Monday, June 10, 2013

Back to the Present

Part Two

I decided to check in with a few of the folks that I volunteered with at Gilman during my run as the club's head booker, and more specifically my fellow bookers who were there between 2007 and 2011, but I also threw in a security person or two, and a couple of Stoar workers. This is not meant to represent the entire staff of volunteers during those years, but rather the handful of folks that I personally approached about volunteering at the club, with one exception, but we'll get to that later.  

Carlos Antagony

Carlos Antagony was the first booker that I asked to join me at Gilman after I was voted in as head booker back in November of 2006.  Carlos, like Max Montez, was already well known in the scene prior to joining the Gilman booking crew, both as a booker and a member of Antagony.  I used to attend Carlos' shows at the Danville Grange long before I really got to know him, but eventually we did become friends, and I always knew what he was capable of as a booker.  When you see flyers for some of those shows that he booked at the Grange, while he was still in high school, it's slightly mind blowing, but the fact that they happened in Danville!?  Inspiring.  Of course in the years after the Grange, Carlos booked at almost every all ages, underground venue in the Bay Area, so the gamble wasn't in asking him to book shows.  The gamble was asking a guy with Carlos' personality to be in the mix full time at 924 Gilman circa 2006, which was still very different than it would be even six months after the fact.  Let's just say that the club wasn't fully prepared for the Carlos Antagony experience.  There are too many stories and examples that I could write about concerning the non-booking stuff during Carlos' time at Gilman, but the bottom line is that Carlos walked into a club that had been drawing about a hundred paid per show (considered a decent night at the time), and booked four to five hundred person shows right out the gate. 

Carlos stayed for a few years, and in his own way he mentored some of the younger bookers, helping them with flyers and advice, sometimes questionable advice, but it was all a part of that Carlos Antagony experience I mentioned earlier.  I can't remember when Carlos stopped booking at Gilman, officially, but if you hang out at Gilman these days you can definitely tell that the energy that guys like Carlos brought to the club a few years ago is missing, and missed.

Post-Gilman show sushi with Carlos Antagony

Carlos Antagony: Since I stopped booking at Gilman, I realized I could put my 15 passenger Van to good use (since Antagony is no longer active), and started renting it out to bands like EyeHateGod, Fallujah, ++++, Badr Vogu, Intact, Feast, etc.  I have put all my attention into my screen printing shop, creating a network of awesome touring bands who rely on us to get them good affordable merch.  In the summer of 2011, my friend Jay da Joint (Pancake Lizard) and I found a sick ass house, right in the heart of Concord, CA.  Once or twice a month it turns into the Greenhouse Concord, which only does shows for touring bands, and I've had the pleasure of hosting some fat fucking party/shows for Blowfly, D.O.C., Total FUcking Destruction, Dreaming Dead, Cock ESP, Suicide Note, StoneBurner, Burials, and the list goes on.  Soon we will try to pull off the impossible, booking a secret Green Day show at the Concord!!!!"

Carlos Antagony X Eyehategod

Carlos Antagony X Jeffree Star at 924 Gilman

Carlos Antagony X Anal Cunt at the Stork Club (Fast Forward to 32:27)

Carlos Antagony X Terror at the Phoenix Theater

Carlos Antagony X Greenhouse Concord

Bobby Adopted

I can't remember where I met Bobby, but I think it was after I reviewed Psycho 78's demo in Urban Guerrilla Zine back in 2001.  Psycho 78 was Bobby's band and because I booked shows in addition to doing a zine, it was only a matter of time before our paths crossed.  Several years later, Bobby and his wife Anissa, along with their two kids, would be hanging out in the club's office, both during and after shows.  Just having Bobby and his family in the mix at Gilman made it a better environment, so I ended up asking him if he was down to do some booking.  Bobby has a very big personality in his own right, but by then Carlos had paved the way, so all we had to do was show him the basics, then turn him loose.  Bobby began to show up on booking nights, and each time he turned up with his buddy Jeff Armstrong.  I basically trained both guys to be Gilman bookers at the same time, but it was only after a couple of Bobby's first shows that I noticed what a flyering machine Jeff was, and so I asked him to book as well.  Bobby and Jeff booked together under the "Road To Ruin" banner, and although Road To Ruin shows were some of the best flyered at the club, most of the early ones didn't do well.  I was beginning to question my own judgement when Bobby called me one night and told me that he'd just confirmed the Zero Boys.  The Zero Boys!  I asked Bobby if he thought they'd be into playing back to back nights at Gilman, to which he replied, "I'll call you back".  Later he called back to tell me they were in, and that the Gilman shows would be their only on the west coast.

If booking a Zero Boys weekend at Gilman wasn't amazing enough, Bobby followed that up by booking a weekend with the legendary San Diego punk band The Zeros! 

"Some kid who books at Gilman Street just kept bugging Javier for the last two years or so to play, and finally we all just said, ‘Let’s do it.’" -Hector Penalosa (The Zeros) from an article that appeared in the L.A. Weekly

That 'kid' was Bobby Adopted, who called their guitar player Javier Escovedo every night for weeks, singing his favorite Zeros songs to Javier over the phone, in between asking him to reunite The Zeros for one weekend at Gilman.  That actually happened, and so did the reunion.

Self Inflicted Wounds at 924 Gilman

Bobby Adopted: Feels like forever ago since I was a 924 Gilman Street booker with Jeff Armstrong (during what Jeff and I have often called the “Jay Days”).  I still feel that booking at Gilman was a privilege even though sometimes people would tell me that I shouldn’t because “Gilman is a collective” or “if you volunteer, it’s your club”.  Gilman booking was the coolest, non paying, thankless job I've ever had.  I met some very cool people and booked - from what people have told me - some pretty legendary shit.  With Jeff right there having my back and Jay’s advice and direction every show we did was a success.

Since doing my time at Gilman, I have moved back to the East Bay from Santa Rosa and started playing music again with my new band Self Inflicted Wounds.  I don’t aggressively book anymore, maybe three or four shows a year.  I write music for me and look forward to just ripping at band practice. It’s a trip because the flip to that is when Self Inflicted Wounds get invited to play we kill it every time!  What a concept; dedicate more time to practice and less time on the phone and internet, and your band will sound better! Bye.

Bobby Adopted X The Zeros at 924 Gilman

Bobby Adopted X Zero Boys at 924 Gilman

Bobby Adopted X Tres Flores with Anissa

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