Thursday, June 27, 2013

Back To The Present

Part Four

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.  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 - Pat Libby. 

Pat Libby

Here's an interview I conducted with Pat Libby a couple of weeks ago while he was out on one of his walks around Berkeley with his daughter Harriet.  After grabbing some coffee on Telegraph Avenue we headed up the street to a spot where I was pretty sure we wouldn't be bothered.  I recorded this interview with my phone and while I tried to get the best sound quality that I could given our surroundings, the levels are rough at times (it's not that bad).  Originally the plan was to transcribe this interview so that it could be read, but unfortunately I slept on getting that done, so with 'This Is Not A Stop' starting tonight at 1-2-3-4 Go! I decided to post the interview as a MP3.  This was edited for time and to minimize the repetition that comes with stopping and starting the process several times, as we did.  Additional vocals and sound effects were provided by Harry.

In case you missed it the first time, here's a short interview I did with Pat around the time of Gilman's 25th Anniversary.

++++ at 924 Gilman

Harald O.

I'm not sure how Harald O and I met, but if memory serves me right we were first introduced by the late Anarchy Al at Collector's Realm on Telegraph Avenue, where Harald worked when he wasn't on tour.  However the story of how Harald O, bass player for D.R.I. and the guy who photographed all your favorite thrash metal bands before most people had ever heard of them ended up working security at 924 Gilman probably begins at the CR3.  Wait, before we go any further, let's go back to the day I met Anarchy Al.

I remember meeting Anarchy Al for the first time twice,  the first of those meetings taking place at a Wolfpack show in San Francisco.  Al was videotaping the show (mainly for opener) in the corner of the room that my crew and I were hanging out in while Deface (the opener) played.  The official first time took place a year or so later when I stepped into the Collector's Realm, which only happened because I looked in and noticed that Bailey (Smiley) was flipping through some old comic books.  I went inside just to say what's up to an old friend, and we quickly decided to blow that joint and head over to Bison brewery.  As we were leaving a Verbal Abuse 8x10 promo photo for a German tour caught my eye.  It was randomly displayed with some miscellaneous Cal post cards.  Next to that was a pile of used vinyl, and resting on top was the "Them Boners Be Poppin" compilation put out by Boner Records in '85.  I asked the guy working, who turned out to be Anarchy Al, how much for both of them and he said, "Five for the album, two for the photo".  I returned a week or so later and while flipping through some old metal mags I came across a copy of Grimple's "Up Yer Ass" on M&E Records filed in with some old calendars in the back.  It was pretty unbelievable then and now.  While standing in front of the register, Al started to ask me questions about bands I liked, which quickly lead to Al showing off his growing video collection of shows he'd videotaped around the Bay.  Al proclaimed that he was perhaps the best bass player in the Bay Area, aside from Harald O from D.R.I., who had just shown up to start his shift.  At some point I began to put Harald O and Anarchy Al on my guest lists for shows I booked at various venues, including Gilman, so they could videotape them.  From there it gets hazy, but one day I was walking down Oxford in Berkeley when I ran into Harald O. who was devouring a Vanilla Freddo from Peet's.

"Dude, taste it! Madagascar vanilla!!"

Harald and I started to shoot the shit and he asked me if I knew any place cool that would let him work off some community service hours stemming from an incident that took place while he was on tour with D.R.I.  I told him that he could work them off at Gilman.  When Harald showed up the following weekend it just so happened that we needed an extra security person, so Harald began his community service by working club security.  I loved it and later when Harald began to show up with his camera taking photos instead of walking the block and pouring beers out, I loved it even more.  Some volunteers seemed bothered by Harald's non-traditional approach to working security, but it's important to note that he wasn't being paid for a majority of the time that he was active at the club.  Even after he worked off his court ordered hours, Harald stuck around and continued to photograph a bunch of shows, all the while sporting the Gilman security garb.  I remember one show I booked where our security staff for the night consisted of the bass player from D.R.I., the former drummer of Powerhouse, and both the guitar payer and singer from Attitude Adjustment.  Eventually Harald left the Gilman for a security job with Bill Graham Presents, while continuing to tour with D.R.I., and for the rest of the story, lets check in with Harald O.

Harald O:  Well it's been quite a year so far...a couple of successful D.R.I. US tours that were amazing....It always blows me away how dedicated and cool our fans are!  Some of them come to see us literally everytime we play in their area!!  Spike is finally fully recovered from his near fatal bout with colon cancer, but he is still struggling to pay his hospital bills off.  Most people don't know how much medical care costs these daze!  We recently did a fifteen date East Coast tour with our longtime bros in Suicidal Tendencies (and our pals in Sick of It All for selected dates) and the shows were ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!  What a great bill that was!  Mike Muir and company treated us GREAT, and we totally shared a mutual respect for each other!  My book "Murder In The Front Row" has done incredibly well, selling out of the first printing in record time!!  I'm having a blast meeting people on the road who dig the book.  Now, we just played the HUGE Punk Rock Bowling Fest with Flag, Subhumans, Casualties, DEVO, Turbonegro, Bad Religion, etc., and had a GREAT time!  We got a month off and then it's off to Europe where we play a buncha Festivals with Slayer and tons of other killer bands!!  Never a dull moment around here.

Harald O. x Cliff Burton

Harald O. x El Duce

Harald O. x D.R.I.

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