May 17th, 2013
Introducing the limited-edition “Mr. Bimbo Prohibition Cup & Saucer”! For those who didn’t know, the 365 Club opened in 1931 during the alcohol ban of Prohibition. Though the club was known for excellent food, impeccable service, opulent theatrical shows, and the most beautiful showgirls, the 365 Club also operated as one of the many speakeasies at that time. Mr. Bimbo was creative in suggesting quaffing the most desired drink with your meal, and made all preparations to keep that service under the radar. In an interview with Bob Tuttle in 1979, Mr. Bimbo recollected a rare run-in with the fuzz that was memorable in all the years of running his business:
“We had a one-way mirror in the front door to checkout patrons before we let them in, and one night the police showed up. While they punched the doorbell, I scooped up all the liquor bottles and hid them away. By the time I got back to the door, the cops were starting to smash it open with an axe.
“Very slowly and calmly, I opened the door and told them, ‘If you want to come in, why don’t you just ring the doorbell?’ The sergeant turned so red I thought he was going to have a stroke!”*
*Taken from “The Story of ‘Bimbo’ Giuntoli The 365 Club’s Grand Gent” published on May 25, 1979 in The Lamplighter column by Bob Tuttle in The San Francisco Progress.
We love to pay homage to our founder and his brazen charm, and are pleased announce this collaboration with Upper Playground as part of The San Francisco Heritage Preservation Society project. Our very-limited edition coffee mug features archival Bimbo’s artwork reminiscent of the time when creativity was employed to serve the banned goods. Limited to a production of 140, this set is available online through the Upper Playground webstore.
Mr. Bimbo greets a table of guests at Bimbo's 365 Club
May 1st, 2013
Founded in Alabama in 1992, Man or Astro-man? was one of the hardest touring and most prolific bands of the 1990s, injecting their surf instrumentals with punk energy, attitude and humor. They raided decades of pulp sci-fi culture for their multimedia, hyperkinetic live shows, which spotlighted their thrift-store mad-scientist creations — robotic props, banks of video monitors beaming out Japanese monster battles and a working Tesla coil firing electric arcs over the heads of their audience. Between 1993 and 2001, the band released 12 albums and dozens of singles and EPs, along with playing countless live shows- including 5 sold out shows on the Bimbo’s stage. “In 1996, I was onstage or in the studio 347 days of that year,” says drummer Brian Teasley (aka “Birdstuff”). “It just fried my brain. I got where I couldn’t talk to people when I got home. We were so voracious in our playing and had such gargantuanly long tours, it took its toll.” That toll affected the band so much that the core members mutually called it quits in 2000. The trio stayed busy with their own projects until two years ago, when they reunited and began scheduling limited tours. But this time, they all view the band in different terms from the young space punks of the ’90s who were so eager to build their reputations. The band’s main goal is to keep the music fun and not let the business side devour the enjoyment of playing. Man or Astro-man?’s homecoming to their fans includes a new full-length studio album titled Defcon 5…4…3…2…1. It is their first new album in 12 years and its been creating a heavy sonic buzz in social media in anticipation of its release later this month. However, the true energy and sheer goofiness of this band has to be experienced live to be truly appreciated. Experience their return to our stage on May 11, before they disappear into space again!
Tickets are still available.
April 24th, 2013
Sandra Bernhard began her career at L.A.’s famed Comedy Store in the ‘70s, and since then she has written and starred in numerous one-woman shows, acted in movies and on television, recorded albums and authored books. This comic diva is a one-of-a-kind, in-your-face, take-no-prisoners artiste. Since she took her first steps on stage, Sandra Bernhard has been challenging fans and critics with her outrageous humor, keen satire and rollicking stage shows. The acclaimed comedienne, who writes and develops all of her own material, has produced and toured with numerous one-woman shows over the years. Bimbo’s 365 Club was the setting of her 1991 HBO televised performance of “Women of the Night III”. She returned to to our stage in 2007 to entertain packed audiences for three nights of hilarious shows. We couldn’t be any more excited to welcome her back!
Bernhard’s live performances are a thrilling hybrid of stand-up comedy and rock ‘n roll, a raucous mix of political satire, pop culture commentary and cabaret.
“A performer of stunning originality. Funny but foxy, super smart and slightly mad!” (WCBS)
“The experience is like hanging out with a hip and funny friend who never fails to lift you up with her outrageous freedom.” (Los Angeles Times, 8/11)
Tickets are still available for her not-to-miss performances on May 16 and May 17, but they are going fast!
April 17th, 2013
April 18 marks the anniversary of the historic quake that redefined San Francisco. The powerful minute-long shift of the earth woke up the sleepy city at 5:13 A.M. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906. Almost immediately after the main shock, fires broke out all over the city as chimneys collapsed, electrical wires fell, gas lines ruptured, and stoves overturned. For three days the fires burned the once-bustling city, with most of the damage decimating the 4 square-mile North-Eastern tip of the peninsula entirely. Escaping the fires was the greatest challenge to San Franciscans, and at a time with no escape routes other than by boat. It has been heard that in the post-quake exodus of the city, voyeurs on the east bay shores had witnessed masses of San Franciscans jumping into the bay water to escape the fires.
Aerial photo taken by George R. Lawrence after the Great 1906 Quake.
San Francisco did not waiver from the blow, but rather emerged as the phoenix from the flames with the city we know and love today. The foremost factor in the fast rebound was the United Railroads. The train ways were up and running within three days after the earthquake, transporting workers and materials. While rebuilding the city, architects favored a Beaux-Arts style, a classic but eclectic European design with Spanish, Moorish, Greek, Roman, and Italian Renaissance influences, which reflected San Francisco’s status as the international hub of the west coast. One architect greatly influenced by Beaux-Arts at the time was Timothy Pfleuger, to whom we owe the honor of the design of our great venue! Within a decade post-quake the pulse of San Francisco was vivacious and stronger than ever. It’s an energy that every San Franciscan feels in their heart, even in a world over a century later.
North Beach in 1927. Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Public Library.
April 16th, 2013
“Chrysta Bell looks like a dream and Chrysta Bell sings like a dream. And the dream is coming true.” – David Lynch
Chrysta Bell is a singer, songwriter, entertainer, model and muse who incorporates dynamic theatrical and multimedia elements into unforgettable performance experiences. She began her professional music career as the lead vocalist for RCA Victor’s continental gypsy swing act, 8 1/2 Souvenirs. The band was a part of the swing revival scene in the late 1990’s and appeared multiple times here on our stage at Bimbo’s 365 Club. Modern torch chanteuse, Chrysta Bell, has spent the last decade collaborating with the legendary filmmaker / artist / musician David Lynch. Their work yielded the haunting ‘Polish Poem’ from his ‘Inland Empire’ soundtrack. They continued to collaborate on a project that neither were certain would ever see the light of day, but, much to the delight of both Lynch fans and music lovers everywhere, the result of this meeting of two beautiful and unique minds was finally released as the album “This Train”.
David Lynch will not be appearing at Bimbo’s, but he has put together the visuals that will accompany Chrysta’s show.
“Comparisons with Portishead and Massive Attack could certainly be drawn. The dark and fiery guise of Lana Del Rey also came to mind. However, it became evident last night (at London’s Bush Hall) that Bell’s on-stage persona propels her to another level entirely.” – The Upcoming .co.uk
Check out the video for Chrysta Bell’s “Friday Night Fly”.
Tickets are on sale now and are already going fast!
March 12th, 2013
There aren’t many artists making soul music who had a release in 1969, Lee Fields is one such artist–or maybe he’s better labeled a phenomenon. Since the late sixties, the North Carolina native has amassed a prolific catalog of albums and has toured and played with such legends as Kool and the Gang, Sammy Gordon and the Hip-Huggers, O.V Wright, Darrell Banks, and Little Royal. With a career spanning 43 years, releases on twelve different record labels, and having toured the world over with his raucous-yet-tender voice, it’s mind-blowing that the music he’s making today with Brooklyn’s own Truth & Soul Records is the best of his career.
With a catalogue that ranges from James Brown-style funk to lo-fi blues to contemporary Southern soul to collaborations with French house DJ/producer Martin Solveig, Lee Fields has done it all. Today, with The Expressions–Truth & Soul’s house band, Lee Fields continues to evolve, enmeshed into the group’s sweeping, string-laden, cinematic soul sound. Their latest full-length, Faithful Man, released in March 2012 on Truth & Soul, was called “one smoking mother of an old-sound soul record” by Pitchfork. The music that Lee Fields & The Expressions make is the new continuation of soul, and one that goes straight to your heartbeat the way it has always done. Check out Lee Fields & The Expressions video for “Faithful Man”.
Feel it on April 21, tickets are still available.
February 20th, 2013
Things are about to get hot around here! Bajofondo, the Latin Grammy-winning electro-tango band, is back with the highly-anticipated release of “Presente”. The album’s title refers to what the band is at the present moment: a stirring mix of tango, milonga, folklore, hip-hop, electronica, jazz, classical, and a world of sounds from the Rio de la Plata (the river that separates and unites Argentina and Uruguay). Bajofondo is a highly energetic collective that was founded by Gustavo Santaolalla in 2002. Santaolalla is the two-time Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning composer of Brokeback Mountain and Babel. In previous efforts, the collective saw contributions from artists such as of Julieta Venegas, Elvis Costello and Nelly Furtado. At this point in Bajofondo’s career, the band has long transcended “electrotango” to become one of the world’s most eclectic acts on record and one of the most irresistible on the dance floor. Classification of this band finds no boundaries, as the 8-person music machine evolves with each of it’s acclaimed members contributions. “I think the most accurate description would be: Bajofondo makes Bajofondo music,” says Santaolalla. “And Presente is a trip that takes you from the most magical to the most epic urban moments.” You can check out a video about the making of the new album here.
Look out for Bajofondo’s first release in five years, “Presente”, on March 5 and catch them live on our stage on March 19! Tickets are available here.
February 14th, 2013
Who doesn’t melt by LOVE? Retro-soul duo, Rhye, offers a sensual wave of music that captures this experience. Already accomplished electronic musicians in their own countries, Mike Milosh (known as Canada’s Milosh) and Robin Hannibal (of Denmarks’ Owusu & Hannibal, Boom Clap Bachelors, Quadron) kept their identities under wrap with the 2012 release of their rich and sensual studio single, “Open” and the more passionate follow-up, “The Fall”. Without intent to create mystery about their identities but rather to offer their audience a pure invitation to enjoy their music, the success of these hits generated much ado about where these studio tracks originated and by whom. The notion of love is so palpable in the music, and the visual video offerings give no indication of cooling things off. Staving off the demand for their identities for awhile, the duo remained studio-bound to work on material fueled by the love generated in their individual, personal lives. The musical experience that the singles offered was so intimate to their audience that they eventually came from behind the gilded curtain and performed a couple low-key shows in Los Angeles in late 2012.
Beginning in March, Rhye will be spreading the love with the release of their full-length album, “Woman” and a limited-engagement world tour. Catch the wave and don’t miss their first SF performance when they stop at our club on April 3.
Tickets are available here.
Click here to see a video for Ryhe’s song “Open”.
February 1st, 2013
Parlez-vous francais? If so, you won’t want to miss Gad Elmaleh’s show at Bimbo’s on April 10th! Touted as the ‘Ben Stiller of France” and the “Jerry Seinfeld of French Comedy”, Gad Elmaleh is arguably the biggest and most loved comedic star in France. Born in Casablanca, Morocco, he speaks Moroccan Arabic, French, English, and Hebrew. Mostly performing in French, Elmaleh continues to capture the world’s attention with a career encompassing one-man show, comedic performances, and several notable on-screen movie roles. In 2006, he was awarded the “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” by France’s Minister of Culture and was voted “The Funniest Person in France.” In December of 2007, Gad made history when he sold out the prestigious L’Olympia (Paris’ Carnegie Hall) in Paris for seven consecutive weeks, a task never before achieved. Immediately after his stint at the Olympia, Gad performed for another seven sold out weeks at Le Palais des Sports – a 3,800 seat venue. Most recently, Gad starred in the Academy Award winning Woody Allen film “Midnight in Paris,” as well as the Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson film “The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn.” Future projects include a lead role in Michel Gondry’s next feature “Mood Indingo,” which will be released in 2013.
Gad Elmaleh returns to the stage this year to tickle his fans in a limited engagement tour. His show will be the first all-French performance on our stage in Bimbo’s history! Tickets for the show go on sale Sunday 2/3 and can be purchased here.
January 24th, 2013
Happy Birthday to Neil Diamond (born Jan 24th)! And Happy Anniversary to Super Diamond! This year the Neil Diamond tribute band, Super Diamond, celebrates 20 years of rockin’ Neil Diamond’s hits. From their first show billed as Surreal Neil & Super Diamond at The Paradise Lounge in March of 1993 until today, Super Diamond has been embraced by the long time Neil Diamond fan-base and found huge popularity in the rock clubs of America. Over the last twenty years, Super Diamond has consistently sold out shows at many clubs, festivals, fairs, theaters and performing arts centers but they have made their home-base right here at Bimbo’s 365 Club. Super Diamond has also appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, CNN, Fox News, VH1 and have been featured in Rolling Stone Magazine, Spin, and The New York Times. Every Super Diamond show is pure entertainment – classic music combined with fun, energy and passion. They deliver a glittering performance of Neil’s power ballads and up-tempo hits with unrestrained enthusiasm. Even the man himself, Neil Diamond, has shared the stage with Super Diamond at one of their past performances!
On February 23, Super Diamond celebrates Neil’s timeless classics including “America,” “Cherry Cherry;” “Song Sung Blue,” “Forever in Blue Jeans”, “Sweet Caroline”, and many more. Pop Rocks and Love Fool sweeten the night before Super Diamond takes the stage.
Tickets are available here.
And don’t ever let anyone ever tell you that Neil Diamond doesn’t ROCK!