The Hard to Find’s Swan Song

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.

http://www.myspace.com/josheymann

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

Josh

The Hard To Find Showspace 7190 Hollister Ave. Goleta CA
93117″

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