On May 16th, 2023, Saint Rocke will be officially re-opening its doors. A new, experienced team led by Dani Grant, owner of the iconic music venue, Mishawaka Amphitheatre and Live on The Lanes, will have the opportunity to continue bringing live music and entertainment to fans in the South Bay area. Other owners include Kevin Lyman of The Vans Warped Tour, Jim Lindberg of Pennywise, Larry Little of Resident DTLA and Allen Sanford of BeachLife Music Festival. The team of new owners will have the opportunity to continue bringing live music and entertainment to fans in the Hermosa Beach area. Under Allen Sanford, the previous owner, Saint Rocke became a cornerstone of the local music scene, hosting some of the biggest names in the industry as well as up-and-coming artists. Allen remains on the team as a minority owner.
The return of Saint Rocke to the South Bay music scene and the choice for the grand opening talent was purposely selected. This highlights the venue’s mission to restore punk rock programming in a town with such a long and rich history in the genre, while paying respect to one of Hermosa’s founding fathers, the Descendents.
"Over 40 years ago, a small group of iconoclasts in Hermosa Beach began a new chapter in punk rock. Hermosa was home to the Church on Pier Avenue, where Black Flag lived and practiced. Across the street from the Church was the Alta Dena where Jim Lindberg of Pennywise and Rob Holzman of Saccharine Trust worked. Down the block was Media Art Studios, where legendary producer SPOT worked and engineered records for bands like Descendents, Red Cross, The Last, Minutemen. Frustrated by the state of the music business
and influenced by the South Bay region they called home, these people and bands redefined what it meant to Do It Yourself. And they did it in a small town, away from the bright lights of Hollywood, at a time when it was rare to find a venue in Hermosa, let alone one that would host punk bands," said Chris Berry and Ryan McDonald, authors of the forthcoming South Bay punk Oral History I Want to Be Stereotyped.
There is something poetic about the Descendents opening the venue. Members of the band, Bill Stevenson and Karl Alvarez are residents of the CO owner’s home town, Fort Collins, Colorado. Stevenson runs his famous studio,The Blasting Room there and has supported Grant in her philanthropic artist development endeavors by producing songs probono for over 35 bands that were incubated by her non-profit since 2009. Alvarez was a frequent speaker on educational panels that were organized by Grant for local musicians. Even with that much familiarity, the connection that the Descendents have with Hermosa Beach was news to Dani Grant after she acquired the venue.
Owner Larry Little, a recent transplant to Fort Collins but long time Los Angeles based industry professional was the one who made the connection for her. Little wasn't surprised that a place like Hermosa would have such a rich history. “Like in most major cities, the outskirts of the big machine is where the fringe art breeds and develops and this little beach town, one mile by one mile, punches way above its weight when it comes to the genesis of a group of bands that impacted punk rock forever. When you consider that Black Flag, and their record label SST Records was from Hermosa as well as the Circle Jerks and the Descendents and later bands like Pennywise, youre talking about a Mount Rushmore of SoCal punk from one little beach town”
The vision for Saint Rocke’s programming of this intimate 300 capacity venue will be eclectic, mixing national touring acts with familiar favorites and staples of the South Bay music scene, but plans to emphasize giving local artists a platform to not only perform with national and international acts, but provide them opportunities to headline and continue to foster and build the local scene. The collective experience of the ownership team is based in artist development and taking risks on new sounds and genres and investing in their growth while these sound movements develop.
Lyman stated, ”Artist development starts in places like Saint Rocke and this is what we need more than ever these days. We hear about so many venues closing that when one is updated and remodeled it is very hopeful.”
Lyman has a lot of experience working with Descendents and Pennywise and is enjoying working with Jim Lindberg the lead singer of Pennywise on the new vision for the club. Lindberg fondly recalls his days with the Descendents. "Having the Descendents play the Grand Re-Opening is the perfect homecoming for the pride of Hermosa and Manhattan Beach and Mira Costa High School. The only difference now is the local police who used to shut down all our parties will probably want to be on the guestlist!”
Jim laughs as he recalls the old hangs: “To see Bill and Milo on a stage literally walking distance from where they grew up, playing songs they wrote about the South Bay and the people around here, that will be a treat. Too bad Der Weinerschnitzel isn't there any more. Could have hit the Drive-Thru on the way home!”
The new owners are living part time in the South Bay and plan to embrace beach life.
Dani Grant shared, “I have found Hermosa Beach to be an artist forward, beautiful place with a love of its rich history, arts and culture and it inspires me. Larry and I have felt so welcomed and at home here and we look forward to nestling in. It is such a pleasure to bring the Descendents full circle back home to open this new chapter of Saint Rocke and it is our intention to support the community and continue to bring the South Bay a broad range of talent to enjoy.”
Saint Rocke is open currently and is hosting a series of shows that precede the grand reopening.
Tickets @ SaintRocke.com
Red Hot Tribute w/ Kurtvana - Friday March 31st
Surf Film Premiere: Finding the North Star - Saturday, April 1st Ragdolls - Saturday, April 8th
The Dan Band - Thursday, April 13th
Punk Rock Karaoke - Friday, April 14th
The Petty Breakers w/ Hello Mr. Soul - Saturday, April 15th The Spazmatics - Saturday, April 22nd
Led Zepagain - Friday, April 28th
The Aggrolites - Saturday, April 29th
The Skatalites - Sunday, April 30th
The English Beat - Friday, May 12th
GRAND REOPENING - Descendents - Tuesday, May 16th Haley Reinhart - Thursday, May 18th
Katchafire - Sunday, May 21st
The Stone Foxes - Wednesday, May 24th
The Pine Mountain Logs - Saturday, May 27th
Mickey Avalon - Saturday, June 24th
For more information on the event or the new brand, please contact Director of Marketing Phil Carpenter at [email protected]