September 22, 2021

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LA’s Satellite Club shuts down for good, says ‘indie venues damaged’

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L.A.’s Satellite Club – the mainstay of the Silver Lake music scene for 25 years that has hosted big shows like Lady Gaga, Beck, White Strips and Foo Fighters – is closed for good, its owners announced Friday.

Closed on March 12 due to epidemics, Nightspot is already relocating its stage and transforming into a sit-down restaurant, the club revealed in a social media post due to the vague prospect of a return to live music anytime soon.

“It really hit us,” the club said in a Facebook message. “We can’t wait for the day when we will be allowed to do more shows. If we do this, we have no means to continue and will be forced to shut down forever. We are currently removing the stage and redesigning the club as one more place for better quality drinks and food. “

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, owner Jeff Wolfram said, “We’re still getting a lot out of it, but we know we’re not doing live music anymore, it’s not just our future.”

Wolfram started a GoFundMe to help employees after the lockdown began, but closed it after contributions dwindled, and he sees less and less chance of reopening. “People think, ‘Oh, you own a place, you must be rich.’ No, not at all,” Wolfram told the Times. “Every small venue, we operate the restaurant on the margin. You don’t make money, but you love it because you love it. … Live Nation and GoldenVoice will be fine, but indie venues will be bad.

The club’s Facebook post said, “Personally, this has been an amazing time of live music and dance parties for 25 years. I will miss those days but it’s time for us to move on. I hope you support groups like NIVA. They want to increase support in Congress and the Senate to help all the individual clubs in the United States so that formats like theirs don’t have to change or just shut the door forever. “

Wolfram told Los Angeles Magazine that the satellite was allowed to restart immediately, yet it would have to face a tough fight. He said, “Do we want to go back to the big competition, or do we have to be optimistic about something else? We are trying to determine where we are going. At the moment we are giving it wings. “

Over the years, the satellite has been known by several names – including Dreams of LA, a pattern that remained fixed in the building even decades after it was run under that moniker as a gay club. When Spaceland took over the space in the mid-1990s, it was misleadingly described as “Spaceland in Dreams of L.A.” Was known as. Mitchell Frank took over the club’s activities in 1999, incorporating eco and ecoplex as the largest component of triangle spaces in the Silver Lake / Eco Park area. Killers, Silverson Pickups, Death Cab for Quitty, Modest Mouse, Snow Patrol and Jane were some of the other bands that Spaceland played on the day of its lifting. At the end of 2010, Frank took his leave and the club returned to its branding as a satellite. Gaga played there in 2016 on her promotional dive bar tour.

In some ways, the club will return to its roots as a restaurant, as it was a German-style meal in the 1960s before the Wolfram family bought it and turned it into a dance club. Wolfram told the Times, “This redesign is sadder than any of them.” I love live music. I loved watching shows. It broke my heart to change it again.

For now, Wolfram is focusing on turning the famous small parking lot into a spot for outdoor dining, especially since indoor service has again been banned in the county. LA music fans must be hoping that throwing a satellite into the towel is no refuge for the fortunes of more respected clubs in LA that have been closed for four months now and are looking for at least some time progress, if not more, before the show can resume.

(Below, clip from a night in 2014 when Susanna Huffs, Petra Haden and Fred Armisen played the satellite.)

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