Posts Tagged ‘the Red Hot Chili Peppers’

Peers who made it

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Here’s a topic that could spin in a few different directions: Many musicians from our circle have made wonderful sounds since our 1980s salad days. … Considerably fewer have made some money in the process. … But I don’t believe any of us hit the commercial jackpot in the music industry.

The wheels of that industry continued to turn, however, and musicians of our approximate age and subcultural pedigree did make it big in the late ’80s and early ’90s. (To start the ball rolling, I’ll throw out three names from our native time zone: Nirvana, Sublime and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.)

I know these big, commercial acts traveled many miles from our DIY roots (and from most of our musical discussions here). But that’s the point: What do you consider musical success, and do you hear echoes of our own aspirations in these huge revenue engines of decades past?

Then and now: Adams Avenue Theater

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

(Roving correspondent/ photographer Kristen Tobiason revisits and documents the scenes of our youth. Today, the Adams Avenue Theater meets “Project Runway”!)

Detail: Discount Fabrics marquee, August 2008 (photo by Kristen Tobiason)No one could have imagined that this hallmark of our glory days, the Adams Avenue Theater (3325 Adams Ave.), would metamorphose into something so random as Discount Fabrics. I don’t think it’s as humiliating as it is simply bizarre.

The humiliation occurred in the late ’80s, during the venue’s brief reincarnation as the Purple Rain Club. The transforming of a theater into a fabric store has a thread of irony that keeps San Diego “weird.” Frankly, I prefer it to the gentrification that has sucked the charm out of other neighborhoods.

Discount Fabrics never remodeled. Outside of the merchandise, everything looks the same as it did. A quarter-century later, there is still a reflection of the building’s punk-rock roots. Shadows still linger, and I can imagine an entryway streaked with the scuff of Doc Martens and cigarette butts; blood, sweat and spit in the hall; the pit, a cluster of motion, like hornets, swinging fists and bodies, a stage bomb, a swan dive from the balcony …

Detail: Discount Fabrics balcony, August 2008 (photo by Kristen Tobiason)Detail: Discount Fabrics entry, August 2008 (photo by Kristen Tobiason)Detail: Discount Fabrics stairway, August 2008 (photo by Kristen Tobiason)Detail: Discount Fabrics facade, August 2008 (photo by Kristen Tobiason)Detail: Discount Fabrics stage area, August 2008 (photo by Kristen Tobiason)