At a time when we are losing everything, jobs, live entertainment, music venues, restaurants, and bars, we will still have Amoeba music in Los Angeles. Sure, the superstore is moving to a new location on Hollywood Boulevard and its peculiarity will be somewhat downgraded because it will be enclosed in a commercial block, but the new place will only be slightly smaller than the original, while Amoeba has confirmed there will be a stage! So, eventually, we can expect the same store with concerts when this pandemic is over… if it is over at one point.
I have spent so much time in this store, I have attended so many concerts and events that there was something very disturbing to see its closure on Sunset at the beginning of the pandemic, it was definitively the sign of the end of an era, and the entire neighborhood, with its deserted theaters, boarded-up stores, and lonely coffee shops, looked like a war zone. Well, the national guards were there too.
But let’s rejoice, Amoeba will be back so there is some hope after all. The store will not close definitively – the owners never did it would, but I am sure everyone was very sad to see the old location already covered with graffiti just a few months ago. The new location is still a work in progress, but the store is supposed to open this fall, COVID-crisis permitting.
I know, it will not be the same, the outside of Amoeba will have far less character than the giant white and red ship sailing on Sunset Boulevard we were used to, but it is, at least, something that will survive the crisis, with a few transformations, while so much seems to be gone already.
I cannot make a list of all the artists I have seen at Amoeba, the list is too long, from icons to unknown artists, from rockstars to local bands, I have seen them all, even before they got famous… Not that I attended all their concerts, it would not have been possible to do so, they had so many of them, up to three a week at times. It has sometimes been difficult to get in, the lines have been insanely long for the Lana del Rey calibers, and I can say I have spent a few hours on this Ivar Avenue sidewalk. But it was worth it, have a look at the photos below, it is an all-star cast! Plus this is the store where the stars shop, and I ran into Tarantino once.
I have a special thought for Angelica Garcia, first because she was excellent, then because her set at Amoeba was the last concert I attended before the lockdown. The crowd was thin, probably because some people were already worried, but we were not wearing masks yet, and everything shut down the following week.
Let’s rejoice, at least Amoeba will be back in Los Angeles this fall, so hopefully there will be more memories.
An emotional song with Miya’s acrobatic and vulnerable vocals
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1973 (Volume 4, Number 12)
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