Chapter 06 - Club Bauge
The first thing that bugged me about Jake was he didn't want to continue with any of the employees that made Safari what it was. I think it's natural for a new owner to want to fire everyone and bring in their own people but as an outsider of the Des Moines scene this was a mistake. It was like he cut the heart out of the club and it would be a period of decline. The first thing he did was to paint over the graffiti and remove the stickers of the bands that had played there over the past few years. Removed in a word the history of the club. He also built uncomfortable booths out of 2 x 6 and Paint the eat side of the building this ugly light brown. His goal was to make the club a college hang out. Of course this didn't work.
He re-opened the club on December 31st, 1997 with a bunch of local bands playing. Not the best choice to say the least. I went down and checked it out but didn't come back again for 2 months. For a short time Paul worked at Friends club(owned by former Safari owner Tony) and then got he's job back at Safari working door. He started to bug me about booking the place again. Jake hadn't really done much of anything up to that point. Against my better judgement I started booking some shows in the room. I didn't do it at all at the level that I did under Shawn but I did do the Paladins, US Bombs, Dropkick Murphys, Gravity Kills, Agnostic Front, Kurt St. James(former Tenderloin), APOCALYPSE HOBOKEN, B-Movie Rats, Slipknot, REO Speedealer, The Chicken Hawks, Fury 66, Aquabats, At the Drive-In, The Teenage Frames, Gaza Strippers, Funeral Oration, Paw, Maximum Penalty, SNFU, Hi Five, Chixdigit, Marky Ramone & the Intruders, Sloppy Seconds and Fugazi. Most of the other larger shows except Suicidal Tendencies was done by an out of state promoter called Avolance Promotions. Some notable show were Rev. Horton Heat, Reel Big Fish, Man or Astroman, Jesus Lizard, Suicide Machine and etc...(I didn't really keep track of them).
The big difference is that it wasn't a home team controlling the promotions. This had it's advantages but a lot of disadvantages. Increasingly I noticed Jake's lack of interest in the reputation and interests of the club. Instead, especially toward the end, it seemed his main focus was a quick buck. During the rain of Jake the club saw everything from an almost riot on Hip hop night to a girl dancing in a cage made of tomato fencing on Rave night to female oil wrestling to shady and questionable band payments to over selling the club itself. He taken a club that under Shawn had gone for a shitty little regional club at best to a national club. Under Jake the club went from a national club to a shady shit little local club. By late December we were all beginning to lay bets on just when he was going to skip.
Next Chapter - Chapter 07 - The second coming of Mary's