When I moved to L.A. four years ago, my longtime friend and fellow musician Walker Young invited me down to play some tunes at his neighborhood bar, Crane's, on a Wednesday night. At the foot of Beachwood Canyon, It was a hole-in-the-wall, unfinished shell of a building, and because they didn't have a proper liquor license, they served only a few beers and a strange rice wine. There was no soap in the already graffiti'd up bathroom, and you had to stumble through the band's equipment to get to the outdoor patio to enjoy the smoke of your choice. The P.A. sucked, electrical outlets were difficult to find to plug your amp into, and there were no lights aimed at whoever was performing on the bar floor.
I've played a thousand shitty clubs over the years, and at first glance, Crane's was just another one...But when I started my set, people stopped their conversations. They put out their smokes and came inside, listened to my words, and watched my fingers go. The room cheered so loudly at the end of my songs, I felt like I was playing a sold-out Hollywood Bowl.
I was at home at Crane's. These people were my people. We all came to this crazy city to make music, or films, or art, and find like-minded artists...and Crane's was the place to meet. Walker introduced me to the owner Darren Crane, and Darren has heart. He had big plans for Crane's, and wanted a place for us musicians to feel at home. A place that stood apart from all of the other clubs in Hollywood by not giving a shit about what you were wearing, who you know, or what you drive. My small circle of friends instantly exploded into to an army of colorful, beautiful people, and we all cheered each other on, just as they did during my first performance there. The Wednesday night Beachwood Rockers' Society shows continued to grow, and the word was out...I've watched so many people over the last four years stunned after attending their first show at Crane's. Amazed that so much great music, cool people, and cheap beer actually existed right under their nose, and thrilled to be indoctrinated into the club. Great careers have been launched from that small stage, and countless life-long friendships were born there.
Over the last four years, Darren put a lot of work into his bar. He hired some of the great musicians who are equally talented carpenters to help him rearrange the bar and stage, and turn it into a better music venue. They cared about every piece of wood they nailed into the place because they knew it would only make our Wednesday nights there more epic...and it did.
But Crane's has experienced a lot of resistance from the neighborhood...now in the shadow of the brand new W hotel, where you can see and hear the exact opposite Hollywood experience happening on its rooftop, broadcasting its club beats, glitz and glamour, and mini skirts to the world. After a long battle, Darren made the difficult decision to close up shop in L.A., and open Crane's 2.0 in Costa Rica.
Tonight will be the last concert at Crane's. It will be full of amazing people and great music. I'll be playing late, when things are guaranteed to get crazy. Stop by to see the end of something legendary if you're in the neighborhood.
Costa Rica has no idea how awesome their Wednesday nights are about to be.