Friday, September 5, 2014


In 1984, I booked a new band from La, called Poison, at the Bootleggers, my brother, Paul, and my rock club in Phoenix, Arizona. They were one of the first acts from another city that we brought in and we were so nervous we would lose money! After all, we guaranteed them $300!!! What a risk!

They pulled up the morning of the show in their rented motor home, accompanied by their then-manager, Howie Hubberman. I did catch my breath a bit, when I first saw makeup or outfits on...just natural dreamboats in jean shorts. Holy shizzle! ! They were polite and excited!

The show was packed and the club never had so many girls in it ever before. Girls bring guys and the Bootleggers was throbbing that night! Girls were lining up for the band members once the show was over; it was insane!!
Dana with CC and some rocker chicks
In early 1985, Howie called and booked 3 nights in a row for the band. We were thrilled! $900 for 3 nights was another risk and we fliered the city, the high schools, record stores and bought adds in the local papers.

One day, a few weeks before the show, CC DeVille arrived at the Bootleggers with his parents for lunch! We were surprised as anything! He was raving about our cooking and homestyle feel of the club and wanted his parents to come enjoy the afternoon with him. We never expected that at all, in our wildest dreams!

A couple days before the big weekend with Poison, I left some fries in the deep fryer too long and it caught on fire! I was serving at the bar and a patron said "Look in the kitchen!" The flames were straight up, shooting to the ceiling. We didn't know what to do and dumped a giant bag of cornmeal on the fire, which only made to bigger!! Don't EVER try that solution!! When the fire department came, they shot a fire extinguisher at the fryer and exploded the burning, fiery grease all over the entire kitchen! We had to evacuate. By the time they watered it down, the entire club was smoke damaged!!

Thank God for good insurance and the next days were full of companies scurrying around fixing the damage. They got it all redone the day before Poison arrived, so all was good to go! It really took a lot of effort!

The 3 days of Poison were full of adventure, rocking songs and passion! The band was a month away from platinum sales, but didn't know it. Their record was about to come out and sweep the world, but for these 3 days, they were a humble and grateful band from LA. I didn't even have stage monitors and they never once even mentioned it!

On the last day, the police came in and said they were going to shut us down because we were "just like the punks." They strongly urged us to turn the club back into the redneck, pool bar it was before we bought it. Haha!!

Poison playing in the Bootleggers was a turning point for us. We had once been a garage band only club. With the success of the Poison shows, soon many bands were calling. LA Guns, Faster Pussycat, Lizzy Borden, Malice, Running Wild, Celtic Frost, Voivod.... In fact we must have been threatening the big local rock club because on the last night of Poison, the club sent a limo with hookers and coke in it to entice Poison away from us. Hohum...the politics of music...

Class dismissed...