Blood, Sweat, and Beers

Mesa venue bucks the nightlife odds

It’s the summer of 1988 and the Valley’s music scene is ruled by such venues as Edsel’s Attic, the Sun Club, Long Wong’s, and the Mason Jar. Meanwhile, over in Mesa, an entrepreneur named Ross Wincek quietly opens the doors of his bar and grill, Hollywood Alley, 2610 West Baseline Road. It’s kind of a kitschy place, with numerous vintage movie posters lining the walls, but the joint starts making a name for itself as Wincek begins to book countless bands to perform on its stage.

Fast-forward two decades and Hollywood Alley has become an institution, having weathered an ever-fickle music scene and outlived all the aforementioned clubs. It’s also hosted a slew of well-known musicians both local (Sun City Girls, Meat Puppets) and national (Public Enemy, Nomeansno). Legendary former booker/bartender Robert “Fun Bobby” Birmingham says it’s a credit to Wincek’s dedication. “It’s amazing how the place has stuck around,” says Birmingham. “It’s because Ross and his family have put blood, sweat, and tears into keeping it going.”

Birmingham, who relocated to Washington in 2006, will return to help fete the club’s history during the 20 Years of Rock at Hollywood Alley celebration. The lineup includes music by Greenhaven, Pinky Tuscadero’s White Knuckle Ass-Fuck, Page the Village Idiot, Chocolate Fountain, and Bourbon Witch (a “supergroup” made up of Birmingham and such musicians as Blanche Davidian’s Jamie Monistat VII and Tom Reardon of the North Side Kings).


Sat., Aug. 23, 8 p.m., 2008
 
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