Casbah Cracks Open Birthday-Shows Vault - NBC 7 San Diego

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Casbah Cracks Open Birthday-Shows Vault



    As we told you last month, the Casbah is turning 25 in January, and as they do most every year, the iconic venue will be celebrating with a batch of special shows during the month of January -- but this year is different.

    On Tuesday, the Casbah announced the first 10 dates of the quarter-century celebration, heavily populated by local Casbah favorites that have been integral to the rich history of the club on Kettner.

    Things will kick off Jan. 2 with a comedy revue by Casbah regular Gregg Turkington, aka Neil Hamburger. San Diego roots/rockabilly godfathers the Paladins headline the following night, and on the 7th, Three Mile Pilot will once again land at the venue by the airport. A rare performance by one-time scene regulars No Knife will carve things up on the 9th, and there’s sure to be some great Casbah stories told when Steve Poltz brings the Rugburns back to the club on Jan. 10.

    Local indie rock stalwarts Pinback will play on the 13th, while the Penetrators  (the pioneering San Diego punks who have been around more than a decade longer than the club) hold things down on the 17th. Rounding things out will be the ska-infused sounds of Buck-o-Nine on the 18th and Orange County rockers SMILE on the 25th.

    Punk rockers Off! will bat cleanup on the 29th, featuring vocals from Black Flag’s Keith Morris and San Diego’s everywhereman Mario Rublacaba on drums.

    Think those are some great shows? The supporting acts are just as good. From Big Sandy and the Truckee Brothers to the Loons and Uncle Joe’s Big Ol’ Driver, no respectable San Diego music fan will be able to pass them up.

    And to think – there are more shows to be announced, including 25 Years of the Casbah: A Special Evening with Tim Mays and Friends. 

    To some music fans, it may be hard to believe the Casbah has been around long enough to throw itself a 25th birthday bash, but not to city officials, who will proclaim Jan. 14, 2014, as Casbah Day throughout America’s Finest City.

    The Casbah is owned by local music impresario Tim Mays, whose operation puts on shows all over the county – the Belly Up, the Soda Bar, the Irenic, Block No. 16, to name just a few -- in addition to the Kettner Boulevard site. Over the years, the Casbah has presented thousands of shows, everyone from Nirvana to the White Stripes to Death Cab for Cutie to the Black Keys.

    "I ended up opening a bar with a few friends called the Pink Panther," Mays told’s Scott McDonald in 2011. "It was really successful, and it gave us the opportunity to buy another place that had the license for live music, and that was the first Casbah [which was just up the street from where it is now]. And before we knew it, the opportunity came along to triple our size and buy the location we're in now from a woman who was running it as a lesbian bar. So we bought it and moved here. It gave us a full liquor license and gave us the patio, which wasn't a big deal back then. But then they passed the no-smoking rule, and it became a huge asset. It was during that time we started doing shows at other locations as well. So now, we develop bands at the Casbah, and when they get bigger, we work with them at every level that we can beyond the Casbah."

    Tickets for the January shows are not on sale. Go to the Casbah website to purchase them while you can.