Though I never asked why or how they had found the location of Jabberjaw I sure was glad that they…

Though I never asked why or how they had found the location of Jabberjaw I sure was glad that they had chosen the block that they did. Jabberjaw was located in Mid-city at Pico on the Avenues just a mile up from the Rolling Twenties on the other side of the freeway and just below Korea town at that time. These were streets that I knew pretty well, as my parents lived in a home on 5th Avenue just down the street from Jabberjaw and smack in the middle of 18th Street Gang digs.

I mention the surroundings of Jabberjaw to emphasize the humor and the danger involved in Michelle and Gary’s choice of location and in order to recall how ludicrous I found it when I heard for the first time where their space was. And though the most unlikely candidate for a location, upon entering the place for the first time I felt that I had finally found what I had been looking for quite a long while and that their space should exist in no other place in the whole wide world

It was a heavenly caffeined oasis in the winter months and a place to catch bands last legs before it got to cold for them to make it back to homes far away from that “hood.” It was a hell on earth during the summer nights and a perfect excuse to sweat and stink to loudness and cacophony while gacking out on espresso shots. It was the location where my band at the time (Ethyl Meatplow) was to make its very first video. The stage that was built, as part of the shoot, would also be the very same stage that would support many amazing acts in the years to come. It was also the place where we would quickly recruit “Ms. Hell” (Michelle) as a dancer for live shows.

Jabberjaw was an extension of a teen-center for adults that weren’t quite ready to grow up “just yet” in much the same way it was also a place for current teens to test the water of young adulthood. It was a site where I had no problem jumping behind the counter in order to help with the dishes or to accompany others to their cars for safe passage because I felt “a part of.” A hangout where I would stay until closing not only because the shows were usually that great but also because there was no reason to go anywhere else. It was the place where I saw KK Null, Nation of Ulysses, Unsane, Blond Red Head, The Makeup, Girls Against Boys, Helmet, Clickitat Ikatowi, Unwound, and the Cows for the first time…to name just a few…and, regrettably, the place that I was absent from the night that Nirvana played due to a god damned stomach flu.


John wrote this for the Jabberjaw book and asked me to edit it. I never did, and I’m glad. I wouldn’t change a word. Miss you, my friend.


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