Happy Anniversary: Alex’s Bar

Kimm stands with the man named after the bar.

Has it really been ten years?

Oh sure, you’d been down Anaheim Boulevard before. Maybe you had to pick up a bitchin West Coast Choppers hoodie for your nephew’s birthday —and they didn’t sell that crap at Walmart back then, brother! You had to venture down the mean streets of Long Beach, or the LBC as I understand all the cool wiggers refer to it!

Or perhaps you had an intense hankering for a Special over at Joe Jost’s—and screw the fact that it’s a Tuesday afternoon and you’re still in the work truck with a load of Italian Ceramic floor tile that’s supposed to be at the jobsite!
Fuck it, you can already taste the pickled egg being washed down by Pabst, the heft of the schooner like a child’s skull in your paw. mmmm….a frosty, delicious skull….!

Have I died? Is this Heaven?

Then one day you noticed the red awning, the plain lettering on the door.

To be sure, the modest front doesn’t betray the hijinks inside. No, it’s the back of the joint that first gives you a clue of the mayhem that awaits your night.

You stamp out your smoke and cough up the cover charge and are suddenly transported into the room of dreams and nightmares, for this place has been the maker of both!
The red walls, the velvet paintings– the sickly sweet odor of last night’s booze and the perfumed necks of a dozen rockabilly skanks. You are already drunk, and you’re still standing in line for your first highball of the night!

Buckle in, pal, because your evening is gonna get a whole lot more interesting….

Blah! We're drunk and happy and unemployed!

Alex’s has become our favorite place to play, though a lot of fans prefer not to see us play there. Why, I don’t know—

...ummm, how about you shut the fuck up and play a song for me? Huh?! How about that?

Yes, we’ve been known to have a smart cocktail or two up on that stage, but it’s really just part of the act! Listen, if you want to see some sober headed bald guys preach to you about the whales between their folk songs, the bus is leaving for Gillman St in ten minutes, hippy!

No, this is a place for drinkers that want to get drunk, bands that want to play loud, and people that want to yell You suck! when a well intentioned frontman *ahem* prefers to describe the mornings’ bowel movement instead of playing a 30 year old song!

So it was a no brainer when the time came to film the CH3 epic,One More for all My True Friends .

...and we can hang the dead goat right up there~!


So many memorable nights that you can’t quite remember, but it’s the crew that makes a bar. Alex’s has become that comfort zone we all need, a place to relax amongst the people you love!

Come sundown, the herd gathers at the watering hole.

Maybe there’s no better time, really, than a lazy sunday afternoon at the bar, when there’s no goddamn band making a racket up there. A few of the local neighbors wander in, lured by free potato salad and a chance to see what the hell all these crazy kids see in this place.
You can finally get to sit at the bar, usually packed 5 deep on a Friday night.

Somebody’s tapping away at a laptop, a weepy couple are breaking up for the second time in a month. As the jukebox switches songs you can hear the gentle beeping of a tow truck backing up, another poor schmuck parked at AutoZone…..

So you order another Newcastle, and hell, why not? -a quick Jameson’s to guide the afternoon into another night. A van pulls up in the parking lot, Pennsylvania plates, and a weary touring band comes into the bar, blinking at the dark. They look around the room and you can just hear their thoughts: Fuck yeah, this is a cool place….

Cheers to a decade down the throat!

Play This Riff!

So when yer a band with *ahem* history, like your ol pals here at the CH3 retirement community, you go through your fair share of guitars over the years.

Ah, guitars! Do you remember?

The thrill of holding that sacred LesPaul in Guitar Center, the heady perfume of the oiled wood and crushed velvet when you opened the hardshell case…..
When you were just a kid, and had your fragile heart set on that blonde telecaster in the pawn. You finally got your hands on an Ibanez, and though it wasn’t some American made icon, it was yours, goddammit!

Your own guitar to massage and torture through the night……

Japanese guitars in the garage...

And it still holds the mystery, eh? I mean, that’s quite a piece of furniture you’re holding on your lap when you think about it. Six meager strings stretched across some plank, a few inches of wire and magnet, all coming together as your invitation to the party.

You sit in your bedroom on a lonely November midnight, your ol pal in your hands and the hurt of the world in your heart. As you sit there alone, weepily pawing at the srings, what else can result, but another instant rock and roll classic!
You’ve transformed your inexpressible longing into a song now, something that will live on in the car radios of America’s youth for, well- forever!

Heh. Either that or you get loaded and spend the night playing the riff to Rock Bottom over and over in a masturbatory stupor!

(Listen to Rock Bottom, the baddest riff ever!)

I suppose a bit of the romance wears off, am I right? We grab the guitars night after night, and they feel as familiar and obligatory as the bloodied crop to the Dominatrix.

Just a tool, it seems after a while—the hammer to the roofer, the condom to the crack whore…..

In fact, it wasn’t all that long ago when they took the guitar from me altogether, and left me to my own devices up on the stage…..

Listen, just be glad there's no YouTube evidence of this period.

Oh, I gave it a go alright, lurching around under the stage lights like some Down’s Syndrome afflicted offspring of Joey Ramone and Steven Tyler.

But it just wasn’t the same. Where is the phallic sword that guided you through so many nights before? Weapon and shield, the guitar is something you can hide behind or thrust out at a threatening world.

Besides, what the hell do you do- lead singers I mean- during the goddamn guitar solo??
Dance around like Mike Love? Or, God help me, play air guitar??

...mmmm....yeah. I could do the ol' jack off the mic stand routine, but I did that during the last song, mate!

It was just too much. Before ya knew it, I was hanging the wood around my neck again.
Safe and shielded once again, naked no more!

...uh, the strings are on the other side ya nut!

You grow older, and you fall in love with the guitar all over again, it seems.

Also, you mourn those beauties that will never return, foolishly pawned for Vegas gas money back when they didn’t seem that important.

By God, If I ever get that Rickenbacker 425 back, I’ll be one happy fellow!!

She's out there somewhere!

So it was a pleasant surprise when our pal Bob Balch from Fu Manchu called and told us about his groovy new site, Play This Riff and asked us to give him an interview!

Bob wanted to come in and check out the gear and run through a few songs. Pretty flattering, we thought. We’re not known as the most technical guitar gods out there, and truth be told, we usually just choose the night’s guitars to coordinate with our outfits!

The B&W collection...I'm thinking one of these will look smashing with the pink shirt!

And we don’t always handle these babies with the gentle respect they deserve….!

I  give up, people!  Take out the trash!!
I give up, people! Take out the trash!!

But we’re the goddamn best CH3 guitarists playing CH3 songs out there right now goddammit! So we invited Bob down to the plush CH3 rehearsal complex/test kitchen for a little tour

An exclusive look into the CH3 equipment bunker. Not pictured: Fog machine, treadmill, oxygen tank.

And showed off some of the rare axes:

Oh my...what a rude guitar!

Then we ran through a few songs for the cameras–and hey! Only took us 4 takes to nail Catholic Boy! Not like we’ve been playing the song for 30 years or anything, eh?

And bonus, Bob was kind enough to jot down the tabs for the songs

See them little squiggly things? That's music, Ma!!

Why didn’t we have this kind of stuff when we were kids, huh?

Oh, you goddamn punks think you’re so smart, with your icephones and carbonite lattes and websites that teach you all the hard earned secrets of the guitar!
Hell, when we were your age all we had were two rocks with used dental floss stretched between….now get off my lawn!!

Do yourself a favor and sign up for Play This Riff !

The CH3 Year in Review: 2009

Well, that damn Christmas tree is finally out of the house and sits yellowing on the curb, a dehydrated monument to the excess of holidays just past.

The eggnog curdles in the fridge, and if I never again hear Wham!’s Last Christmas played over the CVS Pharmacy PA system, I will count myself a lucky man.

Please. Kill. Me.

And for this, the 50th entry of the Channel 3 Blog, join us as we recap the year that was: 2009 through the bleary eyeballs of yer ol pals in CH3!

The year began as it often does, a trip to Vegas for BYO’s annual Punk Rock Bowling Tournament. We finished a dismal 162 out of 163 in our bracket, though we claim shenanigans as Alf was absent most of his turns. Seems he was trying to ride the animatronic bear in the Laser Bar woods, the scamp!

Just a little pep talk after anthony's second gutter ball....

Late January found us up in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with our pals in DOA, a couple shows in Seattle and Portland.
The rains were merciful, the Pho sublime, and we learned that PDX International is not a half bad place to watch a Superbowl game.

Kimm has a case of the Seattle Surprise! El Corazon Jan 30

Half time with Springsteen? meh. Bring back the kids from Up with People, that’s what we say!!

Now these fuckers know how to rock the crowd!

February, cruel bitch of a month that it is, does not disappoint with its gray montony. Things are broken up by the first Alex’s gig of the year and the NOFX party…..

Feb 4 NOFX party @ Fonda Theatre, Hollywood
Wrappin up February at Alex's...

The late winter lull was strangely quiet. Hmmm… don’t have much to report on the band front, but perhaps you might enjoy this video of a cat coughing up a hairball: Enjoy!

We welcomed the Vernal Equinox in proper fashion, a trip out to Rosemead!
This post, Spikes in Rosemead was the first in our popular Our Last Gig series, and made an International Media Star of our man Paulie.

...this is what he does in front of the mirror at home. All day long.

A couple warmups for the Summer, and then onto June with a couple shows with the Circle Jerks, at the San Diego and Anaheim House of Blues….Houses of Blue? Blue Horses? —eh, you know…those big corporate clubs where a Vodka Soda costs 12 bucks!

The sounds, the energy...the smell.  Ya had to be there....
Things warm up in the pit....Summer's comin!

The year half over now, and got the devastating news. Old chum Fat Paul passed on. The man will be missed!

July wanes and we are off to Europe.

After a quick Transatlantic flight, and a brief bout of jetlag induced delirium, we are rolling across the Continent.
If you’d care, you can always peruse the 2009 European Diary for the full story.

But trust me, the trip can be summarized nicely by the following images:



Yet more sausage...
Yet more sausage...

Sausage with curry sauce....because we're fuckin nutty that way!!!
Sausage with curry sauce....because we're fuckin nutty that way!!!

We finally lured Ant and Alf back to the States in time for the last shows of the Warped Tour . We set out on this journey with every intention of losing those pesky extra 6 kilos of wurst weight we picked up in Europe, but it was not meant to be!

Gotta go on a diet after this!
Christ! Gotta go on a diet after this!

What a wonderful way to wrap up the Summer with friends and pretend the bitter realities of the darkening sky weren’t just over the horizon!

This is either before the set, or Anthony has just given up!

Alf's view of the world..no wonder he's a little off, hmmm?

One fine Fall day, I think it was late October, the four of us were lying in an open meadow, the patient Earth cooling beneath our backs. Idly chatting, we each picked a cloud and interpreted its shape.

A Pony.
Amputee riding a hermaphroditic elephant.
An Advair inhaler.

By God, I love being in a band!

...and that one looks like the funny smelling Uncle that used to sleep over in Mom's room!

Where were we?
Summer’s over, and the year speeds up toward its own demise. A quick jaunt out to Vegas:

vegas 001
What a world, when yer 3rd billed under Bingo!

And then onto the Holiday season and wrapping things up in proper fashion: Back to Alex’s Bar!

Hijinks, I tells ya...Hijinks!!

The celebrations over now, we all seem relieved that 2009 is over. With every hope that the future holds fluffier towels and colder beer, it’s onto 2010~~!

You know it's gotta be true if it's written on baked goods!