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CLUB REVIEW : San Pedro's Waters a Trip to Vintage Los Angeles

June 22, 1995|HEIDI SIEGMUND CUDA

It's difficult to imagine the Southland of yesteryear, before mini-malls and cheap stucco jobs changed the face of the city. But a trip to San Pedro's Waters Club, in an old downtown district of the South Bay city, offers a hint of vintage L.A.

Built after World War II, the Waters Club is the strip's focal point, and visiting the area is like stepping back in time a few decades--don't expect Starbucks or the Gap to open franchises here soon. But the club, like the city, maintains a certain integrity despite a limited budget.

The 800-capacity venue has been home to Latin music since its inception, and featured such acts as Los Freddys and Los Yonics in its '60s and early-'70s heyday before turning to glam-rock and punk in the early '80s.

The club has again turned its focus to Latin music, offering banda and norten ~ o groups regularly on Saturdays and Sundays while booking pop and punk shows on most Fridays and occasional Thursdays.

Such artists as War, Desmond Dekker, Lagwagon and Voodoo Glow Skulls have performed at the all-ages venue, which has been given a bit of a face lift in the past few years. Although the once-empty front room now includes tables and seating and spiffed-up decor, don't expect a refurbished sound system--they're still using one that recalls the negative connotation of vintage .

* The Waters Club, 1331 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro. All ages, cover varies. (310) 547-4424 (Spanish) or (310) 547-4423 (English).

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