Valley Musicians Share Memories of 20 Favorite Hollywood Alley Shows
Ever since the legendary Hollywood Alley closed earlier this month, the only thing that's left of the renowned rock bar (other than many mementos of the place that were scooped up by regulars in the days following its shuttering) is memories. And plenty of 'em too, like 25 year's worth. We devoted this week's cover story in the New Times to nothing but recollections from local musicians of the influential establishment and all the good times and great shows that happened there, from its early days in the late '80s up until is final shows.
Benjamin Leatherman The now-defunct Hollywood Alley in Mesa, home of thousands of memories.
But as much as we tried to fit into our retrospective, there were voluminous amounts of anecdotes and rememberances that had to hit the cutting room floor. (Believe us, it was a tough call.) We didn't want 'em to go to waste, especially since it includes many fantastic gigs that took place at the Alley over a quarter century, so we've assembled a list of some of the more memorable shows from the venue's history that were contributed by members of the Valley music scene.
My best memory was seeing Tortoise play there on their first album tour. I rarely am willing to fight a crowd to get up to the front, but I did for that one. And I was right at the front edge of that stage watching that show. And it was, to this day, one of my favorite shows ever. It was sold out. And I remember... just the percussion. I'm so drawn to percussion. And just seeing them play that record [1994's Tortoise] which, at that time, nobody was doing anything musically like that. It was just amazing. -- Kimber Lanning, owner, Stinkweeds
Grant and the Geezers (1994-95)
I played there with the reincarnation of Grant and Geezers. We did a show at the Alley and Grant brought a bunch of stuff on stage and he would slowly pull it out of his satchel, like some religious artifacts and other crazy stuff and then towards the end of the set he pulls out some maracas and a religious picture or something and some lighter fluid and sets all this stuff on fire. And my drums were on fire at the same time, and the stage too. And he's shaking these flaming maracas and it felt like things could end at any minute, because it was getting a little out of control. Grant almost burned the alley down. -- Bobby Lerma, The Voice/Father Figures