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CLUB REVIEW : At Bourbon Square, the Retro Is Real

October 07, 1994|HEIDI SIEGMUND

At Bourbon Square, time stands still.

The venerable Van Nuys nightclub continues to celebrate the rock of the late '70s and '80s--but not in a cutesy, retro/revival sense. Apparently the folks there share a genuine love for that era's much maligned pop-rock.

The 20-year-old, two-room venue offers its two stages to bands with names such as the Dixie Playboys, Hap Hazard and Caress of Steel--a Rush ( shudder ) cover band that packs the larger room (which is open Wednesday through Saturday).

With the Sunset Strip slowly abandoning its "Poison" years, Bourbon Square has also become a haven for people who still want a taste of that scene. The casually clad crowd is composed of people who consider getting "carded" at the door a compliment.

There's an uncanny sense of abandon at Bourbon Square--it's OK to like Poco or REO Speed-wagon here, no explanations necessary. After a recent set by a band called Cheeze Whiz, Journey's "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' " came on the jukebox, causing the customers to burst into song.

There's this overwhelming feeling that Bourbon Square, which features KISS tribute band Parasite on Oct. 22, is the place folks visit to relive their high school years.

* Bourbon Square, 15322 Victory Blvd. 21 and over, cover varies. (818) 997-8562.

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