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Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:59 am
by DJMurphy
I dunno, Sugarcubes, but I suspect you were holding back a little in that last rant, something about not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings. It's ok, you're among friends; you oughta tell us how you REALLY feel. ;-)

Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 10:22 am
by Sugarcubes Forever
I know, I know. It's difficult in these uncertain times of terrorism and political dissapointment to hear the truely important message. That the vast majority of people of west michigan suck balls.

Go figure.

Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 10:35 am
by Mixmaster Shecky
You're right - GR is the headquarter for booshwa. They like Mexican food if it's not too spicy, alternative music as long as it doesn't rock the boat, etc. The fact that a club like the Reptile even opened it's doors here is amazing.

To quote the Joker - "This town needs an enema!"

Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 10:58 am
by Sugarcubes Forever
The Bland has had its few moments in the sun. There was a small Alternative music scene in the Early 90s which now seems inexplicable. There've been a handfull of bars/clubs that flourished for brief periods. WLAV even dabbled in a damn fine radio format for a few months, back in the day.

The truth is, though, that there just aren't enough people in the Bland river valley that "get it". That's not a slam on the people that are in the know. It's simple a statement of fact.

And that knowledge makes some of those great times and places even more worth remembering today.


Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 1:09 am
by DJSherwood

I agree with you on many levels.

My point is: we SHOULD care about those who have come before.
The duration of your thread seems to indicate that there are people who do care, still care, even after 8 years since TRH. The kids who started the joints in question were all YOUNG entrepenuers. Maybe some made wrong decisions (in life and/or business) but, who has risen to fill the void? I would say those guys (Al, Jeff, Jimbo, Herm, and John) deserve a pat on the back, not derision. GR is not lame because of their possible mistakes. The fact is that you, Scotty?, know less about those businesses than you purport.

This is not about why places like The Reptile House are gone. It is: Why has nothing taken their place? I understand that now about your position.

I wish GR was more fun too.

No anger. Cheers, D-

Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 9:31 am
by Sugarcubes Forever
DJSherwood wrote:Sugarcubes,

The fact is that you, Scotty?, know less about those businesses than you purport.

This is not about why places like The Reptile House are gone. It is: Why has nothing taken their place? I understand that now about your position.

I wish GR was more fun too.

No anger. Cheers, D-

I know enough to walk into a lame store and know it's lame. I think that the tendancy of the small hipster crowds in Bland Rapids over the years has been to heap attention or praise on the few nominal businesses that they can even identify with. A few become iconic, like Reptile, Vinyl, The INtersection (in its heyday), Scavanger Hunt, etc. If you go back farther there's Son's and Daughters (the hall, not the coffee shop), thursdays at 'Top', Club 67, The Carosel, evenings at the "ampetheater". Some are just dumb, though. Like Music Expresso. I mean, come on. It's not enough to praise a business owner for "trying". If the store sucks, then it sucks. You don't get a cookie for that. You get bancruptcy. That's business. I could care less if someone's heart is in the right place. Heart don't pay the bills.

You're right, though. Why so little? Why doesn't more go on? I think it's a few basic things. One, the vast majority of people in the Bland just plain suck. They're not going hang out at Reptile or sit in the sun all day Festival to see the Screaming Karats. This is the problem of there not really being a market for hipsterism here. There isn't a critical mass of hipster cash to adequately support much of a business community. Second, is the fact that there's a brain drain and a cool drain on West Michigan when it comes to this scene. I can't begin to name all the people I know who've packed bag and high tailed it to Chicago, Detroit, Portland, etc. These are people who now run GloNo. People in bands, Writers, really great bartenders and countless potential customers for businesses. For a lot of people the question has always been, "why stay in this shit hole, when I can enjoy the scene in so many other cool cities." The best of these people never open businesses here, for them this dale is past tense.

I know I come off as sarcastic as hell, but that's just my wise ass, jaded attitude bleeding through. I shopped, hung out and supported every Bland Rapids joint mentioned in this thread over the years. And I still live here. I could go on and on and on to prove my authenticity to the hipster gestapo. The only thing i purport is to have been here and seen it. I have as much a perspective as anybody to comment on it.

Peace out

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:17 am
by DJSherwood
I will keep it simple and say I agree with you more than I disagree. I would say more, but old stories are just old stories.
Cool city? Give me a break!
Thanks for your RH interest everybody,

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:34 am
by D. Phillips
These are people who now run GloNo.

I know you're not talking about me...

But Scott, it seems you kinda contradict yourself in that you long for hipster muscle in GR but then deride the sense of elitism that defines hipsters. You can't have it both ways, mi amigo. The price you pay for stong music scenes is elitism. There's no two ways around it. Chicago's Hideout is as great AND elitist as you can imagine. Portland is Hipster Central and wouldn't sneeze at the 100% hip Brian Jonestown Massacre because they're from Hollywood. Detroit? Ask around when the last time Jack and Meg played the Lager House (ok, Jack is still quite active in trying to break Detroit bands--to his credit).

The Grand Rapids scene in the early 90s was cool, but it couldn't compare to what was going down in Kalamazoo at the same time. And what did Kalamazoo have that GR didn't? Elitism. That was the most clique-ish city I've ever seen what with the Tought Industry, Knee Deep Shag, Eye Teeth, Rollinghead, and my beloved Leppotone scenes all going on simultaneaously. It was fantastic, but it was a heavy load and that small a city couldn't sustain it.

In the end, it's up to the people who care to make it happen. Want a good music scene? Support local music. Go to the shows (even those in the middle of the week), buy the bands' shit, organize and promote shows...Vic Stimpson & Rudy Faber did more for the early 90s GR music scene with their underground shows than any mainstream media ever did.

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 6:06 pm
by curtis007
Just found this BB. I was a doorman/barback/part-part time bartender. Shout out to Dan Sherwood from Curtis Bond. I am still living out in CA in the Bay Area, but may move to Austin, TX or NYC soon for school. Have not spent much time back in GR as my folks live outside of Traverse City. I must have missed the "sting". Sounds rather lame-o. Did they really bring Al into court for that shit? It was called Bondage A Go Go you know, if a customer expected anything else they need to crawl out from under whatever rock they are hiding. What part of Bondage did they not understand. Sounds like the show was far more tame then what you'd see on local TV after 11 pm...

Any who. Best of luck to those sticking it out in the little/big town of GR.

Re: Reptile house

Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 2:40 pm
by Rory
I know this is a really, really old thread. I'd still like to bump it.

I never went to the reptile house. I was much, much too young, and even still am. Both of my parents, however, used to go there. My dad saw Waren Zevon, and a few other shows there, but also missed many good shows because of the general asshole atmospehre. We were actually just talking about the reptile house a few days ago, since I was curious to learn about it. Then just today I stumble across this thread.

Anonymous wrote:One of my favorite memories of the rep house was the night Scotty and Toxic Scott were open mouth kissing and grinding on the dance floor to EHC!

I have heard of Toxic Scott. My mom was friends with him. I recently developed pictures of a band toxic scott was in (I can't remember the name. Mellissa was the drummer) that my mom took over 20 years ago at mulligans.

My mom likes to tell the story of when her, Mellissa (I think) and Toxic Scott found out what room Brian Setzer was staying it at the amway grand, so they decided to go check it out. They go into the amway grand, dressed as any drunk punk kids in the 80's would, and knock on the door. Brian Setzer open's the door, and just as my mom tries to take a picture, he smashes her camera. Defeated, they sit in the hallway of the amway grand drinking 40 oz's.

So even though this thread is old, and the reptile house is long gone, as long as the seond generation keeps in touch with the first generation (IE: the skelletones kids and the reptile house people), then maybe Grand Rapids has some hope.

I know that since this thread is really old, there is a very small chance that anyone knows who or what I'm talking about. I just felt that I had to share this.