Showspace’s Owner Josh Eymann Tells Us the Truth
The following is an email sent out yesterday by Josh Eymann, owner and operator of The Hard to Find Showspace in Goleta, which will be closing after the November 8 Xiu Xiu show. It’s a bluntly honest, at times painful, and thoroughly moving swan song for one of the only all-ages venues on the South Coast. Read on.
“Well, as we begin a new school year, it is time for me to share the plan for yall regarding the Hard to Find shows. I’ve been vacillating like a hot chick before prom over whether or not to keep doing shows and I’m sorry, but that Xiu Xiu show I’m doing on November 8th will be my last. So, if you want to see what the last five Hard to Find shows will be, they’re listed there on myspace.
If you wanna know why this is happening, then keep reading. If you don’t care, that’s fine too, but please do come to the show Tuesday night, and the next/last few we’re doin’ so we can go out with a bang.
I can’t help but feel that I’m letting you all down by quitting like this, especially the local bands that don’t make it at TheVelvetCatSoWildHo, you kids under 21, and the fine folks who have offered to help me out so much if I kept doing shows. My reasons for doing this are hard to explain and, well, they’re kinda lame and I’m only telling you all them because I know if I don’t, there will be rumors and if I’m gonna quit on you I may as well be honest with you.
As friggin’ lame as it sounds, when you boil it all down, I’m quitting for a three main reasons. First, I’m quitting over a girl. I wish I could make it clear why, make you all understand, but I don’t know how. I guess what I’m afraid of is summed up by an observation Tom Waits made when he was recording Heartattack and Vine. He would hang out with the bums on skid row and try and get ideas for songs and he came back to the studio one night and said, “You know what, every story a guy down there has about how he got there involves a woman.”
I don’t want to end up that way. Some of you old timers may remember the girl with the glasses and black hair who used to do the door at a lot of our shows. She was my wife. I loved her very very much, mustache and all, but being married started to cramp her style a little too much and now, no more wife. But I started the place with her, we set up shows, talked about stuff, ran the shows, cleaned up after the shows, etc., and when it was with her it seemed like something nice, now it doesn’t.
At best, it’s a lot of work, generally it’s a big, fat five hour-long reminder of her, and that’s not a good thing. I wanted to quit back when she left me, but I was talked into giving it a year. It’s been fifteen months, the shows still make me very sad and I don’t want to do it anymore.
I know that a lot of you are a lot younger than me and are thinking, “Hell man, just get over it and keep doin’ shows.” I understand, I wish I could. This is not some girl that I dated for a year or two, it’s a wife, and your life sort of starts revolving around a person once you marry them. If a woman’s that easy to get over, you shouldn’t marry her. If your parents were really into swing dancing, and your mom left your dad to go be a cock jockey downtown, would you encourage your dad to stick with the swing even though it reminds him of her? Maybe some of you would, but thats because your parents needed to buy you fewer trinkets and beat you more often.
So that’s reason…one. Reason two is that I don’t want to be a huge hypocrite. As all of you know, the HTF is a drug- and alcohol-free joint. I, on the other hand, have been fairly drug and alcohol friendly for the last year and couple months. I have never done anything at a show, never been drunk at one of our shows, but I still feel really stupid being on a bender and running a venue like this. I have worked really hard the last few months to get a grip on this stuff and I’ve done a good job, but again, the depression I get doing shows is a problem.
There comes a point where I have to swallow my pride and admit that I’m kind of weak, and though I’m doin’ a lot better on most days, the night of a show I ALWAYS get really hammered and messed up afterwards. If I’m gonna really crawl all the way out of the bottle, I need to be honest with myself and not try and tough out what is obviously beating me.
Again, some of you are young enough that when I say that I was drunk every night for more than a year you say, “cool.” Trust me bub: gin, whisky, and vodka are not ice beer, and every night is not the same as Friday night, and after a while, your kidneys and liver really start to hurt and you get other problems and the shakes suck. You have to recognize that you have a problem when a local bartender, fearing for someone who has challenged you to a drinking contest, says, “That’s not a good idea. He doesn’t drink gin, he inhales it.” I did and I’ve done something about it. Most of the month I don’t drink nowadays, but the depression after a show is an obstacle that I need to take care of and not just laugh off.
I have a good job with really cool opportunities and nice people whose jobs depend on me, a nice apartment, friends and family who love me, a church full of people who love me, the chance to travel and buy a muscle car and cool stuff. But I’m risking all that. None of that will happen if I end up one of Tom Waits’ bums. Even if I tried to stick with doing the shows a while longer, I’d just get shut down when I end up in the hospital or jail. It’s easier this way and, who knows, maybe I can do shows in the rosy future before us.
The third reason is goals, etc. I had planned to start doin’ shows, then expand to art shows and film screenings. Then I wanted to open a youth center where kids can learn to play instruments and paint and stuff after school. All in one place: learn to be in a band, take photos, shoot videos, screen posters, etc and host shows. That would be cool, that’s the goal, not just entertaining you every now and again. But I have proven that I can’t run shows and get that together. Hell, I can’t even get you people to stop leaving your pipes and bags of weed in the playground for cops/kids to find the next day.
So I’m gonna stop. Maybe, if I can get the other stuff rolling, and I feel like it’d be fun again, I’ll run shows again. But I do’nt wanna make any promises and then crap out on you.
So that’s it. I’m sorry. I really wish I could keep this up, but I know I can’t. I know I’m letting some of you down. I love all of you that have helped out and put up with my gruffness in the past and been so willing to help with shows in the future, I know it would have been great, but all the help flyering in the world just isn’t gonna fix these problems I have now. I really am sorry, I wish I could do better for you guys, but I’m done in and I gotta accept that for now.
I’ll be keeping up the myspace and mailing list some. When I hear about shows, I’ll try and let you all know, but I’m not doin’ any more booking. I’ll still be in Springtime is Wartime, we’ll probably try and set up some all ages shows every now and again and invite you all out. So you’ll still get an occasional blip from the HTF after November 8th, but after that show, we’ll be done as a venue.
If you wanna comment on this stuff to me, feel free to email the HTF netzero address or hit my own myspace page, the urls down there. If you send to this address I won’t be the one reading it. I won’t be checkin’ the HTF one much, but if any of you wanna get all friendly with my real space I’ll add you.
Actually if you’re a band I won’t add you, just real people, Im sure you’re a rad band, but I just get too many posts from bands.
Thanks to everyone who’s come out to shows since 2001. You have great taste in music. To avoid questions, I’ll be reposting this a few times, sorry if it annoys you, just ignore it.
God Bless and GodSpeedYouBlackEmperor
The Hard To Find Showspace 7190 Hollister Ave. Goleta CA 93117”