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SOCIAL CLIMES / UP ALL NIGHT

Hills Are Alive With Sounds of '80s

September 27, 1996|TRACY JOHNSON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

What comes around goes around, and at Candy Canyon in Woodland Hills the 1980s are back.

People old enough to remember the decade from its first time are tripping down memory lane with songs from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album during Retro-'80s nights each Saturday.

As Shannon's "Let the Music Play" pipes through the sound system, the dance floor fills up. There's not a lot of room under the anachronistic '70s disco ball and multicolored flashing lights, but the mirrors alongside the wooded floor give the room a look of depth.

Valley girls Wendy Lucas and Jennifer Genualdo croon with the lyrics, though they dance '90s style. All eyes are on the dance floor, which was empty just a few minutes ago and has suddenly filled with denim-clad dancers.

When the deejay skips over to the 1990s, the friends depart from the small floor and take to their red vinyl bar stools until a better song comes along. Tone Loc's 1989 "Wild Thing" seems to be the calling card. They are here for the '80s music and will dance to anything that sounds retro.

The request list that hangs from the deejay's booth shows what these folks want to hear: Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive" and music by Quarterflash.

But some of the '80s music with its slow beat doesn't make for good dancing, so deejay Lar Bierner says she has to get creative. She starts off the night with popular '70s songs, then slowly moves into the '80s.

"Everyone seems to like the '80s music that sounds like the '70s best," Bierner said. "Some nights we have more of a dance for the decades 'cause I have to play '70s stuff to get them on the dance floor."

Indeed, '80s music has some tough tunes to dance to. Jennifer and Patrick Pen~a of Northridge say they prefer the club on Friday nights, when Bierner spins classic rock and modern music. Saturday they came to Candy Canyon when their other plans fell through.

"It's our favorite hole in the wall with good music," said Jennifer Pen~a. "It's homey and you always see people you know."

Indeed, Candy Canyon has been around quite some time--since it opened as a disco in 1978--and patrons are mostly Valley residents who dread the long drive to Los Angeles. Owners Tim and Donna Heyn took over the place about four years ago and recently added live music to the entertainment lineup, which is always free to see.

On Sundays Jimmy McConnell's Orchestra plays jazz. Wednesdays and Thursdays also feature live jazz or blues. Monday the pub turns into a sports bar. Donna Heyn said the live music is quite a hit since the West Valley has limited entertainment, especially on weeknights.

*

Where: Candy Canyon, 6259 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills. (818) 992-9211.

When: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

Cost: No cover. Domestic beer, $2.50; wine, $2.50; kamikaze, $2.

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