4th & B opened for business in 1995. Since then approximately 1900 shows have taken place, and almost two million people have walked through its doors. Through it all there was "Dutch," Doug Schultz, who started as a security guard and then worked his way up to director of operations. He is the only employee who worked at the club from its first concert (Crosby, Stills & Nash) until it was acquired by House of Blues in August. Here Dutch provides a rundown of the best and worst of the people, bands, and events that have rolled through 4th & B.
Coolest Artist: Ringo Starr, B.B. King, Eddie Money, Berlin, Cheech Marin, the Cult, Tommy Lee
"Tommy Lee showed up a few hours prior to his DJ club night. He was very polite in asking me for a drink, and we had a great conversation. Throughout the evening he was very accommodating to meeting people and signing autographs to those who requested, with no attitude whatsoever. He even joked about the fact that he was not the best DJ."
Biggest Disappointment: Quiet Riot, Vince Neil, the Amazing Kreskin
"Kreskin's mind-reading was way off, and his show became embarrassing. He did one skit where someone wrote a number on a piece of paper, and he predicted the wrong number. There were no oohhs and aahhs that you would expect, just silence and some laughs when his predictions and answers were not correct. Most of the audience left before the end of the show."
Biggest Ego: Don Dokken, Vanilla Ice, Dio, Bon Jovi, Dwight Yokum, Ratt
"During sound checks Ratt tried to bully the opening act, a local band called Cage. For instance, as the two bands crossed paths at the back door, Ratt expected the guys in Cage to stand aside and let them walk out. They ended up bumping into one another, which almost caused a fight in the parking lot. Ratt demanded that the opening band be scratched, after both bands had already sound checked."
Biggest Jerk: Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne's former guitarist)
"Zack came into the office, along with his band and some of his crew, with open beer bottles, yelling at Billy Bob about the venue being 21 and up. He kept threatening Billy that he wanted his younger fans to come to the show. He didn't ask or anything, he just came in and shouted, 'Hey, motherfucker, don't you know my fans are under 21?' and 'What do you think Ozzy is gonna say about this? You wouldn't tell Ozzy he couldn't have his younger fans in here!'
"I was at my desk at the far end of the office. I finally stood up and approached Zack and yelled, 'Who the fuck do you think you're shouting at? This is a 21-and-up venue, and there is nothing we can do about it. You're just pissed because of low ticket sales!' He continued to be difficult to work with throughout the night."
Biggest Entourage: Too Short
"He must have had about 50 or 60 people with him. They all just pulled up in an entourage of SUVs. Everyone expected to get in the back door, and when they couldn't, they forced their way in."
Most Lascivious Rave: Gay Pride
"Every year during Gay Pride weekend we catch about half a dozen patrons having illegal sexual contact, usually oral, in the upper part of the mezzanine or in the restroom stalls. We generally just kick them out. When the event is over we find dozens and dozens of used condoms on the floor."
Most Hunted Performer: Greg Allman
"From the first time he played there, he acted paranoid. He said that someone was trying to kill him. We tried to find out what he was talking about, but he wasn't making any sense. The second time he came, he told me there was a woman in the crowd who was stalking him. 'She's been following me all over the country,' he said. He had a good description of her, though, so I went into the crowd and found her. I went up to her and asked who she was, and she said she was his daughter. I asked to see her driver's license, and sure enough her last name was Allman."
Weirdest Act: The Cramps, Boy George, Gwar
"Boy George was a gay cross-dresser who came on to our male staff. Gwar had skits involving famous people being beheaded, testicles being cut off, hearts being pulled out, and fake blood squirting into the crowd. Their show consisted of four 50-gallon drums of fake blood and guts that squirted out from the bodies of different characters during the show. The cleanup was enormous. It involved six janitors and took three hours with large wet-vacs and mops. At least they covered the walls with plastic and moved the couches out of range."
Most Weed Smokers in Audience: George Clinton
"Everyone who comes thinks it's part of the show to light up a bomber. It's a ritual when you see George. He plays for three or four hours, so the smoke builds up so much you can't even see the stage."
Most Drug Overdoses: Club Rubber
"About eight years ago the after-hours exotic club scene was peaking in San Diego. The king of all clubs back then was Club Rubber...this was a time when designer club drugs were new [on the scene], and information regarding them and their interaction with alcohol and other drugs was not well known. At our first of several Club Rubbers [we had] four overdoses. [The girls] were found either passed out or lying on the floor, their bodies twitching...each time it happened, an ambulance, fire truck, and police car would arrive and treat the victim...after the fourth call, an SDPD detective told me, 'One more overdose, and this event is done.' At the next Club Rubber, the SDPD vice conducted a sting operation. They had a command post set up down the street with an operative wearing a wire who would solicit patrons for drugs. When a buy would go down, several of the officers would run in through the back door and arrest the person selling the drugs."
Most Surreal Undercover Operation: Whiplash Bash
"We rented the venue to someone who put on a fetish event called 'Whiplash Bash.' About 350 people from all over the world paid $50 each. They all came dressed in leather and fetish attire. There was a fashion show and booths with photographers and people selling fetish items. An undercover sting was taking place with the SDPD. They had two undercover officers present. One was a female officer with high heels and a leather leash attached to a collar around the neck of a male officer, who was dressed with an all-leather-and-spiked outfit. Toward the end of the show, the event was raided by several plain-clothed police officers who issued citations to two female patrons - one for having her breasts exposed and the other for engaging in sexual contact with another patron. 4th & B ended up closing for a two-week period as a result."
Scariest Moment: Super Bowl Party, Tony Yayo
"The Super Bowl party was in January 2003, when the Raiders played the Buccaneers in San Diego. 50 Cent was the biggest name playing. People rushed the back entrance. Some people who appeared to be in his entourage pulled automatic weapons to try to get into the club and VIP area. When they couldn't get in they started throwing bottles at those who were inside. Fights erupted. SDPD surrounded the venue with 75 officers with riot sticks. They closed down the street and had helicopters flying overhead.
"Another scary moment was during gangster rapper Tony Yayo's show. Yayo was a member of the Crips. SDPD told me [after the fact] that San Diego is more of a Blood city. 50 Cent came onstage flashing his signs and wearing his colors. We had an all-out riot, and some patrons were hurt. The bar staff were scared, some to the point of crying. Some hid behind their bars. It was an ugly scene that cost Wayne Reynolds [in-house urban promoter] his job."
Shortest Performance: Big Pun
Crosby, Stills & Nash, Kenny Loggins, Ringo Starr, the Doobie Brothers
Stupidest/Weirdest Customer Complaint:
"The person who wanted their money back after the show because it was too loud...or the one who wanted me to stop the show to find the person who pushed them....
"Another good one was when a woman and her friend stole somebody's seats. When [the original occupants] returned, they asked the woman and her friend to move. The woman called for management, and I came over and told her to relinquish the seats.
" 'Then I want my money back,' she said.
" 'Let me see your tickets,' I replied. She showed me the tickets, and I saw they were comped. So I told her, 'Okay, no problem, just return these tickets to your point of purchase.'
"That seemed to satisfy her."