The Perils of a Mixed Crowd

Thirty-Five Years Ago
Who, indeed, was the wrong-headed entrepreneur who decided that Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jeff Beck would make a compatible concert bill? The coup certainly seemed tantalizing in the ads — two of the world’s most celebrated guitar “legends” in “the one concert this year not to be missed.”

Sadly, the prepackaged aggrandizing proved less than accurate, at least here in San Diego.... [T]he basic split between the factions of fans was obvious, making for an uncomfortable atmosphere.
“THE PERILS OF A MIXED CROWD,” Steve Esmedina, June 5, 1975

Thirty Years Ago
Among the growing numbers of Indochinese refugees in the pastel stuccos of Linda Vista is a group of artisans who are introducing a new cottage industry to their American neighbors. They are Hmong women, from a hill tribe that lived in Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand before the Vietnam war; and their craft is the traditional sewn embroidery called pa dao.

The handbags are of considerable subtlety and intricacy, embroidered with intense, almost iridescent pinks and greens, but the pink and green pompons are an unfortunate innovation.
“EXHIBITION OF PA DAO,” Amy Chu, May 29, 1980

Twenty-Five Years Ago
“Politics and water are a racket; every home, every household is controlled by politicians through everyone’s complete dependence on water.” [Stephan] Riess is an angry old man, given to outbursts in which he labels politicians “idiots” and worse, and university scientists as “the stupidest bunch of sons of bitches there are.” He would be easy to dismiss as a petulant crank except for one thing: he has an uncanny ability to find water where the experts say there is none.
“THERE’S WATER DOWN BELOW,” Neal Matthews, June 6, 1985

Twenty Years Ago
The current brouhaha over the MPAA rating system has, if nothing else, given movie critics something to talk about other than the movies that stirred it up. Why they might want something else to talk about becomes understandable, or partly understandable, when you see the movies themselves.

I have never been able to know what an “R” stands for, and I’ve never known what an “X” stands for, and I am quite sure that an “A” would not clear this up for me; it would only give me one more symbol to be unable to understand.
“X’S AND R’S,” Duncan Shepherd, June 7, ­1990

Fifteen Years Ago
According to Eddie Castro III, a piercer at the Claw, piercing has not only become more mainstream, but quite a few military personnel are having holes poked in their bodies also.

“I’ve been doing a crazy amount of navels because it’s so popular right now. But it is more of the regular Joe Schmoe coming in and getting pierced rather than the ‘alternative’ person.

“Navy guys are having pierced any body part that can be hidden. Mostly nipples, navels, and they’re starting to get a lot of tongue piercings.”
BLURT: “YESTH, STHIR!” Larry Harmon, June 1, ­1995

Ten Years Ago
Like tequila, rum’s influence is particular. It doesn’t prompt the kinetic kind of intoxication that whiskey, gin, and vodka do — the kind that helps you sharpen your discontent to the point of some regrettable action. Rum’s effect is contrary to this. It disperses and blunts worry and attaches a pleasant nonspecificity to your thoughts: it makes you lazy and elastic. It puts you at ease. Yo ho ho and all that.
SIGHTSEER: “MINISTRY OF RUM,” Justin Wolff, June 1, ­2000

Five Years Ago
Deborah Berger, fired by City Attorney Michael Aguirre, whom she had endorsed after losing her own primary bid against him, is holding two fund-raisers to retire her campaign debt. “No, I am not spear-heading a recall of Mike Aguirre in order to run again.... I had too much fun the first time to risk trying to duplicate it.”
CITY LIGHTS: “SPLITSVILLE,” Matt Potter, June 2, ­2005

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