Wednesday, June 18, 2008

1980 March Skeleton Club San Diego

The GoGo's played the Skeleton Club on  March 29, 1980 w/ the Alley Cats

Skeleton Club
202 W. Market St.
San Diego, CA

Concert review by Mikel Toombs
  Excerpt from the article
The GoGo's are a great girl group in the classic sense of the term. Not that they sound like any of their '60's predecessors, like, say the Ronettes or the Shangri-Las, but they have that certain feeling, I mean, down pat - bright sound, the harmonies (and how), and the desire to please and entertain.

And the GoGo's play their own instruments. And (surprise!) they play them very, very well. (I'm not surprised in the sense that I didn't think a bunch of girls could sound that good - well, maybe a little - but because I say  them about a year ago and they seemed rather, uh, incompetent (if also rather cute). 

The GoGo's are now as tight as can be, gliding from pop to sound to surf to rockabilly and always sounding like the GoGo's, each member so strong musically that I couldn't have picked a standout even if I wanted to. 

1980 photo by Peggy Sue Amison

Skeleton Club
The Skeleton Club was San Diego's first punk venue. It opened in downtown San Diego on November 10, 1979. (Another punk venue was the North Park Lions club). 

The first location of this club was in the basement of an 100 year old building at 921 4th Avenue - across from Horton Plaza. This one only lasted about a month before it was closed down by the police and fire department. 

The second Skeleton Club opened on December 7th 1979 at 202 W. Market Street (northwest corner of Market St and 2nd street). It was also short lived. The previous tenant here was Climax Limited Disco World

The club was located within San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter.  Because the neighborhood was semi-industrial district, the management hoped there would be less noise complaints from the neighborhood.

It was a bare-bones operation that ran on a shoestring budget. It showcased start-up new wave/punk rock bands who presented original material. It held 350. 


It claimed to be a teen age nightclub that prohibited the sale of alcohol - even soft drinks. The club was managed by nurse Laura Frasier, Larry Shadgett and Tim Mays. Mays later opened the Pink Panther. 

Bands that played here included the Wierdos, the Germs, X, the Crowd, Lydia Lunch and local San Diego favorites - Hitmakers, the Perpetrators and the Upbeats.

Gaslamp Quarter
The Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego is on the National Register of Historic Places. It includes 94 historic buildings, many built in the Victorian era of the mid 1860's. The major streets are 5th street, between Broadway and Harbor Drive. 

In the 1970's, this district was pretty sketchy -  not the trendy place it is today.  It was a low rent, run down downtown area littered with pornographic theaters and book shops. It was a favorite Navy liberty port with many a sailor anxious to come ashore to cruise the bars and red light district. 

In the '80's and '90's the Quarter underwent extensive urban renewal. The neighborhood that once housed the Skeleton Club has been completed transformed into condominiums, hotels and office buildings. 


Today, looking east from former site of the Skeleton Club

photo: google maps

Looking west



Ronald said...

Not the Perpetrators- the Penetrators.

Anonymous said...

The Skeleton Club was at 941 4th Ave not 921.