Sunday, June 14, 2015


J. Love’s is now called Rooster’s Roadhouse. If you’re familiar with Rooster’s, you know that nothing good will come out of this story. This was the first show I ever set up and it turned into quite the clusterfuck at the end. The show ran late and the owner shut it down before Powerhouse got to play. He then kept the money and refused to pay the bands. The Masked Men left early and were the only ones who got paid out of the whole deal. For the record, they spent the money on vegetarian Chinese food and a new mic cord. Ernie from Powerhouse was mad as hell and wanted to get paid in some form or another, until my fucking MOM showed up out of the blue. Talk about embarrassing! It turns out that a friend of mine called her while I was trying to smooth things over with Ernie. Despite being laid off from her job, Mom offered Powerhouse a $50 check to make things right. Instead, they said that it was okay, no hard feelings and it’s all just a big misunderstanding.

Eventually Ernie and I talked about this show, and we both agreed that the owner was a scumbag and that his club wasn’t really the right place for a punk show. Powerhouse turned out to be a great band in their own right, playing a vital role in kick starting that end of the Bay Area’s local hardcore scene. Ernie Cortez passed away from cancer in mid-2004 at the young age of 37. RIP.

Other things that I remember from this show…one of the Alameda hesher kids breaking Peter’s arm during the Masked Men. Peter joined them as their vocalist several months later, so one could say that it was kind of his initiation into the band. When we played, the hesher kids took over the dance floor and pretty much beat each other up. It didn’t really resemble anything like a circle pit from my vantage point. Mike introduced the Oppressed Logic song “They’re Gonna Die” by going off on a profanity-laced tirade about racism, Nazis, and Proposition 187; screaming it in the faces of all the hesher kids, who may or may not have been all that supportive of what he was talking about.

When things were running late and Powerhouse had yet to play, Ernie was starting to get agitated. He went up to the front of the stage to try to tell Mike to hurry up, but was probably met with a sarcastic “we’re not done yet, faggot!” Oppressed Logic started their next song while Ernie was still trying to get Mike’s attention. All of a sudden, a notorious Telegraph drunk punk named Smiley went plowing into Ernie from behind. Things were about to get ugly fast. Smiley was wearing his brand new silver gauntlet with tons of spikes and whatever else on it. The security guards might have had an issue with it too. Ernie turned around and it looked like there was going to be a huge brawl between these two, although Smiley was trying to explain that he was just dancing and thought Ernie was in the pit too. The security guards came running in and the show was most definitely over.

So much has happened since this show and so much has changed. Fortunately, the network is better organized now. People are more approachable and it’s a lot easier to set up a show and work with folks who are cool and won’t dick you around…much. I certainly learned a lot from this show—mostly what not to do. Better luck next time, kid.

FLYER: Mike Avilez
SHOW: Jake Kelly