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.
Up first is Max Montez, who was voted in as an official Gilman booker in 2009. Max was already a known guy in the hardcore scene, and a very active booker prior to joining the crew at Gilman. He is one of the most well liked, respected bookers in the Bay Area. Max has also been a godsend to Gilman in the years since I stepped down as head booker. From 2011-2013, Gilman experienced some of its lowest attendance numbers in a decade, but thanks in large part to Max (and the ability to charge more at the door), Gilman was able to avoid massive losses in 2011 under his watch. Even in 2012, when Gilman did lose a substantial amount of money, it's important to note that the loss would've been significantly more minus the shows that Max Montez brought to the club. How significant? It's to the point that Max has probably bought the club an extra year or two before the shit really hits the fan.
I've talked to two or three different people in the years since Max started booking at Gilman, who take credit for introducing me to him, but the truth is that I first became aware of Max back when Naoma was still the main hardcore booker at Gilman. After Naoma informed me that she wouldn't be booking at Gilman any longer (which sucked to hear), I began to lurk hardcore message boards, and it didn't take long to figure out that Max Montez was the man. Naoma backed me on the idea, but another booker who was already active at the club wanted to give it a shot first, so I waited to see how that panned out before hitting Max up officially. By 2009 there was no question that we needed Max, and he's come through big time.
Max Montez: "Since Gilman's 25th anniversary at the end of 2011, I've finished school, gone through about a half dozen new jobs, and unsuccessfully tried to stop booking shows. I'm definitely less involved with the club than I was two years ago, but still book/coordinate about one or two shows a month at Gilman and usually a few others at various Bay Area venues. Other than that, I'm working on a novel (who isn't?) and my new years resolutions are to get in shape and stop player-hating."
Listen to this short interview I did with Max Montez in 2011.
As I type this (June 2013), Gilman looks set to experience one of its biggest months in years, and once again it's Max's name next to some of the biggest shows on the calendar.
Alejandra, or Ale as she's known to most of us, first got involved at Gilman through the Thursday Night Booking crew that I put together in 2007 for the purpose of organizing non-traditional events on Thursdays at the club, i.e. acoustic performances, spoken word, movie nights, cafe nights, and bake sales. I knew Ale from seeing her at a bunch of UGZ shows over the years, usually alongside her sister and mother. Ale was still in high school when I asked her to book at Gilman, making her the youngest member of the original Thursday Night Booking crew that also included Russell, Ariel Awesome, Karen O'Brien, Pat Libby, and myself.
Eventually, Ale joined Carlos Antagony and me on Tuesday nights, where she booked some of my favorite bills under her "Nunca Mas' banner. In addition to her own shows, she was always down to co-book with other Gilman bookers, yielding some great results like the Iron Lung / Extortion show in the flyer above, or the Limp Wrist show in the video below. After becoming a full time booker at Gilman, Ale began to bring a group of her friends around to shows and booking nights, and from that group we got another booker (Cassondra) and a stoar worker (Alina).
Alejandra del Pinal: "Since booking at Gilman, I've done vocals in two sick bands, MRSA (powerviolence) and No Fucks Given (Grindcore). I haven't booked many shows, other than with the bands that I have been in. I work at B-Side BBQ as their pastry cook and line cook. I currently live in one of the most music oriented neighborhoods in the East Bay, West Oakland, and I love it!"
No Fucks Given