Reading Gary Tovar’s story, I am shocked. I had no idea at the time of his history as a drug smuggler. A youngster when he started. Yet what overcomes this is the money he spent to bring music to a growing punk culture. I may have looked the other way at the whispers … Gary never pushed anything on any one of us at Flipside. In the 1980s we drank beer. Yet I think I had more of a sweet tooth for Polly’s Pie in Whittier California then smoking pot.
I did notice a change in the band Charged GBH. They stopped drinking whiskey and by their second tour their energy changed. I think many bands did indulge in the smokey stuff. Yet, it was the music and the freedom to do as you please, including us, which rules this generation. The straight edge and other perspectives were an ongoing conversation too. It could be very heated at times.
What Goldenvoice became is beyond my imagination. I just do not like festivals and big shows. I like more intimacy in my punk scene experience. Working backstage at the early Goldenvoice shows, I probably reeked innocence to many. My drug days ended 16 to about 19, by the time I hit the Goldenvoice days I was pretty much over that. With only a few experimentations. Reading the Wikipedia news about Gary does not change my good feelings for him or I believe our mutual respect for each other, or our love of a good live song….
Looking back, one finds things… unanswered things… and so the puzzle comes a little bit more towards completion. The sources here are sound. A good story.