Friday, November 22, 2013



Temecula, CA – With the closing of The Vault, an era of this valley comes to an end for the locals,
whether they know it or not. No longer will they, the locals, have an opportunity to hear live original music with some social commentary to it. No longer will this valley be an all-ages [no alcohol sold on premises] magnet to bring touring bands who want to play music for fans who want their music undiluted, non-pasteurized, not filtered and adult; not that commercialized pap that’s played on the radio.

So now where will all the punks, the straight edgers, the dweebs, the loners, the young LGBTrs, the malcontents, and the politically young go for tuneage?

Tis the end of an era, a magical era that birthed a genuine ‘scene’ in the terms of what that entails, as set forth by George Plimpton’s experience with Studio 54 in New York. It is the end of an era ignited by Local Punks, Finch, and Full Value Entertainment.

At times this music magic frightened the more conservative Mud Races type that also populate this valley as the trails or notes would cross, like the moving of young people to the back entrance of a coffee shop because 100 feet away older people were eating at a Temecula restaurant.

The scene, of course, birthed a rub with some folks’ preconceived notions, like when high school newcomer Elizabeth Amirian entered the school’s talent show. Smart money was on the hometown Christian group to win. They never saw Elizabeth, known in the scene as ‘Bipsy’, coming. They sure knew her when she finished her performance, and she took first place. The last story about her can be found floating like a ghost at the Top Ten’s No.1 on this web site. That’s our St. Bipsy.

There was other drama, and for this reporter who started writing about this scene from a catbird seat, a ladder in the kitchen area so I could see bands over the crowd of a packed coffee house, it enticed me down like the aliens, cough angels, taken with the daughters of man. Once down, I was hooked. And though we mourn the passing of The Vault into memory, the place I nicknamed ‘the Mullet Room’ was the coolest place this side of Amsterdam. Temecula has a hookah lounge now but once upon a time, outside the Mullet Room there was a tented hookah bar. Ahh!

In the scene drama and the scene caused drama, sometimes I helped. I remember walking into a city council Youth Master Plan meeting wearing my Spongebong tee shirt and hearing a snicker from the rear as someone, I won’t say who cause I recognized the muffled laugh, lost it when seeing the back of the shirt which showed a strolling Patrick, grinning as usual, with a lit fatty. There was no caption. One wasn’t needed.

Though food and prepared coffee shop drinks were part of the scene at times, it was always about the music. And there was plenty of that and all genres were represented except opera and maybe chamber music; though I have seen classical instruments used for rock. Antonio Pontarelli is a fine example of that with his rock violin. He has even played Carnegie Hall. Not bad for a local young musician.

“…now we’re maturing into our next step,” said promoter/entertainment buyer Ivan recently. I think we can substitute the word ‘moving’ for the word ‘maturing’. From Alex [Pappas] to Zebrahead, the music scene here has been great fun, and quite a ride but never dull, cough Neon Trees.

Meant to be physical, as in venue, metaphysically, notes from the area’s young beginning bands in that period of growth before the cycle of work, consume, reproduce, and die comes to be a reality, that magic time after Santa and before 30, will no longer be heard here in abundance by those unafraid to tell the truth through song.

So as the music moves away and the music magic history of the valley starts to die, what’s a wizard to do, but call for nursing? To be continued…

(All photos - PT Rothschild)

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