“The strippers were breaking it down next door and kept us all very entertained when the band wasn’t onstage,” says Caustic Felon guitarist Matt Arbaugh of playing the VIP room of the Pure Platinum strip club. “One girl was more than just doing her job with our bassist Paul [McFaddin], and I’m pretty sure if the other guys weren’t married… In fact, the drummer was late to the stage, due to a beautiful blonde named Jessie, who was draining his wallet in the lap-dance lounge.”
Pure Platinum has also hosted the Carlos Blues Experience and Roots Covenant, as well as a weekly Wednesday “concert karaoke” showcase. “With bands,” says Arbaugh, “your ticket gets you into the show along with access to the strip club side at no extra charge. We feel as a band that we can hold your attention, but who doesn’t like to look at a half-naked girl?”
“Nude girls go with rock and roll like jelly goes with peanut butter,” says Steven “Sugar” Cole, who claims his failed attempt to open a local club called Groupies, offering both live music and nude entertainment, cost him over $50,000 in 2008. “The City reneged on all the permits,” alleges Cole, “but the older clubs that have been around since the ’80s, they have a lot of leeway about mixing live entertainment with stripping.” Dream Girls in Kearny Mesa has similarly expanded, booking club nights with DJ Atari and Junior the Disco Punk.
“It’s a good idea [for strip clubs] to go into bundle marketing, like cable companies and fast-food places. Times are tough for strippers, and bands are out of work. But if you tell people they can have their naked girls and their rock bands, two for the price of one, that’s probably the most recession-proof business in town.”