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Comments made by monta

Belly Up Tavern

I want to post a comment about the history of the Belly Up. I met The Belly Up in 1974, I was 21. It was a place we'd stop off for a beer along a motorcycle ride that included several other places like Tug's Tavern and the Do Drop Inn. At that time, the Belly Up was a beer and wine joint where patrons could play pool or chess, dominoes; what have you. It was very easy going.

I recall 1978 as the year the Belly Up exploded for me. I was 25, a nurse at Scripps Green on the 3-11 shift and hit the Belly Up several nights a week for the last set. I listened to Bob Long and the Billion Dollar Band (geez, that guy could tear up a piano), The Bottle in Front of Me Frontal Lobotomy Band (Jerry, whose last name is escaping me; his was the house band). Rosie Flores was a frequent performer. I always enjoyed her shows.

Dave brought in great blues legends:Willy Dixon, Albert Collins, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Sonny Terry and Brownie Magee.

I saw JJ Cale there; I don't know what was going on, he faced across stage, not at the audience.

I used to walk in and the bartender would automatically hand me my beer; never had to ask.

Dave and I dated briefly. We would go and scout bands around town. He gave me BUT pass which was confiscated the first time I entered the Belly Up after it was sold. That pass was worth more than gold to me. Music fills me, completes me.

I still enjoy the Belly Up as a great artist and sound venue. It confounds me that people don't use the dance floor to dance. What is up with guys crowding the stage and bobbing their heads up and down? Dave put in a dance floor because he wanted people to dance. When I come to the Belly Up, I insist on dancing; music is meant to make you move! One night, two young 20 somethings came after me and told me I was their inspiration : Dance as if no one is watching!

I have enjoyed the KPBS free shows on Mondays and get to as many as I can. At 60, I still have music in my soul and my body wants to dance.

Thank you for the opportunities to do so.


December 4, 2013 at 7:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal )