Punk by the booker

Davisite Casey Sharp wants you to go to shows

Casey Sharp: Taking the music back, one sip at a time.

Casey Sharp: Taking the music back, one sip at a time.

Photo By carolyn king

For the past few years, Davis local Casey Sharp has booked countless shows all over the Yolo County area. As long as the place has a stage, cheap drinks and dudes who look like they don’t shower, Sharp has probably booked the most badass show in its existence. He programs different bands of different genres (as long as it rocks), but Sharp himself is a punk. He loves punk shows. And if you love punk shows, Casey Sharp wants to see you there.

Even before he fully embraced the spirit, Sharp had rebellion in his blood. His mother was running deep with the Hells Angels in Orange County, leaving him a lot of time alone with the radio. After finishing high school, Sharp enlisted in the Air Force, fixing aircrafts while agitating those above him.

“I got in a lot of trouble,” Sharp reminisces, his arms folded, exposing vintage Air Force tattoos. “I stood up for myself and my troops, and I spoke my mind, which sometimes lands you in some shit, especially in the eyes of your superiors.”

After almost 10 years of active duty, working at Travis Air Force Base, Sharp landed in Davis, where he was a bouncer for G Street Pub. A chance encounter with Gearhead Records President Michelle Haunold exposed him to another world of bands. The two exchanged musical tastes and ideas until Sharp had an epiphany.

“A few weeks before Picnic Day 2005, I asked her if she had any bands that wanted to play, and I got this idea to have an all-ages punk show. She hooked me up with the Black Furies and the Midnight Bombers,” he says.

And then literally a week later, more bands started calling him for gigs. “That’s how this whole booking thing started.”

Since then, he has booked shows at just about every bar in Davis. Even up in Woodland, Saturday night shows at The Stag turned into weekly punk ragers, seeing Final Summation, Groovie Ghoulies and Olive Drive all rocking to the tune of $1 Pabst Blue Ribbons.

“I want to refurbish the Davis Lock [and Safe Co.] behind the parking garage on Fourth [Street]. It would be so badass to turn that place into an all-ages venue, have a beer bar, no hard alcohol. That’s my dream.”

But it’s a hard reality; Sharp cites some of the difficulties of booking his shows in the downtown Davis area.

“There used to be all-ages shows at the youth center, and I heard there were punk shows going on there. Then the parents found out and were like, ‘Oh no! This is bad!’ and they shut those down.”

Sharp knows what he wants to do, but he can’t realize his dream alone, not without the support of the locals. So now, Sharp’s calling out to the youth of Davis to take the music back and to remember that DIY is a way of life, not fashion.

“I’m upset with the local teenage punks in Davis, you know? They walk around with mohawks and leather jackets, but I don’t see them playing acoustic sets in front of Armadillo Music,” he says of the up-and-comers.

With the arrival of spring, Sharp awaits balcony shows at Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, another bar in downtown Davis, and encourages underagers to come watch them from the sidewalks and benches.

“Sophia’s is my favorite venue in downtown Davis—the people, the atmosphere, and Michael Leahy books the best shows,” he says.

Sharp is optimistic about hosting his own radio show on KDRT 95.7 FM, and with an army of bands at his command, is ready to indoctrinate the youth of Yolo County into an all-singing, unified punk party. His first move? Flier the living hell out of Davis.

“My flier is going to say, ‘Piss off your parents! Listen to my radio show at 7 o’clock.’”