Friday, January 6, 2012

Goodbye Fonda?!

Word passed heavy today about the fate of the Fonda MusicBox Theater, with rumor having it closing soon, if only temporarily. The picture became somewhat clearer, thanks to quick reportage from LA Weekly and the LA Times.

It took me years to deal with going all the way to LA for shows, (with day traffic a six hour round trip), but a crucial part of what turned the tide for me was the 1300 seat oasis on the corner of Hollywood and Gower.  Many a night I would hang out on the roof between sets, eyeballing the Capitol Records building, gazing up the street towards the Roosevelt. 
With proximity to Amoeba Records and Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, it is/was the epicenter of my LA Bermuda Triangle, and will be very hard to replace.

Some favorite memories from the venue include: 
-the last LA show of Stereolab in 2008 
-a stunning Superchunk show done to a half filled house, not to mention a comet-like appearance from The Vaselines as openers
-a transcendent Beach House gig last February when the crowd became one, 
-the Gang of Four returning to LA for the first time in too many years
-an electric solo performance from the Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer, introduced by none other than Neil Gaiman. What little did we know that down the road they would be married!

Not to mention the ones that got away: 
-Nine Inch Nails did a spot as part of their 'Wave Goodbye' tour.  I never got close to getting tickets...
-Radiohead picked the Music Box to put on their relief benefit for Haiti.  I dropped out of the ticket bidding at $350, no harm done.  Still regret that! 

Got an email tonight from Goldenvoice, who are going ahead with putting tickets on sale for the Cults gig in March.  I'm sure they'll have a backup in place, but if anyone can help leverage out this mess, it would be GV, (who just celebrated their 30th anniversary).

One of the biggest unanswered questions will be the fate of the adjoining restaurant, The Blue Palms, which has managed to carve a fine little niche among craft beer lovers.

Hopefully new ownership will be kind in renovations and not destroy the loving recreations of Bosch's 'Garden Of Earthly Delights'.  It might be that that I miss the most...

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