No more music at Riff Raff
“Hello All, Katie here from Riff Raff… I have some disappointing news, concerning live music here in Chico… Riff Raff authorities have decided to cut all shows, with the exception of two possibly, and [this] is effective immediately.”
That’s the text of the e-mail the News & Review received Aug. 18 from Katie Perry, booker/promoter of live music for the Riff Raff Rock Bar, and the message is clear. With the fact that the local music scene seemed in pretty good shape heading into the new school year—due in no small part to the regular punk and underground music shows that Perry has been setting up for the bar—it comes as quite a blow to the continuity of Chico’s musical health.
According to Brian Paddock, owner/manager of both the Rock Bar and Riff Raff Pizza next door, the cost of producing shows is the main reason for cutting them out. “I was literally losing my ass,” he explained, adding that the “setup was killing us. [We had to] pay the sound guy, pay the booking girl,” and most crippling of all, “the cover charge was killing us.”
Paddock still intends on “supporting local bands,” but up-front guarantees and cover charges are out, leaving little or no justification for touring bands to make their way to town. For now the bar will just be a bar.
As far as the scheduled acts that now have no venue, Perry is frantically trying to reschedule them, both in Chico and Redding. With "40 to 45 shows" featuring both "local and national" acts, Perry has her work cut out. "It’s a super-huge bummer," she lamented, "right before school starts… it’s hard to figure out."