! I'm sorry. But check back next week for my dinner with Isabel Allende! Co**********@ho*****.com.

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