In the Beginning

Sluggo’s was a workers’ collective. This tiny restaurant, situated on the late-’80s-early-’90s UC Santa Cruz campus, pops up in the collective memory every once in a while as the first place Gillian Welch played folk music. Camper van Beethoven played there, too, along with a million other bands, almost every night of the week. And let’s be clear: The only reason there was music at Sluggo’s was that it was a workers’ collective. If it had been owned by some skinflint with a squint on the bottom line like all the other college cafes before and since, we would have no Gillian Welch, and consequently no show tonight with the Dave Rawlings Machine. (By the way: Is it just us or is he hot?) Another thing everyone gets wrong about Sluggo’s is that it was not famous for “buckets of beer,” but for “bucket beer” — the tap runoff — which cost 25 cents a pint. Sometimes it had wine in it, too. So Sluggo’s, though we hardly knew ye, in the gravel and heat of Welch and Rawlings’ music, we can hear the goofy punk ethics of your open-minded Tuesday night folk music policy.
Tue., March 24, 8 p.m., 2009

View Comments