Rack 'Em

A 4th&B show headlined by LBC, a Long Beach Sublime tribute band, ended with the bassist beaten and hospitalized by an unhappy fan and an opening band claiming they were underpaid by $1000.

“It was a hideously awful night,” says Laura Brady, manager of L.A. band the Skeletones. Brady says she was emailed an offer of a $1500 guarantee for her ten-piece ska/reggae band to open for LBC on Saturday, August 8. Brady says $1500 is standard pay for her band but that she did not ask for the customary 50 percent deposit because “…it was 4th&B. We ask for a deposit if it’s a shitty promoter. But this was 4th&B. They always had such a good reputation. They had our name on the marquee.… I was told a week before that we would be paid in full before LBC took the stage.”

Brady says it was her understanding that Q-Ball, the bassist for LBC who sent her the offer and who seemed to be promoting the event, was connected with Sublime. “I found out after the show this guy had nothing to do with Sublime and never has.”

Brady, who had to pay $500 out of pocket for hotel, food, and transportation costs for her band to play the show, found out on arrival that the $1500 guarantee was not going to be paid. “It started to get a little ugly. Here I am, one woman.… What was I to do? I can’t fight them. I said, ‘I guess I’m going to have to call the police on this.’ That’s when the owner of 4th&B, Vince Puma, gave me a check for $500.” Brady says the check cleared but that she’s still short $1000 and is considering small-claims court.

LBC’s Q-Ball admitted by phone that though he emailed Brady the $1500 guarantee, he said he was acting on behalf of Las Vegas promoters who backed out of the show. “The show wasn’t selling too good. No Doubt was playing the same night. When the promoters backed out, we wanted to cancel, but we decided just to go ahead and play and not get paid. Vince said he didn’t want to ruin the reputation of 4th&B by canceling the show. We gave [the Skeletones] the opportunity not to play. They got $500 and we got nothing.”

But things got worse for Q-Ball. “Some crazy girl kept harassing me onstage. She was mad because one of the other bands didn’t play long enough. She started throwing things at us.” Q-Ball says that after the show in the parking lot the girl and her boyfriend attacked him. “Her boyfriend came up behind me and hit me in the head with a piece of lead. I spent two days in the ICU at Scripps Mercy. I had a concussion and I keep throwing up. I take blood thinner. I could have bled to death.…”

Vince Puma of 4th&B didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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I'm surprised 4th & B brought the Skeletones back - the club's previous management had banned the band after someone from their entourage set off what police described as a "bomb" outside the club in 1998.

“The way 4th & B is, being a licensed establishment,” club security guard Joel Meriwether told the Reader at the time (he’d worked at the club since its inception), “you can’t take liquor outside in open containers. So we told them ‘You can’t walk outside with your beer.’ It was one guy [he’s unclear whether a bandmember or roadie] and as they got their van loaded up, as they were leaving, I was at the back door where I usually am. I got called in to break up a fight, and so [co-owner] Bob [Speth]’s wife went to the back door to spot me while I was inside."

"The guy that was being a dick opened up the [van] window and threw what we thought was a cherry bomb at her. It hit the wall and exploded, kaboom, it echoed off the building. Right as he did that, a cop was sitting up the street at 3rd and B and he looks over and sees the flash and everything and stops the van.”

“He’d actually thrown an M80. They called out the bomb squad, roped off the whole parking lot, the customers’ cars; they [the band] couldn’t leave. They had tweezers out there and were picking the stuff up for hours.”

Meriwether says he recalls an arrest being made but can offer no further details. “I think he did some time. He was already on probation for some other stunt.”

More tales of Trouble in Paradise: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...

As stated by the previous poster, the Skeletones had been banned from playing the club, and for good reason. It seems 4th & B has become somewhat of a joke latley. The new owners haven't a clue as to what they're doing. I'm amazed that there haven't been more incidents reported there! How soon until these idiots bring more violence to the area? That place needs NEW OWNERS with some experience, that will know how to handle bookings, guarantees, extra security and the like. Bring back the old regime.....before these newbies run that place completely into the ground!!!!!


I was once behind one of the Skeletones after they got a beer at the bar. It was a mess!

Such an irresponsible follow up by Jay Allen: according to a security guard. "It was one guy [he’s unclear whether a band member or roadie]" Caused that scene 11 years ago. So no one is sure who did this, but the band is held responsible? If there was an arrest, wouldn't there be a name on a police record to trace? Why can't Jay do a little more investigating and confirm who the arrested person really was instead of just blaming a band who clearly got ripped of by an unscrupulous promoter in 2009 instead of bringing up some lame old uncomfirmed story from 1998?

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