That tweet could have come from a disgruntled ex-bouncer or a band that didn’t get drink tickets.
It appeared August 21 on the Casbah’s Twitter stream and was gone the next day.
The dig grew out of friction between the Casbah, which booked and promoted an August 26 Butthole Surfers show, and 4th&B, which was originally selected to host the show. Casbah co-owner Tim Mays often uses other venues to host artists who have outgrown his 200-capacity Kettner club.
Mays contacted 4th&B in late May to book the Texas psych-punk band, though he now admits that putting the B-H Surfers into the 1500-capacity room was a mistake. The band’s current draw doesn’t merit such a large room. So, on Monday, August 15, Mays moved the show to the 400-capacity Brick by Brick in Bay Park.
Mays says he was “frustrated” with 4th&B owner Vincent Puma, who he says kept selling tickets to the B-H Surfers show at 4th&B for a week after the venue change.
“At first [Puma] took it personally,” says Max Paul, owner of Brick by Brick. “But I went over and talked to him and we straightened everything out. I had nothing to do [with the move]...but I can see why he felt that way. Everyone in the business is hurting right now.”
Puma is still pissed. “We worked hard on this show. We had a street team putting out posters and flyers. Our promotion person had all kinds of social media and radio activity. This is just very unfair, especially to [those in] the community that think the show is still going to be here.”
Puma says he offered Mays a reduction in rent. “I was going to charge him what he is paying Brick by Brick for rent, but he still took it there. He said the band doesn’t want to play for a room that looks empty, but I told him we would put up curtains and partitions to make the room smaller.”
Puma says the cancellation left him with a harsh reality: 4th&B would be dark on a crucial weekend night. “We were counting on that night to pay our rent. It is just my wife and myself running this place, trying to compete against the big guys.”
Puma admits he continued selling tickets for a week after he was told the show was moved. “I tried to get the agent to let us keep [the show].” Puma says he’d make good on all the tickets sold by 4th&B so they could be honored at Brick by Brick. Puma says he continues to rent out his room to other promoters (AEG presents Bush, Chevelle, and Filter at the downtown venue on September 27).
But what of the “Boycott 4th&B” tweet? “That is so unlike the Casbah,” says one insider. “Normally they are just too cool for school and avoid stuff like that.”
Mays says he regrets the tweet slur against 4th&B. “We do not want a boycott of 4th&B.”
“It was a mistake and an error in judgment,” says Rosie Bystrak, one of the administrators of Casbah’s Twitter account. “But everything has been resolved now.”