Saturday, April 15, 2017



BSC, CA – In the space of the Java Joz-Cuppy's era, we lost 3 people to music. One was Bipsy, through her murder but the other two just left the scene burnt-out. One of the other two was Johnny. Like the ex-convict in that Moms Mableyjoke who was stealing wheelbarrows from a construction site, we never got caught being on the outermost reaches of the MPD like a roadhouse. Natural breeze flow took care of the rest. Still Johnny got harassed every time he went to the Murrieta City Hall for something. The last ticket fiasco was the straw. Different City, same mindset.

The second person to leave burnt out was Ric, a handsome Italian who left Italy, like this owner, for the love of a woman. It doesn't get anymore Italiano than that, not that any woman couldn't do the same thing given the Hollywoodopportunity. Ric started the first The Vault and had no involvement in the scene of original music. The Sounds of Music were a group of music store/schools in the area that ran all the way up to Hemet[Florida Ave]. The then new area of Temecula attracted the loose franchise to expand here. The place catered to young kids taking music lessons from seasoned old school performers and the old school crowd [50s-80s covers]. Ric got the Temecula store, hired an old-timer [guitarist, 80s hair band] who in turn looked for an assistant, read replacement. One day, fresh from the bonfire of the Jjoz vanities, in comes this kid “dressed in a bandana and tee shirt for the job.” - Ric

And that began the very original music scene last segment, the mushroom cap fireball era of the new music scene which was to branch out into the Summer of Ska; a grand punk revival blending new [current] punks with the punks they maybe had heard about or had records by; modern Christian 'straight-edge'; and a era producing 2 main spinoffs, with the first one you will recognize without being a music fan, just after the jump. That and any one of the pics inside could have been used as the lead-in, but realistically, this group was one that we [Ivan and I] saw together early in this third part of the scene plus no group name better captures the Ivan and everyone elserelationships. For all the people who felt that they needed to keep an eye on Ivan, I was the only person Ivan felt that he needed to watch. This is the story from that guy.

The Vault under the ownership of the second owner, James, one of the former music teachers on staff at The Vault [Season 1], wound up being crawling distance from this craft brewer,

Back when it really was black market. There was a dog which met you at the front door that gave the place a southern flavor. You also had to know someone who knew where the place was, it was that cool. If you did find the place and wanted to be a piece of its history, you could be.

Those were the days when you could bump into headliners wetting their whistles, loosening up for their show at The Vault. The fact that this place was underground and cool added that pizazz to The Vault. I became Ivan's tour band road mgr, flashing back to my experience with The Spoonbills. It was a classy refinement the tour bands, old school and current, appreciated as the way to treat the talent. This was not the mullet room; this was big-time, and mutual. Black Market loved it too.

All this was due to Ivan, who had sniffed out the place and called me on the red phone. This was the reason I loved Ivan, but I was very aware of the Joe Btfsplk aspect to him because early in the Vault's existence [Ric days], Ivan loaned me his second vehicle to help me get around to the many shows now happening. The problem was this second vehicle was a traveling billboard for Ivan's movie project and Bill was now a competing promoter in a mainstream venue. People knew I wrote for FVE, the owner of Full Value Review.

Though I got out of that one, it left a skid-mark, especially since I seemed to be enjoying it. Actually not having to peddle all over town was great for my old legs. Also I had gotten pulled into the movie project drama, a press bird whose wings were clipped. I remembered the drama in my young daze [see Memoirs yada, yada, yada], now I was the walk-thru narrator in this music soap opera, mesmerized by the action and the cast. Shit was crackin'.  

 Special shows

For those not in the scene, Illnoise [ill-noise, not a reference to the state] is Jamaal Harley, a name that is listed on that first Java Joz opening night in the second ring. Jamaal started out as part of the movie project [vids] crew of Ivan's, caught the bug of the scene and became Illnoise opening for national acts in SD. Of late, this versatile artist who has a day job in his field, has been starring and producing videos for the Cosplay market. They are a blast, too.

Gone were the days when a simple flyer or poster was the norm.


The Vault took poster art to a big city level.

All this was called into action by a wannabe movie-maker. We may have award shows and competitions now to benefit some school but The Vault did it better and with panache.

Besides having a small budget and very art tech interns producing this without any grant aka support from Temec's City Council, this was the caliber of graphic expression from the fertile mind of Ivan. The quick wits of the youth quickly saw the double entendre to The Vault Strikes Back logo as from the guy standing on top of the camper with a bullhorn that day almost two years prior.

The Vault also did a lot of sly movie themes to make a show special, like this. 

The artists loved it. The Vault was a clean and well-run venue. Almost all the posters shown in this series are the ones that were signed. There were a number of others I have not signed. The signed ones were autographs I stood in line for with paying fans. Ivan got band signed posters sent to him.

Other times The Vault packed the house SRO* with cutting edge performers. *- Standing Room Only

Of course, gender-bending [Christian] party music shows weren't the only one-offs to net Ivan a fat bonus. There was this show that stopped all all-day concerts for 'non-city approved' venues even though there was no ruckus.

The original art and layout impressed the British Rolling Stones of Punk so much that they had Ivan autograph a poster for them. Of course it could have been that the Vanessa Franko Audio File column in the Press-Enterprise or the International mention [?] of the way the wankers are here that steamed the City's clams. Below is the 'official art' poster for this legendary tour that had everyone limping and laughing. It was the most people that I had ever seen crowd-surfing at the same time. So intense. You could feel the coming performance vibe as the roadies set the stage to a soundtrack of the Rolling Stones.

If there wasn't something kick-ass happening onstage at The Vault,

Then maybe there was outside.

All the kids loved the new expanded scene, whether a day show,

Or night.

A Los Vegas window opened.

The Vault Concerts were the shit, as you see Ivan's [Jackie Findl] Pilar meet the front man of Ataris

Picture taken by The Vault staff
Other staff included crossover Charles [Java Joz], Morgan [from the time period of Jamaal's breakout at a FVE Temecula Music Fest], and Sam, who would go with me up to Occupy LA as The FVE Press aka Gonzo Press, the only Press in camp. There were others on staff, of course, but this was The Vault's first ring.

There is one other spin off worth mentioning; the 'Mr. Pete' moment under the Ivan sun. That moment came in a phone call one mid-morning at my day job.

I have to admit, this time the emotion was different as a part of me questioned lending my name to a stereotype that was either comic relief [Huggy Bear, Willie the Wimp] or cold-bloodied [Superfly, Dirty Harry 2], then I realized that I was having a senior moment. These were my friends and I wasn't stuck in the 80s. "Sure," I said, "I'd be honored."

For that license endorsement, I got to name one of the three man-sized, made fresh [later on in our self-contained food truck trailer, engineered and built by Ivan] burritos - The Vegetable Monologues. This time Bill's are you driving his movie camper again look changed when he learned we had a no-meat choice on the menu. Though Ivan had just been a part of this venture, Bill gave the respect attaboys to Ivan, finally mending the fences disrupted when The Grinch Stole Jjoz that year.

After breaking in the finale recipe, Ivan scored a Temecula Music Fest and everyone was back, minus a few who had grown away from the scene.

We debuted and sold the signature burritos all day and all night. They were a hit and a side adventure started. BTW, Ivan did the artwork for the biz cards. They are collectibles now.

Once again an artist was taken from us, the father of the lead singer in War Stories, a local band in the Cuppy's era. Larry Robinson was a fine singer-songwriter himself, seen here from an impromptu book store live performance Ivan and I heard about once when we were at The Vault on an industry night. His two killers are still being sought.

You could say that the real world had started to break into our music bubble here in the valley. Soon, in weather that most people only read about, in an area I dubbed 'high school with money', things would start to evaporate, scene-wise. This would start [for me] with going up to and down to, LA and SD, then back for the duration of Occupy Los Angeles [respectively].

Otherwise some bands grew,

Others changed.

Some lived up to their name,

Some returned.

Others would morph.

And this is the band that delivered me back from my two month Occupy experience. They had grown by one brother. Of course they didn't all come up at once to get me. Buy their latest here.

While the scene is the effort and magic* that is infused with art expression and interesting people, the warm memories of past original music shows belong to scene music promoters Bill and Jeney Gould, Keenwild,

And the featured player of this piece, Ivan Promotions, who has been the other bookend to the Valley's original music scene explosion,

Ivan is the one on the right, a surprising look-alike for the young X-Team Professor X.

But we went from 'A' to 'Z',

In a way few other valleys can match. Like Frank Sinatra, we did it Our Way.

Thank You, Everybody.

That's a wrap.

*- To see scene magic for reals, the early Vault poster listing Strike Twelve with the band name The Outside View below it features ST in a rare photo taken looking up outside at the 'green room' ironically. And the 3rd photo up from here features, in the crowd, one of the two songwriters of Fat Bitches. Can you find Waldo