I spent a few nights at the Riff-Raff Room (a.k.a. The Red Room, a.k.a. Juanita’s) recently, and it was not very hippie but definitely trippy. At first I was disorientated trying to figure out how I saw over a thousand bands there and was still feeling out of place. Then like a mirage wavering in the desert, familiar faces began popping up, the same faces that haunted the club years ago. Suddenly on the right and left of me were what was once the “legion of rockers.”
The Riff-Raff Room is the rock club we have all wanted for so long, since, sniff, sniff, Juanita’s. The doormen seemed cool in varying degrees, the waitresses were bubbly, and it was loud as hell, as it well should be. Music seven nights a week, three to four bands a night? Hell, we should all be doing everything we can to make the Riff-Raff rock. In its prime, that location was ambassador to bands from around the world. It’s a public service to treat out-of-town bands with respect. Let them spread the word that Chico is going to lead the way in Northern California for music in the 21st century!
Another thing that reviews can never begin to adequately cover is war. That being said, I support the troops. I think that there are 300,000 scared but brave soldiers out in Iraq, men and women who are risking their lives to defend what many consider to be the imperiled "American Dream." I think that, just like the Gulf War veterans, many of these kids, our kids, will come back deeply scarred, psychologically damaged if not with long-time serious health problems. If as a country we can unite to not only honor our soldiers, but also to provide them with the care that they need to "readjust," rather than sweeping them under the rug of shame and guilt, perhaps we can begin to heal some of the collective hurt our country is experiencing.