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Copper State Tavern in Glendale Closes Tonight

Tonight's a big night for the Copper State Tavern, as the Glendale punk bar and music venue is celebrating its second anniversary. Unfortunately, it's also the joint's final night of existence, as owner Dave Wyma is closing after this evening's celebration.
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It's sort of a "best of times/worst of times" proposition and the timing is completely intentional, Wyma explains, as he wanted one last blast before Copper State shutting down the place.

"We coulda closed yesterday, but that's just not my style. Honestly, if it didn't love running a punk bar so much I would've done that," he says. "I've got two touring bands coming here and I don't want to shunt them off to other bars.

The cause for Copper State's closure isn't surprising: money. Wyma explains that he "simply can't afford to pay the rent or bills anymore."

It's quite unfortunate and really shitty that I have to close, but it is what it is," he says. "This place can be quite inexpensive, but the everyday costs of running things just killed me."

Wyma, who also runs local concert promotions group Pirate Productions, opened Copper State in December 2008 inside the venue formerly known as Naked Truth Sports Bar. 

Wyma felt the West Valley was lacking in music venues in comparison to the eastside, which is one of the reasons he opened the bar -- which is located near the intersection of 51st Avenue and Bethany Home Road -- and featured band three nights a week.

As a friend and fan of Sid Copeland (the late owner of the equally late punk bar Jugheads), Wyma sought to create a similar spot over in the West Valley. As such, Copper State's calendar favored punk, rockabilly, and indie groups, but also featured the occasional alt-country act. 

He even had a hip-hop weekly on Thursdays just like Jugheads used to, until a shooting in the parking lot caused him to dump the night ("It just wasn't worth it," he says.)

Much like legendarily magnanimous Copeland, Wyma wanted to take care of the bands that played at his bar. He claims to have given musicians 100 percent of the door and even supplied them with free drinks. (Not for nothing, but maybe he shoulda cut back on that a little bit, as the extra cash might've kept the Copper State around a little longer than two years.)

Like with any other bar owner, Wyma struggled with getting people through the door.

"Just because you have 5,000 friends on MySpace doesn't mean you can easily get more than five people to come out to a show," he says. 

There's a real dearth of quality live music venues in the West Valley, which is why it kinda blows that there will be one fewer after tonight. I'm a fan of both Rogue West and Donna Jean's Libations, but the more venues the better, in my opinion.

"It really sucks, because the westside definitely needs more live music," Wyma says. 

Wyma's planning plenty of fun for Copper State's final night later this evening. Wyma's planning on hosting 10 different bands, including Nashville "punkytonk" act Jason and the Punknecks, SoCal's DC Fallout, and locals like Special Deluxe and Cultura Libertaria.

The last blast starts at 8 p.m. Copper State is located at 5060 West Bethany Home Road in Glendale.

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