The Kraken in Carlsbad celebrates 30 years' operating in the same locale on Saturday, May 20. There will be an afternoon barbeque and Blue Heat and other local bands performing in the evening. "I opened up in May of 1976," says owner Doug Aldred. "It was a condemned building at the time, and it would have fallen down if we'd tried to move it. I lost it in a divorce in 1978 but got it back a couple of years later."
In addition to hosting local and national bands, the venue has seen several surprise celebrity visits, commemorated in photos on the club walls, including one of Rod Stewart (whose then-wife, model Rachel Hunter, refused to pose for pictures). "They stopped by on their way to the Del Mar racetrack and had a couple of pops," says Aldred. "Jimmy Buffett's been in here, Angie Dickinson, a couple of the Allman Brothers. About five years ago, Emmylou Harris drove down from L.A. and did a two-hour benefit concert for a local young man who was having a problem. Oh, and Evel Knievel's been in a few times. One time, he was drinking Wild Turkey and drove off over the curb as he left."