Say It's Your Birthday Attend most 10th birthday party celebrations and you'll generally find kids gorging on cake and ice cream and running amok with frosting smeared all over their faces. Meanwhile, the parents will be knocking back tumblers of highballs and wistfully thinking of time's fleet feet. You'll probably find a similar scene -- set to a set or two of Boz Scaggs -- at Slim's this week when the 11th Street nightclub celebrates a decade of open doors. As a representative of Slim's early days, co-owner and R&B singer/guitarist Scaggs makes a fitting Friday night opening act for the one-week-long fete. On Sept. 16, 1987, Scaggs bought the building -- then a restaurant known as the Warehouse -- from the owners of the old Oasis club, transforming it into Slim's 333 nightclub, the only blues bar in town with an all-ages policy. It remained a blues club under the direction of then-manager Queenie Taylor, a ringer from Bill Graham Productions who brought notable acts like Albert Collins, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and Soloman Burke to Slim's stage. But the all-blues format was short-lived. The transformation of Slim's into a predominantly alternative club was inevitable, says booker Dawn Holiday. "By 1991, there simply wasn't enough blues to sustain the club," she says. The transition was one of the rockier times for Slim's. "It was rough," says Holiday. "People would walk up and have to ask the type of music before coming inside. It led to a lot of confusion, but it eventually worked out." Although the club enjoys solid footing these days, it still takes a few knocks from patrons who complain about the huge pillars that block sight lines and the gruff door staff. Holiday brushes the grievances aside. "There's nothing that can be done about the pillars if the roof is going to stay," she says, "and the door staff has to be extra careful because of our all-ages policy." Slim's anniversary week will feature a lineup of popular draws and old friends who best represent the club's past 10 years. The festivities begin on Sept. 11 with Scaggs, cake, and a few bottles of champagne. Bring the kids. (R.A.)
Free Ink: Monster of Rock Once upon a time, on a swing through the Pacific Northwest, Thelonious Monster singer Bob Forrest was forced to make an extended pit stop on a local band's couch after an injury and some serious pain medication slowed him down. As his hosts described it, everything was fine until the affable, almost elfin Forrest began singing "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" over and over from a reclining position, at which time his bandmates sent him back to L.A. on a Greyhound bus. As it turns out, Forrest was the most consistent element to the group, which went through a half-dozen incarnations before and after that incident, recorded three albums, and broke up for good in the early '90s. That left Forrest to face his demons (pharmaceutical and otherwise), which he did achingly on his solo album Beautiful Mess. Fans have seen too little of Forrest since then, making his upcoming local appearance on Monday, Sept. 14, at Brain Wash -- singing new stuff and old Thelonious Monster material with a 10-piece orchestra and Tom Waits horn player Ralph Carney -- a post-drug comeback not to be missed. (H.W.)
Oops Last week Riff Raff correspondent Jack Boulware misidentified Carl Palmer, who plays drums for Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Greg Lake, who plays guitars and bass and sings. Sorry about the mistake. (J.S.)
Riff Raff riffraff: Robert Arriaga (R.A.), Jeff Stark (J.S.), Silke Tudor (S.T.), and Heather Wisner (H.W.). Send Bay Area music news, band stories, or petty gripes to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail it to Riff Raff, c/o SF Weekly.