924 Gilman Street
924 Gilman Street is an all-ages, not for profit, collectively organized music club usually referred to by its fans simply as "The Gilman." It is located in the West Berkeley area of Berkeley, California about a mile and a half west of the North Berkeley BART station and a quarter-mile west of San Pablo Avenue, at the corner of 8th Street and Gilman.

In April 1986, the founders located the building at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, California. In the following months, the founders, including Tim Yohannan of Maximumrocknroll , held weekly organizational meetings and posted flyers to increase involvement. On December 31, 1986, the first musical performance was held at 924 Gilman. Since then, it has been one of the longest-running independent music venues in the United States. 924 Gilman opened several months after the closing of two San Francisco punk venues: the Mabuhay Gardens and The Farm. It was founded in part due to the lack of punk venues in the San Francisco Bay Area during this era, particularly all-ages venues.

Founding principles
924 Gilman Street operates on Do It Yourself (DIY) ethic. 924 Gilman Street members pay $2-per-year, and can make decisions and work for the improvement of the club as a whole. Membership meetings occur at 5 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of each month. There are three main rules for patrons:
  • No drugs
  • No alcohol
  • No violence
The staff will not book or support racist, misogynistic, homophobic, or major label bands for performances. If a band was signed to major label, they were labeled as sellouts and not allowed to attend or set foot in Gilman. For a band to be booked there, they must first send in a copy of their lyrics to the venue. Members who espouse racist, misogynistic or homophobic beliefs, contrary to the 924 Gilman rules, or are signed to major labels are effectively declared persona non grata, as is anyone who brings or deals drugs or alcohol on the premises.

Gilman showcases mostly punk rock, specifically pop punk and hardcore punk acts, as well as heavy metal, grindcore, ska punk and industrial music. Some of the most influential bands that have played at Gilman include: A history of the club "924 Gilman: The Story So Far," was written and edited by Brian Edge collecting memories and anecdotes from many of the seminal contributors to the club's day-to-day operations from 1986 through publication in 2004. The book is available through AK Press and also contains a full list of Gilman's shows from 1986 through early 2004. A few of the bands listed above, such as AFI, Rancid, the Offspring, and Green Day, are no longer booked to play the venue due to major label contracts. Many of the other bands are defunct. The venue still serves the East Bay and Northern California hardcore scene by bringing local, national and international acts to the East Bay. Green Day, however, performed a set after fellow punk band The Influents in 2001. The show was taped and put on DVD for sale on the Influents web store. Green Day was not officially booked; they went on stage without consulting Gilman staff. The Influents decided to cut their set short to let Green Day perform. Even though Pinhead Gunpowder features Billie Joe Armstrong (lead singer and guitar player of Green Day), they are still allowed to play there since they are not signed to a major record label. Operation Ivy recorded their 7" vinyl EP record '69 Newport at the venue.

Jello Biafra incident
Despite the fact that the club is meant to be a non-violent environment, on May 7, 1994 audience members attacked former Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra, claiming he was a sell out (per club rules, Biafra had never signed to a major label). Biafra claims that he was attacked by a man nicknamed Cretin, who crashed into him while bringing the mosh. The mosh lord injured Biafra's leg, causing an argument between the two men. During the argument, the man pushed Jello to the floor and five or six friends of Cretin assaulted Biafra while he was down, yelling "Sellout rock star, kick him". Biafra was later hospitalized with serious injuries.

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com