Into the Archives with Hale Milgrim

Capitol Records Former CEO Takes Us Behind the Velvet Ropes

Hale Milgrim
Courtesy Photo

HALESTORM: In recent months, it’s been all eyes on the Lobero. The historic theater located on the corner of Anacapa and Canon Perdido streets has spent the first quarter of 2013 with its sights set firmly on the future. Come June, Santa Barbara’s beloved theater house will undergo a massive renovation, which will include reworking the seats, prettifying the courtyard, and expanding the women’s restroom. Of course, this facelift is fixing to cost a pretty penny, which is where Encore: Lobero comes in. The ongoing “campaign to preserve and enhance” is currently creeping closer to its $5.2 million goal, and pulling all of the Lobero’s supporters into the spotlight. Last month, S.B. big shots Jeff Bridges and David Crosby took the stage to show their support. This month, the stage will be graced by perhaps the Lobero’s biggest supporter: Hale Milgrim.

The former Capitol Records CEO, current KTYD broadcaster, and longtime facilitator of the Lobero-hosted Sings Like Hell concert series will presents his Quips and Clips, Volume 4 on Saturday, April 13, as a way to show his support for Encore: Lobero. But this is no fundraising event. In fact, the almost sold-out event is free to the public. Rather than raising money, Milgrim is simply looking to draw attention to the theater he lovingly refers to as his “other living room.”

For the fourth installment of Quips and Clips, he’ll be presenting never-before-seen live concert footage from his personal music archives. “I’ve always enjoyed playing music for my friends,” Milgrim said. “I always wanted to be the first kid on my block to have whatever new music was coming out, and to be the person to excite somebody about what I was loving. It’s that symbiotic relationship; if you’re turned on to something, you want your friends to know about it, too.”

While he’s hush-hush about the artists he’s planning to present, the flyers for the event give some good hints. In typical Milgrim fashion, all featured singers, songwriters, and bands are being marquee’d in code, with names ranging from “F-Wood Mick” and “Velvet Lou” to “YNSC” and “Dire Mark.”

In addition to the clips, Milgrim will be dishing on the stories behind the songs, though he promises he won’t be talking too much. “I won’t even be on stage for long,” Milgrim laughed. “I’ll be roaming around where I’m the most comfortable: in the audience. I’d rather be 15th-row-center any day.”

For music lovers and Encore supporters, this is sure to be a night to remember, if not for the insider anecdotes, then for the pure pleasure of seeing the Lobero’s number one fan championing the theater he calls home.

“I just wanted to do something to give back,” he said. “I’ve been so fortunate to have these treasures that I’ve been able to archive over the years, and I’m even more fortunate I can show them in a room that makes me feel like I’m showing these in my living room to people.”

Hale Milgrim presents Quips and Clips, Volume 4 at the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.) on Saturday, April 13, at 8:03 p.m. Tickets are free but going fast. To reserve yours, call (805) 963-0761 or visit Limit two tickets per person.

ALSO THIS WEEK: Speaking of the Lobero, this week the theater plays host to the king of protest folk, Arlo Guthrie. He’ll bring his talents — and penchant for storytelling — to the stage on Monday, April 15, at 8 p.m. Call (805) 963-0761 or visit for tickets. And on Tuesday, April 16, Wildcat Lounge (15 W. Ortega St.) hosts the second installment of Girls Run This Sh!t, a female-centric night of area music and art featuring Benedicte, Johanna Jordan, Vera Clay, La Radia, and Pretty Awesome. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. Call (805) 962-7970 for info.


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