‘Hal Linker’ reminisces, part 7

As we continue serializing what was originally intended as a comment on the “Things That Aren’t Here Anymore” thread, “Hal” (in quotes since we now know this is a pseudonym) is yakking about teen clubs of the late 1960s:

How about the Pacesetter? The building still stands and I think is called Mi Hacienda (last I checked). The Pacesetter was a teen club which opened circa 1967. The Standells, The Seeds and many other bands played the venue which also had the obligatory Battle Of the Bands competition.

(Someone told me Pink Floyd played there when Syd Barrett was still a member. I find that very hard to believe, because I would have gone! At any rate, it couldn’t have been any good given Barrett’s mental state on that disastrous 1st U.S. tour.)

My band was in a battle of the bands at the Pacesetter and did place second, but the two of us who were on the basketball team got kicked off for participating in a worldly activity. Ah, the joys of going to a parochial school. Now they have rock bands in their churches.

Not in the Inland Empire but just over Kellogg Hill was the Carousel Theater in West Covina. Great place for rock ‘n’ roll shows in the mid to late 1960s. These were held on dark days from their typical musical stage shows. Doors, Rascals, Simon & Garfunkel, Animals, Dave Clark Five, Buffalo Springfield, Byrds, Seeds, etc. all played there. Wallich’s Music City also had a store location in the same general area. It later became the short-lived Big Ben’s Records. Both buildings torn down.

Cal Poly hangouts were the Pic and Pan and The Library on West Holt.

Next time: more restaurants.

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  • Bob House

    Reading about “name” music groups playing at Valley venues in the day reminds me of how different the music business and stars used to be. In 1960 or ’61, Claremont put on a Summer series of dances for junior high kids, featuring popular solo and group acts. One night it was Jan and Dean — playing for less than 100 kids! And they each drove to the venue in their own car (one being a “Deadman’s Curve” Stingray of course). This was a year or two before their biggest hits, but still seems a little amazing.

    [Whoa. -- DA]

  • ray

    The “Hill Top” in the vicinity of Mountain Meadows Golf course was a popular teen spot, as well as the San Dimas Teen Center.

  • Shirley Wofford

    Hal Linker should pay a commission to Bill Ruh who started this whole thing.

    [Another cheer for Bill Ruh! -- DA]

  • “Hal Linker”

    I remember my older brother and sister going to see Dick Dale and the Del-Tones at the National Guard Armory in Ontario near Galvin Park in the early 1960s. Beach Boys played there too. This was back when they only had the Bomp Bomp Dip Dip Dip Dip Dip “Surfin’” single. Also I had my dad drag me down to Harris department store in San Bernardino to see the Beach Boys play a few tunes for some event they were having.

    Jeez Louise! One club I forgot to mention: The Royal Tahitian at the Ontario National Golf Course on Whispering Lakes Lane and Riverside Drive. Back in the mid-1960s the club hosted James Brown, Ray Charles, the Righteous Brothers, Ramsey Lewis Trio, Cannonball Adderley Quintet, Nancy Wilson, Lou Rawls, Eartha Kitt and last and least, the Dan Blocker Singers. Yep ol’ Hoss had a singin’ group.

    Directly across the street from the venue were dairy farms. Amazing!! How could I have forgotten that!!! The building still stands (maybe some of the dairies too) but I have no clue what it is used for. Back in the day, it could also be rented out for wedding receptions and such. I attended some shows and receptions there. The prime rib was pretty tasty.

    Anybody remember La Vida Mineral Springs / Hotel/ Restaurant in the Carbon Canyon??

    Was there a teen club in Ontario off of Holt between San Antonio and Euclid (perhaps on a side street)? Anybody?

    ["Hal's" comments on his e-mail are just as good as his e-mail. -- DA]

  • Bob House

    I used to regularly drive by La Vida in Carbon Canyon and through Sleepy Hollow as well (the older, rustic cabins, etc., not the mansiony things being built out that way). I’m sure I’m not the only one who would like to know something about the history and lore of these two places if anyone knows.

  • DH

    Speaking of La Vida in Carbon Canyon – they used to have a year ’round ski area there too. You ‘skiied’ the hill on plastic mats – all they way down. I would think that would be pretty painful to land on that if you fell. You could see the ski area from the road, but I haven’t been through there in long time.

    ["Hal" left a massive comment about Carbon Canyon (probably 600 words) and I'll run that as a separate post next week. So stay tuned. -- DA]

  • Berta

    Whoaaaa, Nellie, oops that’s another subject matter! Had a friend whose parents owned The 49′r in El Monte off of Valley Blvd back in the sixties. I remember seeing the Spiral Starecase, Tina and Ike and quite a few big acts at the place.

    Here in W.C. the Gas House was a hot spot — dancing. Amazing how you forget even after having spent so many weekends at these places!

    Dick Dale use to play down by Balboa at the Rondevou Ballroom (oops on the spelling). Then there was Shelly’s Manhole in L.A…used to catch Bill Cosby stepping in at the wee hours of the morning and playing with the band. Etta James singing at a club off of La Cienaga…LaFeets or something like that…back in the early eighties…

  • Jim L

    Dick Dale and Etta James are both still out there touring and putting on great shows. I saw each of their shows last year on the East Coast when I was traveling on business.

    They’re both currently Inland Empire residents if I’m not mistaken.

    [Etta lives in Riverside; don't know about Dick. -- DA]

  • “Hal Linker”

    Last time I saw Dick Dale he was absolutely amazing. Shredsville!!! But I heard that he’s recently had a recurrance of rectal cancer. Hope things work out for him.

    Someone mentioned the Rendezvous Ballroom at Balboa. Hell yeah, that was ground zero for the surf generation whether you were a wannabe or not. I think it’s a parking lot now. A fire in 1966, I believe.

    There was also the Retail Clerks Union Hall in Buena Park where a lot of shows were put on by Reb Foster the DJ who worked for both KRLA and KFWB. Someone who is in the know on radio history told me that Reb’s living in a cardboard box at the side of the Hollywood Freeway now. If true, that’s sad. The guy used to manage Three Dog Night and Steppenwolf. Apparently he juiced it all away. Bummer.

    Etta still packs a punch too. My favorite venue to see her is the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. The food is kinda like bad catering but I dig the smallness, along with the tables and chairs.

    Reminds me of the way clubs used to be when artists would come in and play a week or two in a row at the same venue, ie. The Troubadour, Ash Grove, Golden Bear (damn I miss that club), Cosmos in Seal Beach. Even the Whisky A Go Go had people come in for three to five days in a row, sometimes longer. Ah, what a club that was in its glory years!!!! I still remember Arthur the doorman / bouncer (he was cool if you got on his good side) and this midget that was always hanging around nick-named “Sugar Bear.”

    Re: Berta’s comment on Ike & Tina Revue at the 49er. I wonder if Ike & Tina ever played the Royal Tahitian in Ontario? They sure fit the bill. Anybody know? The artists I listed were all from my deeply ingrained memory. My brother has, since my intial comment, informed me that The Everly Brothers also played the Tahitian.

    Oh, here’s a link which has some photos of The Broadside in Pomona in its abandonment (scroll down and you’ll find them).

    http://members.cox.net/bill_lantz/broadside.html

    Geez Dave, you’re holding back on my La Vida / Canyon comment? It probably has a bunch of mistakes and typos in it. I accidentally hit the submit button when I was really trying to preview it. I might not have even been done with it. Ha ha. The rot just flows from my brain in a haphazard fashion! It’s all enormo-mails and colosso-comments. Pithy – I ain’t!

    [No argument here. -- DA]

  • RPfromRC

    A few years back DIck Dale was one of many ’60s rockers who settled in the Mojave. I don’t recall if it was one of the Route 62 communities or the Victorville area. Eric Burdon was another.

  • “Hal & Hadla Linker”

    Yeah, I think Eric Burdon settled near Joshua Tree. Pappy & Harriet’s in nearby Pioneertown is one of the greatest places to see live acts perform. Talk about a VIBE!!

    Also with regard to Burdon, he was one of the many live acts who played at the La Vida Cantina. I failed to mention him in my La Vida comment which David is temporarily withholding from view. As a matter of fact, Burdon and members of his band, including guitarists Larry Wilkins (died of cancer 1997) and Dean Restrum, came over our house in Chino Hills after one of their La Vida gigs. This would be in the mid-1990′s when I lived in that area. “Hadla” and one of her friends went to the show and brought them home.

    I was out with one of my compadres seeing Lucinda Williams play with Randy Weeks, Jim Lauderdale, Chris Gaffney, Dave Alvin, Dusty Wakeman, and a bunch of other cool unknown musicians who should be famous, at some dive in Culver City. It was an “Out Of Control” gig!

    When I dragged my tired self home at around three in the morning, I was surprised to find my house rockin’ and rollin’. Everybody was in the den enjoying Larry Dean and Eric doing old blues and R&B chestnuts acoustically. Burdon, at least at that time, struck me as one crazy little guy.

    Nobody left till dawn at which time Eric and his mates got in their rental car and drove back to their motel in Brea. Before he left, Eric gave “Hadla” his tambourine and autographed it. That was one very memorable night.

    Years earlier I had seen Eric Burdon with War in 1970 at the Rose Palace in Pasadena. Lee Michaels and Alice Cooper (not yet famous) were also on the bill. Burdon and War were so new that they had no record out yet. But they did do Spill the Wine which no one had ever heard before. Burdon was so stoned at the show that he climbed on top of the guitar amps and dropped his pants for about 20 minutes while War grooved.

    When he was at my house, I asked him about it. He had absolutely no recollection of it but he certainly believed it was true. He said he went through a phase where he would eat magic mushrooms before every show.

  • “Hal & Hadla Linker”

    Yeah, I think Eric Burdon settled near Joshua Tree. Pappy & Harriet’s in nearby Pioneertown is one of the greatest places to see live acts perform. Talk about a VIBE!!

    Also with regard to Burdon, he was one of the many live acts who played at the La Vida Cantina. I failed to mention him in my La Vida comment which David is temporarily withholding from view. As a matter of fact, Burdon and members of his band, including guitarists Larry Wilkins (died of cancer 1997) and Dean Restrum, came over our house in Chino Hills after one of their La Vida gigs. This would be in the mid-1990′s when I lived in that area. “Hadla” and one of her friends went to the show and brought them home.

    I was out with one of my compadres seeing Lucinda Williams play with Randy Weeks, Jim Lauderdale, Chris Gaffney, Dave Alvin, Dusty Wakeman, and a bunch of other cool unknown musicians who should be famous, at some dive in Culver City. It was an “Out Of Control” gig!

    When I dragged my tired self home at around three in the morning, I was surprised to find my house rockin’ and rollin’. Everybody was in the den enjoying Larry Dean and Eric doing old blues and R&B chestnuts acoustically. Burdon, at least at that time, struck me as one crazy little guy.

    Nobody left till dawn at which time Eric and his mates got in their rental car and drove back to their motel in Brea. Before he left, Eric gave “Hadla” his tambourine and autographed it. That was one very memorable night.

    Years earlier I had seen Eric Burdon with War in 1970 at the Rose Palace in Pasadena. Lee Michaels and Alice Cooper (not yet famous) were also on the bill. Burdon and War were so new that they had no record out yet. But they did do Spill the Wine which no one had ever heard before. Burdon was so stoned at the show that he climbed on top of the guitar amps and dropped his pants for about 20 minutes while War grooved.

    When he was at my house, I asked him about it. He had absolutely no recollection of it but he certainly believed it was true. He said he went through a phase where he would eat magic mushrooms before every show.

  • Joe

    The Carousel was great. My favorite memory of it was going to see The Mamas and the Papas. They had just recently had a problem where Mama Michelle had left the group. I was really disappointed because I really, really wanted to see her. But when we went to the Carousel that night she had come back to the band. I was delighted, and sitting only a couple rows back from the stage I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. She smiled at me a couple times and I loved it.

    Really hated to see that place go. Every seat was great.

  • Joe

    I think La Vida hot springs also had a pool called “Glen Ivy” or was that a different place? I remember going there as a kid with my mom. We had to be very quiet and careful because there were a lot of elderly people in the pool wearing straw hats. Wasn’t a lot of fun for kids. The older people would stare and mumble things if we accidentally splashed or made too much noise.

  • “Hal Linker”

    Joe:

    That Mamas and Papas show must have been great! Must have been the summer of 1966, right around the time they released their second album. Michelle was definitely the sex symbol of the group. I remember when they kicked her out for about a month. I think her and John Phillips were having marital problems or something. Her replacement was going to be Jill Gibson, who was Jan Berry’s (of Jan & Dean) girlfriend prior to his devastating car crash of April 1966. Michelle was definitely a lot finer than Jill.

    Do you remember who opened for the Mamas & the Papas at the Carousel?

    I only saw the Mamas & Papas one time. This was at the Hollywood Bowl in the summer of 1967. I went with my older sister and two of her friends. Scott McKenzie (“San Francisco [Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair]“) and the Jimi Hendrix Experience opened. Hendrix had just released “Are You Experienced?” and he was wearing banana yellow pants. I was primarily a drummer at that time, but after seeing Hendrix, I really got into the guitar.

    On the way home, one of my sister’s friends and I kissed a few times. Then she gave me the “If you were only a few years older routine.” Jeez, what did age have to do with it? I was ready, believe me.

    Regarding your Glen Ivy swimming experience, I think you are confused with a place that was called at different times, “Eden Dale” and “Holly Dale.” It was in the Carbon Canyon on the south side of the road. It was a community pool at a religious / then senior trailer park. I think there was a small church in front of and above the pool. I don’t remember it being called Glen Ivy, but it’s possible. There is a Glen Ivy off of the 15 freeway just past Corona town proper which is a camping area.

    That being said, La Vida did get some elderly folks in the mineral springs. I remember going there and being creeped out by the old folks too.

    I gotta get some sleep, I came back from a gig in Culver City a while ago already. I was seeing a band called Red Meat. A friend recommended them. I was disappointed. It was very mediocre.

  • Dave

    The folks at Whispering Lakes Golf Course (formerly Ontario National) are STILL very fond of the days of the Tahitian Room… there is an old gal who works the bar who can tell you some crazy stories! That golf course, now considered a dump, used to hold a PGA tour event there years ago.

    [I've been meaning forever to write about the Royal Tahitian. I'll ask for the old gal at the bar sometime. -- DA]

  • “Hal and Hadla Linker”

    Hadla and I drove by the Tahitian the other day. The dairy is still across the street.

    The Tahitian looks to be in very bad shape on the exterior. The roof seems a shambles. We walked up and peeked in the windows to see a bar and many tables set up on the inside on blue carpet. The exterior lights which outlined the pathway to the entrance have all been removed and disabled. The pond under the walkway bridge has been filled in and planted with grass. The place seemed so much bigger back then but I guess that’s because I was a kid. It was actually quite a cozy venue.

    I remember when Ontario National (now Whispering Lakes Golf Course) was on the PGA tour. When did it all go wrong? Was it the 60 freeway that screwed things up or just bad management or times. It seemed to be headed downhill in the early 1970s already. I remember playing some bogus three par golf on a nine-hole course out front near Riverside Drive around that time.

    The golf course looks like a dump, no doubt about it.

    Speaking of the 60 freeway, during its construction, teen drag races were held in various locations between Central and Euclid, before those sections were opened to the public circa 1970-1971. It was awesome burning rubber on those virgin concrete freeway lanes!!!

    Cops would invariably come and chase us away. No arrests.

  • Robert

    I remember my Step-Dad and Mother taking me to the Carousel Theater (West Covina) around 1967 or so to my first concert; I was only around 10 or 11 years old…We saw the Righteous Brothers on stage, front row seats!

    Sometime later, my uncle Ed’s friend Terry Stafford, who wrote and sang “Suspicion,” stayed at our house in San Dimas a couple of times on the weekend. He had a beautiful blonde girlfriend at the time (Sue was her name I think…Don’t know if they ever got serious and married or not)… Terry would sing for me and my neighborhood friends from our living room couch…He had such a great high range signing voice! I remember he was a tall guy and had to duck into our front doorway. He liked my purple “Taco 22″ mini-bike…Pretty cool memories…

  • steve-0

    Caught the Eric Burdon/War show at the Rose Palace. No recollection of Eric dropping his pants, but the drummer for Alice Cooper did stick the boom mike down his pants and simulate masturbation. Alice Cooper threw a live chicken into the audience. Opening act was Messiah, headliner was Lee Michaels. 4 acts for $5.
    good times, good times.

  • Stephanie

    There used to be a very cool Camp called Edendale that was in Carbon Canyon where the Christian school is now. They had a public swimming pool and you can pay a small fee and swim all day. Campers used the pool too. The camp had a big Rec room and indoor cabin/dorms. Down the hill, there was a “farm” that included a HUGE pig and some chickens, goats, and a horse or two. It was a cheesy camp, but not for a little kid in 1967. And the pool was awesome.