First a miniriot, now this: Valencia Street was the site of more havoc last Wednesday, when two firetrucks collided and one plunged through the front window of Radio Valencia. Miraculously, only one patron was injured, although eight firefighters were hurt. “For once, I'm happy that the cafe was nearly empty,” says co-owner Don Alan. “The day before, it was completely full at that same time.” Reportedly, a group of people seated at a windowfront table got up and moved just before the accident occurred. As Radio Valencia was heavily damaged, Alan fears it may be several months before he can reopen. “Twenty people got their livelihood here,” Alan says, “mostly students, musicians, and artists working part time. I want to get things moving as quickly as possible.” Known as one of the very few local venues to book experimental jazz and bluegrass on a regular basis, local musicians are already approaching Alan about possible benefits.
Bait and Switch
A longtime Haight Street institution, Rough Trade Records is packing up and moving from its prime location. The new destination is currently a secret; employees are under strict instructions not to talk, and at press time they were still tight-lipped, despite Samples' pleas, tricks, subtle manipulations, and out-and-out bribes. But rumor has it the store will leave the Haight and expand to about three times its current size. Due to the relocation, beginning June 30 Rough Trade will no longer be the no-service-charge ticket outlet for Bill Graham Presents; BGP is currently looking for a new one.
When modern-rock overlords Live pegged the Bay Area's arty Thinking Fellers to support them on a national tour, fans raised an eyebrow even if the Fellers didn't. “We didn't know who the hell they were,” says Fellers guitarist Mark Davies, “so there were no qualms at first. We had never been on a big rock circuit before, so we thought it would be a bizarre experience.” Though Davies says the vast majority of their audiences were “just indifferent,” the more hostile Live fans used the Thinking Fellers for target practice. “Someone threw a basketball at my head, which missed me but knocked the mike stand over,” Davies says. “Don't know how they smuggled that in. We got pelted with lots of shoes, change, a Power Rangers watch which was in perfect condition, and chewed bubble gum which hit the top of my guitar and stuck there. But the best thing thrown at me was a pacifier — perfect, because these audiences were really young and kind of bratty.”
By Sia Michel