"Roll the credits in your mind for this story, which has played out since the dawn of DIY (in general), and punk rock (in particular): Anykid in Anytown USA doesn't like what's happening there. Maybe they don't hear their type of music, hope to carve out room for something else...or simply want something else besides the standard issue profit-mongering water hole.
"Whatever the reason, Anykid gets Anyclub up and running. Anyclub survives the initial growing pains (hit or miss bookings, spotty audiences, official and unofficial sabotage). For awhile, everyone has a more interesting place to go. Then, sadly but surely, the obstacles start piling up -- too many to overcome in short order.
"The doors slam shut, and the lights go out, leaving Anyclub to live on, in people's memories, and a big black hole in the local scene once more. Roll the credits: wash, rinse, repeat."
For two years (1984-86), Gil Fuhrer and his partner, Sam Lanni, lived that story as co-owners of Safari Sam's (Huntington Beach, CA), deep in the dark Republican heart of Orange County, no less, yet remains fondly remembered for hosting the respective local and US debuts of Jane's Addiction, and Jesus & Mary Chain, as well as becoming a reliable stop for the likes of fireHOSE, the Minutemen, Social Distortion, and Sonic Youth...plus a slew of local acts that sprang up in their wake, like El Grupo Sexo and Exobiota, The Final Tourguides and The Fad, The Satellites and Satan's Cheerleaders. Along the way, the club branched out into offering non-musical fare, including an experimental opera, plays, and a weekly spoken mic that rapidly became one of its most distinctive -- and eagerly anticipated -- offerings.
Now, you can read the club's story for the first time, in "Anyhow, Anyclub, Anywhere: The Rise & Fall Of Safari Sam's," an oral history -- featuring extended interviews with Gil, and three of the key players in the scene that sprang up around Sam's (Jeff Beals, Holly Day, Dee Madden).
Two-plus years in the making, 100 or so pages, this is our first theme issue. While Safari Sam's established itself as a hotbed of great rock 'n' roll, that's not the whole story. of constant harassment from city cops and bureaucrats, a strongly conservative social culture, and the greatest force it ultimately couldn't overcome...gentrification. It's a story that was relevant then, and still plays out today, all around the nation.
Now you can read it for yourself, and draw your own conclusions. Review copies will go out, pending my favorite library's or print shop's return from the pandemic... But in the meantime, we'll gladly take any pre-orders come in. Only $10 postpaid, available directly...just visit the Contact page to set up the transaction, and we'll do the rest. Thanks!