Local bands Mustache Revolution and Guerilla Transammo chartered a bus to take them up to play the Cat Club in West Hollywood on October 8.
"It was a freaking nightmare," says Todd Chandler, band manager of Guerilla Transammo. He says he paid $972 for the bus, which was scheduled to pick up the two bands and their friends at 4 p.m. at the La Costa Avenue Park and Ride.
"I get a call at 3:50 from the dispatcher who said our bus is still stuck in San Ysidro and they can't get to us until 5:30. I said that isn't going to work." A replacement bus didn't arrive until after 5:45, which resulted in the bands being late; Guerilla Transammo was supposed to be onstage at 7:30, Mustache Revolution at 8:45.
"When we get to the Cat Club, it was empty except for the bartender, the sound guy, the cigar-smoking guy in the red shirt. We show up with 39 people. We fill the bar, which is about the size of the Casbah. Five songs into the set, the soundman said we were done and we had to get off. Mustache Revolution didn't mind if we stayed on longer, but he said we had to get off."
Chandler says they were especially insulted because the gig was a pay-for-play arrangement; the bands had to buy 40 pre-sale tickets for $160 from the Cat Club.
"Don't play L.A.," says Chandler. "We packed the place, but the bar treated us badly.... They couldn't wait for the two bands from San Diego to leave. There were some comments made about our fans' behavior, that they had never seen such a rowdy crowd. We weren't that rowdy."
And, about the bus ride... "There was no CD player, no DVD player, and no toilet paper," says Chandler.
Alphonso Hernandez, manager of the bus company, explains: "We had an emergency, and we had to switch buses." He says the bands were offered a $121 cash refund (based on a pro-rated rental rate) and credit toward future use of a bus.
"That doesn't work for me," says Chandler.
Hernandez says there was toilet paper and there was no obligation to provide a DVD or CD player. Chandler says there was, and he has the contract to prove it.
Guerilla Transammo appears October 28 at Brick by Brick with 51 Guns and the Hexxers.