Josh Baish doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut.
That's no insult: The Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio owner-manager volunteers as much before an interview. The lesson must be fresh on his mind after he pissed off many a bearded man last month by entertaining the notion of moving the Denton institution to Dallas. He now vows that RGRS will not leave Hell's Lobby, even after the Denton County Transit Authority bulldozes the current location to make way for a commuter railway that will link Big D to Little D.
"I would be shooting myself in the foot if I was to pull out now," he says. Besides, getting a liquor license in another county would be a pain in the ass.
Baish has a new spot in mind (in the same strip as Dan's Silverleaf), but with DCTA's plans plodding at a bureaucratic pace, he doesn't have to decide any time soon. So for now his thoughts are on the 10-year anniversary party with a two-day cross section of Denton music's past and present, bands he calls "part of the fabric of the club," including Saturday's top-secret headliner. Check Unfair Park for the full lineup.
The 10-year anniversary is the perfect opportunity to reminisce, but asking Baish to name a favorite show would be cruel. After all, the stage—practically an afterthought, as the business began solely as rehearsal space—supported the weight of Modest Mouse, The Shins, My Morning Jacket, Low and others before your yuppie uncle ever heard of them, not to mention Baish's friends in the Denton scene. So we asked him to share some of his wildest memories.
The Gas Pipe
"Mike Wiebe from the Riverboat Gamblers—longtime Dentonites—Wiebe and I were working at The X with Trinidad [Leal] from Dixie Witch. Trinidad put together a show with Riverboat Gamblers, Honky and Dixie Witch. Well, Wiebe's thing is to run around, jump off the rafters, jump off amps and that kind of thing. Anyway, that night he grabbed the gas line, and the gas line snapped and the entire room filled with gas. That was scary, because people are standing around smoking, and we didn't really notice it right at the time. Once the joint filled with gas, we had to shut it down and call the gas company...Trinidad was yelling at Wiebe in the back, 'You screwed up the show! But I love you, man,' because Trinidad was Wiebe's boss, you know, so he's trying to work both sides. 'How could you do that? But I love you.'"
"This band, the Ataris, played and there were 950 kids there. Somebody in the band was arrested in the back, and so the kids decided, 'We're punk rock,' and they crossed the stage and they destroyed the cop car and were pushing it back and forth. Evidently someone pushed a cop. I mean there have been some fistfights and it'll get absolutely out of control, and you just stand there."
Going-Away Party That Wouldn't Go Away
DJ Nature asked if he could have a going-away party at RGRS before he moved to Brooklyn. Expecting about 10 people to come, Baish agreed. Unbeknownst to him, Nature had passed out flyers in Dallas.
"Over 1,500 people showed up," Baish says. "It was absolute mayhem...You couldn't stop people from knocking down doors, climbing fences...It went until 8 a.m. We had the Texas Rangers, the DEA, Denton police show up. People were using all kinds of drugs openly. I just threw up my hands and said, 'There's nothing I can do.'"
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