Ask anyone with a little punk rock running through their veins if they’ve seen a show at a bowling alley, then stand back as they reel off a virtual who’s who of punk rock history. An informal survey of my friends revealed classic shows including 7 Seconds, the Angry Samoans and Mike Watt’s Banyan all enjoyed with a backdrop of gutter balls and the smell of freshly waxed lanes. Punk rock and bowling are so connected that San Francisco has its own punk rock bowling league which competes in the annual Punk Rock Bowling Tournament and Music Festival held every year in Las Vegas.
Santa Cruz’s own piece of this history can be found at Coaster’s Lounge. Tucked safely into the Boardwalk Bowl, Coaster’s has been nurturing some of Santa Cruz’s finest punk, metal and rock bands that aren’t afraid to get a little loud.
When Coaster’s remodeled its bar, long time kitchen manager Rogelio Guzman was asked to take over operations. Expanding Coaster’s karaoke hours and diving into the local music scene, he’s credited with filling a void for up and coming bands lacking in hard rock venues. Open to everything from battle of the bands to CD-release parties, he’s known for being easy to work with and creating win/win situations for bands and venue alike.
Friday night is the most consistent live music night at Coaster’s but occasionally a Saturday night show is added for the right lineup. Since the Boardwalk Bowl bar already does a brisk business without the help of live music, don’t expect a percentage of that till for showing up to play. Instead, Coaster’s will provide newer bands with a small guarantee. And if you bring in more than 60 of your friends, bonus money will be yours. Once you’ve proven you can draw a crowd, you’ll get bumped up to a guarantee plus percentage deal.
If you’re interested in getting booked at Coaster’s, then don’t believe the hype about MySpace being dead. When you e-mail Rogelio for a show, he’ll go straight to your band page to check you out (and yes, he is noticing how many friends you have). Be prepared to bring in all of your own gear, and be your own promoter for the show. This venue is D.I.Y. at its finest.
Coaster’s will provide the stocked bar, fog machine and your chance to become part of the storied history of bowling alleys and rock ‘n’ roll.
For more details on how to book a show at Coaster's, go to http://santacruzrehearsalstudios.wordpress.com/category/how-to
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