Tuesday at the Fullerton Hofbrau, blues guitarist Debbie Davies will play a benefit for the Fullerton Museum Center in connection with the current exhibit there, "Five Decades of Fender: The Sound Heard Around the World."
Davies, who relocated recently from Van Nuys to Stratford, Conn., has won strong reviews for her debut album, "Picture This," released this year. A longtime presence in Orange County blues venues, she established herself nationally playing alongside the late Albert Collins. Joining her at the Hofbrau will be her boyfriend and fellow Fender Stratocaster devotee Coco Montoya. Best known for his work with John Mayall, Montoya is working on an album of his own.
The show at the Hofbrau, 323 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $5; all proceeds go to the Museum Center. Information: (714) 870-7400.
The Fender exhibit continues at the center, 301 N. Pomona Ave., Fullerton, through April 2. Information: (714) 738-6545.
Also on the local blues front: "Across the River," the debut album by Robert Lucas, has been reissued on CD. Released in 1989 on cassette only and out of print until now, the acoustic blues album is available through Delta Man Music, P.O. Box 8874, Newport Beach 92658.
Lucas' manager, Berkeley Green, reports that the next album, "Layaway," by the versatile Lucas will head in "a Robert Cray direction, but a lot more raw." It will be Lucas' fourth release on Audioquest, a label based in San Clemente. Lucas' electric band, Luke and the Locomotives, will play New Year's Eve at the Heritage Brewing Co. in Dana Point.
NC-17 is making a movie that it figures will be rated PG.
The idea, according to singer Frank Rogala, is to depict the life and times of the long-struggling band from Orange County and to use its story to illustrate the downside of the Southern California rock dream.
Filmmaker Dov Kelemer chose NC-17 as his subject after being impressed with the band when it appeared on "Rock America," a cable television show he produced. Kelemer already has shot concert footage at Club 5902 in Huntington Beach. Rogala said the goal is to make a documentary with broad enough appeal to run on cable networks or to be given theatrical release.
"This is the story of one band, but we're trying to put it through the lens that there are thousands of other people going through the same experience," Rogala said. "The director is really trying to make it a mass-appeal type of thing, a cross between 'Roger and Me' and 'Truth or Dare.' "
Rogala said the film, which is being financed with the help of NC-17's fans, will involve interviews with music industry figures, including executives who have turned down the band's bids for a record contract.
"It's (about) the insanity of playing music in Southern California and thinking you're going to get anywhere (given) the odds," Rogala said. "Everyone flocks here--there's estimated to be 10,000 artists clamoring for attention, and 97% of the records that are put out (nationally) fail. It's a struggling-against-impossible-odds kind of thing. We want to show things that are the truth, not have any acting, and just let it be real."
Now that Bogart's is kaput, other clubs and promoters are likely to step up efforts to cater to its disenfranchised audience.
Stab You in the Back Productions, a Costa Mesa outfit, has booked four concerts in January at Our House Coffee Bar and Bakery in Costa Mesa featuring some alternative rock bands that had played Bogart's.
The schedule includes Clawhammer and Uncle Joe's Big Ol' Driver, Jan. 7; Further, Discothi-Q and Poastal, Jan. 14; the Muffs, Flop and the Women, Jan. 29; and Fluf and Cold Water Crane, Jan. 28. There also is a local band night, Jan. 21, with Smile, Feeble and J.P. Big.
The concerts headlined by the Muffs and Fluf will be all-ages shows; 18 is the minimum age for the others. Tickets cost $6 for the Muffs, $3 for the rest.
Our House, at 720 W. 19th St., has a capacity of 150 and offers a full bar, in addition to coffee and food, according to co-owner Wendy Bollman, who opened the place in June and has been programming original local acoustic music. The club has no built-in sound system, so the promoters will provide their own for the upcoming rock shows. (714) 650-8960.
In a potentially helpful development for the local alternative rock scene, the booking agent for the Ice House in Fullerton says city officials have lifted restrictions placed on the club that might have killed its prospects as a concert venue.
Under rules passed during the summer after disturbances outside the 1920s-vintage brick hall near the Fullerton Amtrak station, the Ice House had been prohibited from selling tickets at the door on the nights of events, a measure designed to prevent crowds from forming outside.
The club appealed last month to the city Planning Commission, and "we got everything we asked for," reports booking agent Jay Lindsey. "We can now sell tickets on the premises. We got a good endorsement from the police. It's very encouraging."
Avalon Attractions, a major promoter based in Encino, put on one sold-out alternative rock show at the 578-capacity Ice House in September but had been reluctant to go ahead with further concerts unless it could sell tickets at the door. "We're going to work out a nice package with (Avalon)" to bring more shows to the Ice House in 1994, Lindsey said.