Soft Rock

Wow. I think I would rather die, personally. Note that it is one block away from the old Al’s Bar. We’d park on Hewitt and head to Al’s to have our ears blasted by the crazy punk rock, three or four bands a night. I remember seeing a dead guy on the 400 block of Hewitt once. Must have been two in the morning. Our ears were ringing. Is he drunk? A cop nudged him with his boot. He didn’t wake up. The night air reeked of urine and Thunderbird and bats darted in and out of abandoned factories. Lamp posts and telephone poles threw moonlit shadows. I wonder who he was someone asked. No one answered. We were drunk and laughing and he was dead and that is just how things were before the soft rock revival.

Soft rock

Bloomfest 2012

(Bloomfest in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles, July 21, 2012)

Burrito wagons. That’s what was missing.  Burrito wagons. Taco trucks. Back in the day that is what that stretch of Alameda Avenue was all about: artists, punks, winos and burrito wagons.  Besides, their food was way better.

Spent the whole say at the Bloom Stage with all the geezers. We knew all of them. Beautiful time. Perfect.  Saw some ex-Betty Blowtorch thing that shredded, Carnage Asada were loud and pounding and better than ever and ya gotta love frontman George. Saccharine Trust are one of the great bands of our time. I remember seeing them at Al’s three decades ago opening for the Misfits. (I remember seeing them for the very first time at the Cathay in 1981, but that’s another story).  Mike Watt and the Missingmen doing double nickles on Hyphenated-Man. The Gears had a slam pit going for chrissakes with big huge inner tubes that people went crazy with and they bounced and bounded and knocked shit all over the place and watching some of the dads out there skanking was a trip…I hadn’t seen that in decades. Just no one gets hurt now. No bloody lips or black eyes or broken bones. Just good clean fun. Al’s Bar was a time warp. Surreal. It looked just like our Al’s Bar–it was our Al’s Bar, but it’s so clean now. So clean it was almost eerie. They sweep the floor now. They painted over the graffiti. The hole in the wall is covered up. The pool table is gone. The photo booth is gone. (Did that photo booth actually work?  I just remember people fucking in it.) The wife and I had our 20th anniversary at Al’s Bar, I remember. That was forever ago. I had my 40th birthday party in there. That was forever-er ago.  I smoked dope with Kurt Cobain there out on the back patio, and he’s been dead forever and ever. Continue reading