By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
For the financially struggling Maciel — who, with his brother Pete and his friend Reggie Rosalvas, booked more than 300 shows with bands from Orange County to Sweden, Argentina and beyond — permits, at $6,000 to $8,000 a pop, are not a realistic option.
“It was just four walls and a ceiling,” Maciel said of his club. “People would ask when we were going to get air conditioning — we just paid rent. If you’re going to pay for permits and still charge $5 for shows, you’ll have to sell a lot of expensive drinks.”
Maciel said police had visited the club in the past without raising a problem — until the Times’ goosing, that is.
“They never asked us for anything,” Maciel said.
The PCH “was about music and community first and foremost. They were contributing something important,” he said.
“It was the one place that was truly underground,” said Brian Rogers, singer for Orange County’s Fish People. “Shows there were always more fun than at other places.”
Maciel said he hopes to carry on with the annual PCH Record Swap, an event without live music that would be “one last chance to hang out.”
“This was a big part of my life, and I’m sure it was the same for a lot of other people — a lot more than I thought,” he said.
OffBeat was in the midst of a frantic, how-am-I-going-to-get-to-tennis? phone conversation with our child when the call-waiting beep went off in our ear. “Hello, this is Barbra Streisand on behalf of Planned Parenthood,” the dulcet tone on the other line began.
“That was Barbra. Barbra Streisand,” we dropped casually after listening in full to Barbra’s scintillating political message. “Yeah, she just wanted to make sure personally we were going to get out there and vote. Isn’t that just like her, to be thinking of little old us on Election Day, with everything on her famous and oh-so-politically-committed mind?” we chuckled proudly.
“Wow,” our son responded.
The next day, the beep sounded again. “This is Erin Brockovich. Remember me from that award-winning movie on fighting toxics?” We made it about halfway through Erin’s computerized message before ringing off. Hey, the fish was overcooking. No on 37, we murmured softly, trying to memorize Erin’s election pick. Or was it 38? Damn.
“Erin. Erin Brockovich,” we told the child.
“She isn’t real,” he answered scornfully.
“Yes, she is. She, too, wants to help get OffBeat to the polls,” we riposted deftly.
Election Day. Deadlines. Can’t find the polling-place address. Ring! “Hello, this is President Bill Clinton —” Slam! With Barbra and Erin in our corner, we don’t need no stinking president pressuring us to get out and vote. Ring, ring. “This is former Attorney General John Van de K — “ Click. Who unleashed these annoying cybernags anyway? Remember when it was college kids, not hollow-voiced celebrity simulacra, trying to get you to the polls? They’d drive you, too. And they knew where the polling places were.
So, for all the Erins, Barbras, Bills and Johns who were so worried that OffBeat might hole up with Friends reruns and forget to cast our ballot — we voted, okay? Just once, too. We’re left with one haunting question, however. What if that really was Bill, trying to get OffBeat for the transition team..?
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