They're almost 12 years old now, and generally act like it, too. Last year at an outdoor concert, Raging Arb & the Redheads were shut down by police for rocking without a permit. But this year, the band was determined to do the adult, responsible thing and get the city of Ventura's permission to hold another outdoor gig.
Credit the Redheads' new maturity to capitalism. Their free concert at the corner of Pierpont Boulevard and Seaward Avenue last Saturday was designed to promote the opening of the nearby Beach Hut, a hole-in-the-wall home to a million or so Redhead T-shirts, hats, shorts and other items of sartorial surfer splendor.
Of course, their shot at adulthood went awry. The scheduled noon show began promptly at 1:30. And when police showed up 90 minutes later, front man and clothing mogul John Drury flashed the permit, but it was under his name, not the band's, so the cops stopped the show on a technicality, although the band was allowed to finish the set.
While fun and trouble are often interchangeable at a Raging Arb show, this kinder, gentler one was exceptionally peaceful, even though the several hundred local fans were sent home an hour early. It definitely was nothing like the band's 1986 Fourth of July party that ended in a riot at the beach.
Last Saturday, the band cruised through most of the songs from its only CD and pronounced the aborted concert a success.
"The city should be doing stuff like this every weekend," said guitarist Toby Emery. "Do something for the locals, not those tourists. We proved that people from all walks of life--surfer dudes, little kids, bikers, the homeless--could all get along."
* Raging Arb & the Redheads will have another free all-ages gig at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Ventura Surf Shop. More information: 643-1062.