924 Gilman Street

924 Gilman Street

The 924 Gilman Street project, alternately the Alternative Music Foundation, is the Berkeley, California street address and official business name of the all-ages, non-profit, collectively organized music club usually referred to by its fans simply as "Gilman." It is located in the West Berkeley area 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 and signed a lease. In the following months, the founders, including Tim Yohannon of Maximum Rocknroll, held weekly organizational meetings and posted flyers to increase involvement. On December 31, 1986, the club held its first show. Since then, 924 Gilman Street has been one of the longest-running independent music venues in the United States. 924 Gilman opened several months after the closing of two important San Francisco punk venues - the Mabuhay Gardens and The Farm - and was started in part because of 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.

A 924 Gilman Street member (which is anyone who buys a $2-per-year membership card), has the ability to make decisions and work for the improvement of the club as a whole. Membership meetings occur at 5 pm 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, anti-homosexuality, or major-label bands for performances. For a band to be booked there, they must first send in a copy of their lyrics to the venue.


Gilman showcases mostly punk rock, specifically pop punk and hardcore punk acts. Some of the most influential bands that have played at Gilman include:
* Soup (the first band to ever play there)
* Allegiance
* Assfort
* Bad Religion
* Bl'ast
* Blatz
* Born Against
* Chumbawamba
* Crimpshrine
* Die Kreuzen
* Econochrist
* Fifteen
* Filth
* The Forgotten
* Fugazi
* Gauze
* Go!
* Green Day
* Guttermouth
* His Hero Is Gone
* Indian Summer
* Isocracy
* Jawbreaker
* L7
* Link 80
* The Mentors
* The Mr. T Experience
* Third Eye Blind
* Neurosis
* No Use for a Name
* The Offspring
* Operation Ivy
* Rancid
* Samiam
* Screeching Weasel
* Screw 32
* The Singularity
* Spitboy
* Sweet Baby
* Submission Hold
* Tiger Army
* Tilt
* Victim's Family
* Youth of Today

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, Third Eye Blind 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. [http://www.theinfluents.net/news/letter2.htm (1)] 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.

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 however, Biafra had never signed to a major label). Biafra claims that he was attacked by a man nicknamed Cretin, who crashed into him while slamdancing. The crash injured Biafra's leg, causing an argument between the two men. During the argument, Cretin pushed Biafra to the floor and five or six friends of Cretin assaulted Biafra while he was down, yelling "Sellout rock star, kick him".Goldberg, Michael. "Jello Biafra Attacked". "Rolling Stone". July 14, 1994 & July 28, 1994.] Biafra was later hospitalized with serious injuries. [According to the "All Music Guide" [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:4srv288c054a~T0] , having had both his legs broken. A 1994 issue of "Rolling Stone" also claimed that his injuries included "extensive damage to the ligaments of one knee as well as a superficial head wound".]


External links

* [http://www.924gilman.org/ Venue Official Website]
* [http://924art.wordpress.com/ 924 Gilman Artblog]
* [http://baymusicscene.com/club/calendar.php?id=1 Gilman Event Calendar]

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