A day that had every reason to be a disaster—a skate park full of unruly brats, restless cougars on the prowl, bitter punk rockers without a proper backstage!–turned into a glorious Summer kickoff….
A free event that was truly free, and I don’t mean you had to fill out a 3 page questionnaire with your email and check routing numbers to get a wristband.
No, this thing was at a goddamn park in the middle of Costa Mesa, where the cops have bigger fish to fry than harassing some people out to have a good time on a Sunday.
God bless the meth labs of 17th Street, yay!
You had the stage setup in front of food booths and the skate park on one side of the street, and a rousing trio of Quinceañeras happening on the other.
In between, discriminate aging punkers lurked between the trunks of parked cars and the fest, clutching the tell tale red plastic cups of mystery!
Ex pat Jay Lansford came back to town, lending his talents to any band that would dare have him!
The sets became an impromptu tribute to Beach Blvd., the album that laid blueprint for a thousand OC bands to follow.
Jay then returned to the CH3 stage, and his presence was as familiar and warm as returning to a barstool after a sober 2 week dose of antibiotics…..
And then, for all that is good and holy in this world, an actual reunion of The Simpletones!
…….and the perfect end, a set by The Crowd, who are now eligible for OC Punk Sainthood.
In all, a great little day that sent the kiddies home clutching guitar picks and bloody elbows, and the old timers satisfied that they’d shown the whippersnappers how it’s done!