Valley Musicians Share Memories of 20 Favorite Hollywood Alley Shows

Categories: Hollywood Alley

Benjamin Leatherman
The now-defunct Hollywood Alley in Mesa, home of thousands of memories.
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.

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.

James Warden

Tortoise (1994)
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

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Well after working there for 17 yrs. Only Granma and Ross put in more time than me. Lol Dont know if I would of went with about 40% of those shows. As top 20. Well its the top 20 favorite shows not top memorable shows. So list is all about who you talked to and friends with. Gotcha! Lol I think those were the only two Fun Bobby shows that were bigger than the debt left behind from years and years band drink tickets and food for them too. Rememher Ross walking in one night long after Fun moved away. He said to well added all Funs red tickets and food up! I was being nice too 80% discount. Well lets just say ran close to ten thousand. Yikes! Unfortunately most of Funs shows were jus like Will's shows . Say 50 people really more like 15. Ross would always know he was one going to eat it on Fun Bobby show. Would give me this look and say Fun has already started drinking whiskey. There goes my savings! Lol other than that i remember alot of shows so much better than ones on the list and alot of bands who no came to see yet became big! Too many to list but heres a few. Dead Sara,No Doubt,Dollyrots and a few big bands that showed up to hangout like Concrete Blond, Otep among the few. Yet all in all the 2 biggest shows ever had there cap. wise were local bands. Both shows fire marshal showed up 3 times. Threating to shut it down if didnt make people leave and only allow new people in 1 person for every 2 that leave. Was madness. First show was a Zig Zag Black and Jesus Chysler Supercar show. Yet the one show that blow them all away. Had a line of people still waiting to get in 100 strong at 1 am. Was weirdist one too could never figure out why. Neither could my friend Charlie who is lead singer of the band that pkayed. It was a Eroticide New Years Eve show. Their were so many people in the club.the game room people were sitting on pool table cause that was only place left. Never anything like that that came close. Except maybe the night Doug Standhope performed. That was crazy too. He was so damn funny! Sucks place is gone. Bound to happen ewpecially when Nobody care anymore.All say they did but really didnt. Ross lost any and all desire for it aft


That Sugar High show was really good. I wonder if I played on it. Love the Secret Fox; didn't know Jim Adkins sat in with them.

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