FARMER DAVE: I WISH I HAD A TIME MACHINE
[Club Pacific mix by Farmer Dave, Turquoise Wisdom and Chris Ziegler coming later today!]
Farmer Dave is known and loved for his music, his collaborations (with everyone from Elvis Costello to dios malos) and his homemade Hot Nuts, which you can purchase anywhere people seriously know what’s up. And now he’s starting a night of his own in his new hometown of Venice, taking over an underground ’20s speakeasy once a month for F.D.’s Club Pacific. L.A. RECORD is proud to be a part of today’s inaugural event and hopes to summon up a Dennis Wilson-meets-Dennis Hopper vibe that makes F.D. proud. Dave speaks now about Venice, vibes and the treasures that await a future Geraldo. This interview by Chris Ziegler.
You’ve said now that you live in Venice, you can hear KXLU so much more clearly—what are some of your other favorite things that only Venice residents get to enjoy?
I don’t want hit the trumpet too hard—every region has its pros and cons. The biggest-slash-main deal for me is getting on a bicycle and being at the ocean in a few minutes… not having to drive places is rad, and the exercise and outdoor time is an antidepressant. Having access to the Pacific Ocean, even just from the sand, is huge.
What do you know about the history of the Townhouse’s Speakeasy? Were there really tunnels under the boardwalk for smuggling? What kind of music will go best with the subterranean smuggler vibe?
To my knowledge the Speakeasy was just that, and yes, there are multiple exits which were a necessity of the trade at that time … There’s a sealed tunnel behind stage right that went to the beach, just waiting for the next Geraldo to explore it. And a front exit to Windward St., a back exit to the alley, and yet another exit leading to an unassuming storefront two doors down. The Hit + Run silkscreen crew is curating that as a gallery space now, and I believe they have an opening event this Thursday. Musically and culturally, there’s a lot of history there. I’m no expert, but I’ve been told Charlie Chaplin, the Doors, and Jane’s Addiction have ties to that room. It’s a handsome space, and also a bit of a tabula rasa for all of us involved now … you feel it down there, but the walls can’t or won’t talk specifics. The subterranean going-down-the-stairs thing reminds me of New York, London, or San Francisco … there’s an interesting elegance. It’s exotic and a bit edgy.
This is the first night of Club Pacific—what would you like to see happen in six months? What would you want to encounter as you walked down the stairs, tracking-shot-in-Goodfellas-style?
A high five to the bouncer, the ringing sounds of music, laughter and good cheer dominate while the eyes adjust walking down the stairs. We hope to have this baby scorching by summer, with people from all parts of L.A., the Southland, and the rest of the world coming through. I’d love to have all kinds of artists and record heads stopping by to hang out and play records or instruments. And I’d like to see people, bands, and artists from the Venice area involved.
What is your favorite movie scene that was filmed in Venice? Your favorite Venice reference in a song? What album do you think of most often as you bike around?
There’s a lot … I like the opening of Touch of Evil, the beginning of “Three’s Company,” Night Tide with Dennis Hopper has some Venice, Thrashin‘… Fletch, tho that might be all Santa Monica. Most of all lately is the footage of Venice from the movie Skateboard Madness… I have a crush on a roller-skating girl in that movie and now wish I had a time machine … As for songs, I like “Peace Frog” by the Doors.
Your neighbors on one side of you are into soul music. What other kind of music lives in your neighborhood? What kind of effect does it have on you?
Huge … the main deal soundwise are the things that drift by … there’s bands living all around, or people who jam at least, and a lot of parties on the weekends—people from other worlds than mine, it seems … I don’t know them yet, anyway. Car alarms at night, the drum circle drifting from the beach on the weekends … sometimes late at night, crashing waves. Infrequently, the cracking sound of gunfire from somewhere. I do hear mostly KDAY and Hot 92.3 just around my place. And lots of laughing actually. All the streets around here have different produce trucks that play “La Cucaracha” in different off-kilter variations, which is cool. And of course, I make quite a bit of my own sound here … sometimes the neighbors must be like “What the hell is that?”
How’s the Hot Nuts business treating you? What kinds of things can you divine about society in general from Hot Nuts sales trends?
Life is good with the nuts, both the cannabis-enhanced and regular varieties. Sales trends are on the rise, which makes me believe that people are feeling spicy right now … which I’m stoked about. And to see Mr. Ziegler cut it up manana. Roll thru!
FARMER DAVE’S CLUB PACIFIC WITH THE ALLAH-LAS AND DJs CHRIS ZIEGLER AND TURQUOISE WISDOM ON WED., APR. 20, AT THE DEL MONTE SPEAKEASY IN THE TOWNHOUSE BASEMENT, 52 WINDWARD AVE., VENICE. 9:30 PM / 21+. INFO@FARMERDAVESCHER.COM.