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BEHIND THE SCENES / ORANGE COUNTY

Whole Lotta Bakin' Going On

July 11, 1996

OK, try to put these two images together. First, picture your standard Jerry Lee Lewis groupie from the '50s. Then, conjure a typical follower of Social Distortion, Orange County punk rockers since the early '80s.

If successful, you'll have a pretty good idea of what Hootenanny '96 was all about. The daylong roots-rock and rockabilly festival was held Sunday in Oak Canyon Ranch near Irvine Regional Park.

Clutchheads eyeballed souped-up hot rods, and punk rockers checked out the inkable icons at the tattoo parlor displays. Women in Andrews Sisters dresses jitterbugged with guys in cuffed Levi's and white T-shirts alongside crowd-surfing punkers sporting Technicolor hair and tank tops.

Despite polar appearances, all gathered amiably around two stages to listen to nonstop music--from Jerry Lee Lewis, the Blasters, James Intveld, the Paladins and the Sun Demons to the newer sounds of Social Distortion, Supersuckers, Southern Culture on the Skids, Custom Made Scare and Los Infernos. Linda Jemison of Linda's Doll Hut spent the day coordinating the second stage's output.

"The longest anyone had to wait to hear music was, like, three minutes," said Jemison, who has showcased most of the bands at her Anaheim nightclub. "I kept an eye on the main stage, and when the band there was winding down, I got ours going. It was great."

Many of the 3,500 festival-goers brought blankets to lay out in the sun or under a grove of shady trees. They snacked on Jamaican jerk chicken and gyros and cooled off with lemonade, beer or water guns.

Members of custom-car clubs hung out with their '65 and earlier pickups, convertibles, T-buckets, Buicks and Mercury lead sleds. Vendors shilled retro rockabilly clothing--the usual bowling shirts and other Kramer-esque duds--and assorted body-piercing accessories.

Jemison and others agreed it was a chance for two kinds of rock fans to leave their respective nightclubs and find common ground out in the open.

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