Saturday, October 23, 2010

friday, oct22, 2010: the night ronny's was busted by the fuzz

i have to say, no one was surprised. that place is a world class dump. but still, kind of a bummer.

so, here's what happened. the spend was playing, dave and i were writing out our setlist. a couple cops came in and started taking pictures. my first thought was that one of the cops must be the spend's dad--how sweet, proud father taking pictures of his musical son! nope.

more and more cops showed up, it was a very strange vibe. not hostile by any stretch, just one knew exactly what was going on. i mean, we got the idea, but it wasn't clear whether the place was actually being shut down or whether tickets and fines were just being issued.

so anyway, the spend wrapped it up, the police came in and announced that ronny's didn't have any permits whatsoever for the garage/music room section of the bar, nor did they have permits as a live music venue, the front bar room smelled like natural gas, and a bunch of other not-up-to-code-by-a-longshot issues. so the place was closed down. no rock falls performance, no callers performance.

my "aww shit" face:

matt from the spend--the cops could've given all of us musicians tickets for being accessories, but they were very cool about the whole thing--just takin' matt's info since he was the only musician actually being seen performing:

frankly, the whole scene was relatively pleasant, all things considered. all of the cops were absolutely nothing but nice. they weren't pushy or assholic in any way. they were respectful and sympathetic.

it goes without saying that dave and i are really unhappy that the performance we rehearsed for, prepared for, and were looking fwd to was cancelled. and i'm so sorry for all of you who came out to see the show that never happened, but i'm so grateful for your being there in the first place. apparently, we are now a part of local history....?


ps--i sure hope i got my facts straight. i probably didn't.


m.campasano said...

Glad you had a great time witnessing yet another one of Chicago's greats being shut down.


Anonymous said...

It's a bummer you didn't get to play, but good riddance to that place. What a dump.

Simon King said...

The cops were streaming in just as I walked up to the door. I agree that they were very friendly, even chatting up people about the game on the TV.

It's a shame that the show was cancelled. Do you know if Ronny's plans to get up to code and get the proper permits to reopen?

Jesse said...

I took this picture about a year ago


Former Neighbor said...

That sucks. Ronny's was old school Chicago "punk" aesthetic - an old man bar with a colorful owner who was either friendly or indifferent to shows occupying his space. It was ramshackle in many ways, but the overall vibe was good and MP managed to squeeze a decent sound and high energy out of the room.

I lived quite near the bar when the shows started, and they did a good job with the sound proofing and were okay with the crowd control if you asked. I was impressed by the variety and quality of much of the music.

I suspect the reason the cops were so friendly and calm is they also saw Ronny's as part of the neighborhood - the California police HQ is practically across the street.

Someone with clout must have decided to drop the hammer for them to lift the unspoken tolerance for the place. I wonder if its some MP competitor or one of the flashy new places near the Milwaukee Califoria.

Thing is there are almost no super lo-budget venues left for lo to no profile bands anymore. Ronny's was a necessary step above playing in someone's basement. It wasn't as good as the Fireside, but now there's nothing similar out there.

Anonymous said...

That place smelled very strongly of cat pee. It is unsurprising that it was closed down.

mike said...

Sorry to hear your show got shut down... I read this story on Huffington Post wasn't expecting to know the reporter.

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