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ROCK TALK : Hells Angels Gear Up for a Music Marathon : The motorcycle club opens its Ventura clubhouse's doors for an event aimed at raising money for a class-action suit.

July 29, 1993|BILL LOCEY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Get Your Motor Runnin' Department: Saturday from high noon until the cops show up toting a double order of "Shut Up" will be Biker Bash III at the Hells Angels Clubhouse on Fix Way in Ventura. This may be one of the last examples of fun as we know it before the city redevelops the entire area into condo-land.

Here's the fun part: For 10 bucks, you get all the draft beer you can drink. There will also be all sorts of food, plus about a million bands.

Here's the serious part, according to Angels Ventura chapter President George Christie:

"We need to raise $50,000 to $100,000 for a legal defense fund to file a class-action suit against the federal parole department. It initially began in Ventura County, but this suit will involve all the chapters all across the United States.

"One of our members, David Ortega, served a year and a half in state prison, and when he got out in 1990, he was told he couldn't associate with us because they said we were a criminal organization."

The federal probation office did not seem overly concerned.

"If this particular individual got in trouble with a particular group, than a stipulation of his probation could be that he not associate with that group. But we make decisions on a case-by-case basis," said Bob Latta, a spokesman for the United States probation office in Los Angeles.

"Anyway, if we get sued, it won't be the first time."

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The Boston Timetable Department: It may seem like 30 years, but those raucous rockers Raging Arb & the Redheads celebrated their 10th anniversary this month with a soggy soiree at the Midnight Hour in Ventura.

During their 10 years, the Redheads have released a grand total of one album. Well, Boston went 10 years between albums, so the Redheads are in good company. The band has four new tracks down and is hoping for more.

"I guess it took us that long to sober up," drummer Ross Emery said. "Gold Mine Studios gave us a good Arb rate, and we're probably going back in August. We'll probably do two more originals plus a couple of favorites that never made it onto the album."

New Arb songs recorded for the '90s include "Fool's Gold," "Pick Up The Pieces" and "Casting Shadows." One song they've been playing for years, "The Lou Reed Song," is now officially "Days Gone By."

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Dave Meet Dave Department: Lion I's, the most popular band in Ventura County, has a new guitar player. In a straight Dave-for-Dave deal, Sharnberg is in and Spasiano is off the stage but not out. Founding member Spasiano remains as the band's manager, which gives him more time to concentrate on his career as a realtor.

"I had another band with Sharnberg before Lion I's," said keyboard player Guy Jeans. "We looked at about 20 guitar players. . . . Dave's got a lot of energy and he's a lot of fun. He's sweated more in five gigs than Dave Spasiano did since he's been in the band."

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Not Mogz II Department: Nick Taylor, who owns Nicolby's Coffee House and the antique store that surrounds it in downtown Ventura, plans to expand his empire upward by bringing music back to the big upstairs. Formerly Mogz, Zenon West and other things, the upstairs space was an all-ages teen hang-out with a lot of punk rock bands playing fast and loud. Taylor plans to give downtown Ventura what he thinks it needs--music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a rotation of something like blues, reggae and country. At present the top floor is a consignment area, but will once again become the area's largest dance floor. He also plans on having a pool hall and 16 different kinds of micro-brewery beer--but the beer may be a ways off.

"We're having trouble with the Ventura Police Department," Taylor said. "They protested my beer and wine license by arguing there were already enough trouble spots downtown. We're going to continue to work with the city to change their mind."

The Pontiax, a rockin' Santa Barbara blues band, is slated to play at the opening of the new joint on Aug. 20. Forget the 16 kinds of beer and imagine 16 kinds of juice, at least for now.

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Rock Squawk Department: Was this your last rock concert? You pay your big bucks, wait in line, get searched by goon-sized bouncers, get your significant other a $20 rock T-shirt, wait in line so some bartender can scowl at you after you don't tip him for selling you a four-dollar draft beer. So far, what's new? Then there's that horrible music they play while you're waiting until the Twelfth of Never to see the band.

I mean, if you go to see Lion I's, why not play some Lion I's or at least some sort of reggae or ska music before the show? It's called getting you in the mood.

So hey, band dudes, here's the deal. The club isn't going to pay you much more than a cold cheeseburger and a six-pack of light beer anyway, so why not bring your own tape and create your own alleged ambience?

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It's a jungle down there: All local bands hate to play L.A. because nobody ever comes to see them. The industry may be there, but the bands only seem to get the business.

Well, most of them. Ventura's Sikotik Sinfoney, a band of few spellers that dresses up like a bunch of animals and plays like maniacs, recently got signed to Relativity Records. They will go into the studio in August.

Sikotik Sinfoney, formerly the Dycondras, has been playing in L.A.--and even Bakersfield--for years, but in its own town, maybe twice a year. The best thing about the band is it doesn't sound like this week's Nirvana clone.

Maybe some industry slugs will wake up and check out some of the other local bands that are lagging in the bank account department, like Ariel, Pinching Judy, April's Motel Room, J.D.'s Last Ride, Los Guys, the Upbeat, Twelve Stories, Blackworm, Tao Jonz, Spencer the Gardener, Munkafust and a zillion others.

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