South Bay’s Top Live Music Venue Again Provides An Enjoyable Experience
Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach is one of those place that, when I’m there, I say to myself, “now why don’t I come here more often?”
It’s the top live music venue in the South Bay Beach Cities and always gets good bands. It’s not like many great live music bars in that it’s not hot, dark and sweaty – such as the Troubadour on the Sunset Strip – but neat and clean. It has comfortable booths and tables, so it’s really a nice lounge with solid entertainment.
But I hardly ever go to it; once a month maybe. Part of the reason is that I feel seeing bands there is more of a special occasion than a regular occurrence. But that’s just a lame excuse. The real reason is that it’s a bit “G.U” as we say in L.A., and that means “Geographically Undesirable.” Saint Rocke is located on PCH and 2nd Street, which means it requires a bit of an effort to steer my bicycle – my primary means of Beach Cities transportation – off the Strand, up a hill and across a busy highway.
To go to Saint Rocke, I always need some type of prodding from friends, and so it was on a Saturday night in late June that I found myself walking through the door. My friend, Soul Cole, had put together what turned out to be an outstanding event to introduce a CD featuring a number of local artists (many of whom are friends) to raise money for Stand Up To Cancer.
The CD contains local musicians doing covers of great songs “I Will Always Love You,” “Georgia on My Mind,” Don’t Stop Believing” among them, plus two of my all-time favorites, Jimmy Buffett’s “A Pirate Looks At 40” and Kris Kristofferson’s classic road ballad “Me & Bobby McGee.” The CD is called “Songs That Save” and a bonus is that it was recorded in the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis, TN. Sun Studios is where Elvis Presley got his start.
It was a no-brainer to plunk down the $15 to purchase it. You, too, can do so on the Truly Versatile Entertainment Facebook page at: www.facebook.com,
Yet at Saint Rocke, that was just the beginning of the evening’s entertainment. There were two bands that followed, including a reggae band that was really kicking’ it.
The atmosphere was casual and the music not so ear-piercing loud that I did not have to scream to talk with and get turned down by the girls in the bar.
Again, why don’t I come here more often?
Still, there was something strange that happened. Strange to me, anyway. It’s such a small thing I hesitate to even mention it but will do so anyway for the sake of editorial balance.
As I approached the bar to order a round of drinks, someone had ordered two bottles of champagne (turns out it was Soul Cole). Suddenly, one of the bartenders and the waitress stopped what they were doing and busied themselves with wiping down the glasses. Pardon me, but here it was a busy Saturday night and myself and a couple of other customers were waiting to order drinks, and a bartender had to take the time to clean out champagne glasses. It seemed to me this is something that should have been done by a bareback at the beginning of the evening.
A thought ran through my head of what the host of one of those restaurant/bar reality TV shows – you know, the ones where the “expert” does a lot of yelling – would be screaming, but quickly dismissed the thought because the bartender now presented herself to me with a big smile.
I ordered a Stella Artois for myself and since Cole wanted “something with rum,” a Meyers and OJ for him.
The bartender was achingly beautiful – tall and blonde with the kind of body you would swim thru shark-infested waters to see in a bikini – and any minor inconvenience the glass-cleaning episode had on me waiting an extra two minutes disappeared when I took a sample sip of Cole’s drink. She had poured enough Meyers into it to make even Luau Larry satisfied.
And thus I, too, was once again satisfied with another good night at Saint Rocke.