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Dick Dale and Wasabi (almost)
By Ram Samudrala
(more articles from this author)
2000-06-03
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Ten minutes after watching Dick Dale unleash his surf-guitar wizardry, we were unceremoniously kicked out of Palookaville in Santa Cruz, CA. The events that led to this happenstance occurred much earlier:

We (Jason, Jenn, David, and I) arrived at the club just as Wasabi, a jazzy-blues band was finishing up. They were quite decent. The venue looked pretty good--it was quite room and there was a balcony and even food being served. We then decided to explore the upper balcony area and found a small room that was really the front for a bar. The room was closed, but we could reach in from the side and open the door and so we went in and hung out there while my friends relaxed. Soon enough, one of the employees of the club came in and asked us to leave and said if he saw us in the balcony area, we'd be kicked out.

Whatever. So Jenn and I went down and to the front to see Dick Dale come out, and Jason and David decided to step outside for a bit of fresh air. What little I saw of the show was spectacular. Dale, who plays a left-handed guitar, was definitely in good form and played a couple of blistering surf tunes (dancing around in minor scales, which makes for his distinctive Middle-Eastern sound). After two songs, Jenn and I decided to look for Jason and David and one of the attendants at the door asked us (I should say rather politely) to step outside. Not wanting to separate, we did.

This time the problem was not that we had been in a place where we didn't belong, but that they believed we had stolen alcohol from the tap. Of course, I was quite indignant (I don't drink at all) and argued a bit, supporting my friends who I didn't see do anything other than relaxing in that room. While we may have been able to convince the Palookaville employees, we didn't try too hard and we left. (I later learnt that my supporting of my friends was a bit naive, so it was all for the best.)

It would've been nice to listen to Dick Dale's entire set, including Miserlou from Pulp Fiction, but it was not to be. I do appreciate what little I saw---it was short, but sweet, and it was a small adventure. C'est la vie, and there's always a next time.


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