The “legendary” Showcase Theatre, which closed down in 2008, was our first California show. We opened for our pals Order of the Fly who helped us book the show.
When we first played the Showcase Theatre I experienced a flashback. When my family moved to Arizona from Illinois my older sister Gina and I drove out to California. California is the Mecca for any Midwesterner growing up in cornfields and snow. The years of television and movie propaganda made one think the only place to be is California. So the first chance we got, we drove out to Hollywood. We did the usual tourist things, but we also wanted to see the real Hollywood. So drove around trying to get lost. Eventually we found a random place to walk around, and as we passed a restaurant guess who we saw going in for a bite? It was the Lord Almighty himself, Glen Danzig. Like giddy school girls bumping into the Jonas Brothers at the mall, we didn’t know what to do. I managed to pull it together and yell out “Hey Glenn, can we get your picture.” Then he turned around, smiled and my sister took the picture.
Anyway, that night we decided to go see a punk show. We found a weekly flyer and picked out a venue at random, The Showcase Theatre. I can’t remember who was playing or if I even liked the show. I do remember sitting on the staircase that led to the merch tables and wrote in my journal. “Dear Diary, wow I can’t believe I’m at an actual punk show in California. I hope that one I’ll be on this very same stage and fuck up.”
I remember when we opened for Three Bad Jacks, we did a podcast interview after the show in our van. While we were recording, we heard yelling going on outside. We made a joke and thought nothing of it. It turned out that someone stole a guitar from the Three Bad Jacks. It was one of Elvis’s $1200 guitars that someone snagged from the stage as they were unloading the gear. The thief ran out to his car and people chased him down the street. All that excitement and we missed i t!
Eventually we headlined at the Showcase. It had been our first California headlining show, and I was in disbelief that all these people came out to see us. Then I felt the pressure, cause all these people came out to see us! I can’t mess up. So of course, when we played Your Ghost my mind went blank and I couldn’t remember how to play the opening bass riff. The goddamn riff I wrote! I repeat that riff a few times during the song, so I tried to recover each time I played it and failed. It was the longest 2 minutes of my life. Afterwards I tried tuning my bass and Bobby kept yelling at me “It’s not your tuning! You’re just playing it wrong!” Thanks for pointing that out.
I have a lot of great memories at the Showcase. Jose the owner of the venue is a great guy and always took care of the bands. He had plans to open a new venue, so I hope when the economy turns around he will be able to do that.
At the Showcase we’ve played with; Koffin Kats, Three Bad Jacks, Zombeast, Order Of The Fly, Chop Tops, The Returners, 12 Step Rebels, More Than Never, Summers End and many others I can’t recall.