On 12/29/1990 in the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood there were riots at a Bad Religion , NOFX and Pennywise concert. A video documentatory called "The Riot" has been available ever since 1996 in numerous different versions.
Brett about the incident: "We had a show and it was to be at the North Hollywood Theatre, which had a capacity of approximately 1300 and when we approved the venue, we saw there were seats from the back wall to the stage and we said we'll agree to play here on the condition that you remove several rows of seats in front. The promoters said they would. To make a long story short, when we arrived at the North Hollywood Theatre, the seats were in, they had not been removed. They gave us some flimsy excuse about why they had not been removed and we said, OK, we're gonna play but there's gonna be trouble here. You can't expect this to go smoothly because our audience will never sit down in seats. Then, what happened was, the theatre had a capacity of 1300 and they put 1800 in there. Then the fire marshall came and counted the people inside. They had everyone take a seat and when everyone did, there were still people in the aisles, so it was obvious that the place was way over capacity. I put most of the blame on the fire marshall, because what he did next was pull the plug on the show. And that was after only 1 band had played. There were only 3 bands that night, but most of the people came because Bad Religion was playing and they pulled the plug on the show and everyone was pissed off . What could the fire marshall have been thinking? 1800 teenagers with hormones coursing through their veins on several ounces of beer, each, ready to see an exhilarating show, paying too much for it, in the first place and then, tough shit, you dont get to see it, go home, basically. Whoever thought that was a good idea is to blame and that's the fire marshall. A couple of the reports said it's our fault, but that's ludicrous, because we never even played."
Here's a description of the video by Richard White:
"December 29, 1990 -- My brother, Brian, just phoned -- "Get your ass down here and film! NOFX & Pennywise are opening for Bad Religion! Eric (of NOFX) says it's cool." My friend, Louis Ekvitz, & I arrive at the El Portal Theater in N. Hollywood around 5:00p.m. No hassles from security -- they've been expecting us. The theater is relatively empty... except for the members of Bad Religion. They see us; we all nod our heads, "What's up." They're ready for their sound check; Louis & I start taping. We're the only camera techs in the house -- that's how I became the only cameraman to film the "Bad Religion Riot of 1990" from first beer bottle throw to the last...
The Fire Marshall's decision to cancel the gig incited an over-capacity crowd of 1,000 Bad Religion fans into an angry mob. Rocks & beer bottles went flying, causing an estimated $25,000 in damages to the El Portal. Paramedics rescued the injured, firemen hosed down the masses, and police "escorted" the diehards.
You've seen the Riot footage when KABC-TV aired it internationally on ABC Word News Tonight and when Pennywise used it in their 1995 Epitaph release Pennywise: Home Movies. Now you can see it live and uncut in its entirety: Bad Religion: The Riot - a piece of punk rock history."
Here's another description of the video:
"It was October, 15 1988 at the Devonshire Downs Cal State University Northridge. I was 23 years old when I took the opportunity of a lifetime....Bad Religion was playing, “with the Dickies and the Circle Jerks”. I brought along a $1,200 Panasonic PV 420 half inch video camcorder, which at the time was top of the line consumer video equipment in those days, a mono audio, it had 525 lines of resolution, so it was an almost “broadcast quality camera”. A month later I would go on to film a classic Red Hot Chili Pepper gig at Cal State Long Beach. In those days I was working freelance for the band and their manager Lindy Goetz, I captured an awesome interview -Flea takes off his clothes and runs after the female music reporter.
Anyway, I released the Bad Religion Riot in 1996 after Brett Gurewitz told me I to release it myself with no distribution from Epitaph. The master tape had been sitting under my bed for 5 and 1/2 years, as I chose to go to work for a major corporation. I became distracted from my passion. I eventually forged ahead on my journey. I put together with the help of Editor Dave Travis at Pinhead Productions in Hollywood, a 20 minute video. That has been the only complaint -- it’s too short! So I’ve pulled out my masters from under my bed and discovered this fantastic show I filmed and recorded with my friend Louis Elovitz circa 1988. He’s the other filmmaker you see in this video. This show will go down in history as one of Bad Religions best.
What you'll see in order, is: Bad Religion: live at Cal State Northridge's Devonshire Downs" from 1988, uncut and in your face, plus the riot footage from 1990, some sound check footage before the riot show of 21st century digital boy, then a professional digitally Remastered edit of “Doin Time , and Part III, from the same show from 1988. Keep an eye out for Pete Finestone of Bad Religion, Eric Melvins of NOFX, and Brett Gurewitz from Epitaph records.
This Bad Religion show and the video/audio quality is excellent. It is like you are really there. Some of the footage you are about to see has a few audio problems during the first song with the vocals, the soundman was making some last minute adjustments during the first few songs. The audio was recorded in mono so remember to hit your stereo‘s mono button if your running your vcr thru your system. I tried to hold the camera as steady as possible, I know I did because my arms were sore for 2 days after the show, I sat on top of my friends shoulders some of the time during the long shots of this show. I hope I did a good job for all who’s about to watch this. At the time in the slam pit, it was hard to stay focused and steady with all the action going on, all the humidity inside the venue made my camera lens fog up a bit, so some of my tight shots may look a bit out of focus. Bad Religion is one of my favorite bands of all time, this is my tribute. I hope you really enjoy this cool video."
Note: The Los Angeles fire chief was reprimanded for spraying the kids with high powered water hoses, nobody died, there was only one serious injury, and because of this video, the promoter was not found liable for over $25,000 in damages!
|Added quote from Jay about BR not having been paid anything for all the videos - By Marty