The Spitfire & Mods Vs Rockers

When Mods Vs Rockers returned to Cleveland (2010) we were asked if we could host the main event, we said yes. The main part of the event was to be held in the street, this meant we would have to get a permit to block off the street. To get get this permit we needed our City Councilman to sign off and we would need a police officer for the event.  We met with our Councilman, we already have a good relation, so he easily signed off and we submitted the application and it got approved. Closing of a street is a major endeavour, especially when it is Franklin ave. (not a side street).  I made street closure signs/barricades, and got fencing, etc. The event is usually from 1-8pm and with set up and tear down, it’s a long day.  We hosted the event for 3 years. I told the organizers at the time (2012) that I would prefer to host the “Meet & Greet” (next year) and that i would help secure and organize and work the big Saturday event with them (somewhere else). Well when it came to having the event the next year a new organizer took over. What I said to the previous organizer got lost in translation and it was assumed we did not want to be a part of the event. This year we were asked to be a part of the event and I said yes, we will host the Saturday event. I went through the normal motions of securing the permit like i normally do. I received a call from our councilman’s assisted saying that I would need to have a meeting with the Councilman, Police Commander, and the Community Development Corporation. The next morning I met with them. I explained the event to them and that we have hosted the event 3 other years without any problems (none of them have remembered the event from previous years, since they were all new to their current positions). I explained the safety protocols we took and that safety was always our #1 concern. They approved of most of the protocols we put in place, but wanted us to have 2 more police added (total of 3) and solid barricades. They explained that since the fatal accident (2012) on 117th & Clifton they needed more precautions. I told them i understood and that I knew Mitch (victim)  and my wife was his teacher in high school.  We talked about other ways we could make the event happen without added police for the street closure and it just was not going to work. The police that are at these events are paid for by us. Previous years we had a policeman donate his time. We would need to pay 3 officers for 8 hours each at $30 pr/hour = $720.  With the unforeseen cost of added police we could not justify holding the event.  We could have tried working out something with the organizers on covering costs and such, but the event was at this point 3 weeks away.  While we would be working on raising extra cash through sponsors and such, the deadline is approaching to file the permit (and if we miss the deadline , then the event would be in jeopardy). Immediately after the meeting I messaged the organizers that they needed to find another venue.  The event is great and will be great at its new location (Sachsenheim Hall)………………………………… Well there it is….

Here is a video we made in 2011 kind of showing the event and thanking the organizers and those that attended..

Stosh

(Spitfire Owner)

Link for this years event->   Mods Vs Rockers Cleveland

CLEVELAND UNDERGROUND MUSIC FLIERS 80’s and Early 90″s colection

FLIER PICS

When we opened we started collecting old music fliers from customers. Some of you may remember that we plastered them in the basement when we opened with copies of the fliers. Many people took them off the wall for there own collections. I  soon would make about five binders of the collection and donated them to WCSB’s radiothon and one for a benefit  of a friend to the Cleveland music scene(Chrissie). We probably have between 200-300 of these flyers. I never felt that i owned the collection and would not be interested in profiteering from its sale. So i am going to sell digital copies of the collection and proceeds will go toward  Suicide Prevention.  If you would like to contribute to the collection you can send digital copies to spitfiresaloon@gmail.com , They need to be pre 1995 flyers from Northeast Ohio.  We will be selling these at Breakneck Gallery on November 8th. So if you want to contribute to the collection we would need them by Nov. 1.. You can also drop submissions  off in an envelope at the bar. Write on the envelope your name and email and  if you need them back. We know that flyers are a treasured part of a music lovers past and we guarantee we will get them back to you.   thanks Stosh

The Spitfire Sex Tape Scandal

this is a snap shot of the blurred video we showed

this is a snap shot of the blurred video we showed

Early Wednesday on October 9, I got a text from the bartender from the previous night that I should check the cameras from the previous night. I am thinking what the fuck, someone fuck something up again. I get in check the DVR at midnight like she said and there is someone fucking in the tv room. The couple is in full force roar. I am actually pretty shocked that someone would do that in such a public place in the bar. We have caught people in the bathroom before and we kick them out. Later when the bartender comes in to stock beer, I ask if she recognized the couple. Have they ever been here before? She explained that she has never seen them before and that they both had 1989 birthdates. She also explained that it seemed like they were on a first date maybe. Then she wanted to see the tape, after watching for about a minute we both agreed this was all pretty obnoxious. It was kind of funny and kind of sad and kind of sick. She explained that they were not even drunk, they both nursed a beer for about an hour.
We have it posted on our front door before you walk in the bar, that the building has video surveillance. We have posted video surveillance of people online in the past. These posts where more or less to find people that have stole cell phones or messed with peoples bikes outside, sometimes the police will request footage for a police report. We also have a 32 inch tv above the front door with a live feed of all the cameras, this way people can keep an eye on their motorcycle while sitting inside having a beer. This was definitely something that we would not post online, but maybe we could just show it that night, regulars would want to see it, we have it let’s show it. So I posted that we would show the tape at midnight, it would be a good deterrent for future couples thinking to have sex here. Usually when we post something on our facebook page about 400 people will see it, a hour after I posted it at 3pm we had 5000 people that have seen it. Many people shared it and then they those friends shared it. Many people had pro and negative comments about showing it. At 10pm we had 25,000 people that have seen it, and Scene Magazine also posted it on their website and facebook. This little incident and the idea of people watching it was totally out of control. It was clear that showing the tape was no longer going to be a deterrent, people already know that now. With all the internet coverage we probably had 50,000+ people that read the post itself. So now it becomes a point that this has grown so out of control that maybe we are being bullies. Many people commented on the fact that the people knew that they might be watched and that they knew the consequences of having sex in public, but do they deserve this much attention from a post I made. I have no idea who these people are and neither does anyone I know. When reading everyone’s post throughout the evening I remembered the college kid that filmed his gay roommate having sex and posted it online (we would never ever consider posting this footage) and the gay student ended up committing suicide, it was tragic. My intention was to deter people and maybe a little embarrassment. Well this has gone way past that and I do not want to leave a long lasting mark on someone and I was being a bully to a point, but I have a right to protect my business from any illegal acts that people try to do here. But people’s lives have to come first. I decided that I would show the video, but I would make it extremely blurry to the point that people could never make out who it was or if this was even real. This would protect the people’s identity and also protect us. We showed it, some people complained it was to blurry but most people got it. A lot of different discussions went on over this. I hope people that are interested in what is up with this bar read all our blog entries. Start with the 1st one and please read them all. This will give you a good picture of who we are and what we have been doing for the local music scene in Cleveland. Punkrockbar.com

BUILD AND TEAR DOWN AND BUILD AGAIN

So June 1st will be seven years of owning this place (although we did not open until nov..) I have done a ton of construction projects since that date.. Many of these no one ever knew and would notice

2006-

Tear out all electrical and plumbing, that includes tearing out the old bathroom and old walls.

Tear out all  the walls in basement and rebuild.

Tear out the floor behind bar and replace

Refinish actual bar

Put new floor down in bar in basement hall and bathrooms (this is the checkerboard floor we had in the bar

And in the basement)

Tear out bar kitchen and  walls ..

Cut out part of back bar to make bigger..

Tear out old light boxes on walls and install new ones.

Replaces all doors

Re-plumb and re-wire everything

Lots of paint (inside and out)

Replace parts of tin ceiling

Throw out (recycle) $2000 worth of scrap metal (old equipment that was in basement and behind bar)

Rebuild stairs

Tear out 1930’s walk in cooler in basement that hard times used for kegs (what a fucking mess) in the old days your coolers where insulated with saw dust..

Fill up 2 40 yard dumpster of crap ..

Build an office and beer room in basement

2007

Build Beerzooka (1)

Build Halfpipe

Tear down half pipe

Build Stage

Build Sound booth

2008

Put cage around stage

Tear out old floor I put in bathrooms in 2006 and replace with granite. I bought granite because it was the cheapest option because home depot was selling it a .50 a square foot.. Plus now I would be able to just hose the bathrooms down when they needed a good cleaning..

Install central air, put ac unit on roof so no one in neighborhood would steal it..(our first summer it would get about 100 degrees in here)

Tear apart old Jukebox and build into sound booth (was to big and bulky, when we are very limited on space)

Build mini Spitfire bar in basement

2009-13

Tear out mini Spitfire bar  and build “little room”

Make little room bigger..

Take out little room and make much bigger room

Tear out closet under the stairs

Tear out part our bar in front of stage to make more room in front of stage

Rearange all coolers behind to make viewing bands easier from sitting at the bar..

Rip up flooring in bar to get down to hardwood. Ripped up 2plus inches old flooring . Refinish old hard wood

Re-do front of building- ripped out all the old wood to expose the old windows on top of existing windows. Replace old wood and make apearance closer to its original look in the 1920’s

Build beer display

Tear out beer display and build new one

Tear out bearzooka1

Build beerzoka 2

Move beerzooka 2 and put in window

Install video screens behind stage and mount video projectors so bands have a constantly changing backdrop.

Build small stage/benches for comedy nights.

tear out the curb on street that everyone fucks there car on, Tear up old concrete in lot and dig a real big hole with back hoe and bury all the old concrete…

gravel lot..

I am sure I missed a lot and I am sure I will end up doing more stuff. Every time I finish a project I tell myself that I am not doing anything else and end up doing something else.. I guess I keep saying this or that can be better, or maybe I just get bored with stuff staying the same…

 

stosh

Broadcasting Shows Online/ House sound

For five years we have been recording all our shows one way or another. First we were recording them on dvd and giving them to the band and then we moved to broadcasting them online. (

http://www.ustream.tv/new#/recorded/28273473 ). When we broadcast them online it automatically records them online. The video quality is not the greatest but it give the view and feel how a band looks like on stage. To get better video I purchased a video mixer to have better transitions between cameras. Before I was just using a video switcher that you use for t.v. that you use to switch from your v.c.r. to dvd to game. This was what it was. I use 4 cameras that are old surveillance cameras that unfortunately have night vision on them. This means the color on them when its dark fades out. With my new video switcher i can just record and broadcast in bw which takes out this weird color issue with the cameras plus it makes for a more even look when transitioning from one camera shooting a dark area to a camera that is on a lighted area. The video online is shitty mainly because of a bandwidth issue, I now give the bands a hard copy of the video also. The audio is sometime good and sometimes shitty (mostly shitty). Recently I have been putting mics. on all the instruments to try to get better recording. Before I was just using two mics in the room, this was not working as well as i liked. I now run the instrument mics into a separate small Mackie board for the recording (we do not mic. instruments for the room). I run the vocals and kick drum out of the PA into this mixer also. So the run down for a recording is

guitar 1 mic> recording mixer

guitar 2 mic>recording mixer

Bass >recording mixer

Drums (1 condensor mic)> recording mixer (i do not have enough inputs to do more than this)

Kick Drum mic->PA->recording mixer

Vocals>PA>recording mixer

Its hard for me to hear the mix through the headphones with the room noise (although I just purchased a cheap pair $60 of noise isolation headphones, hopefully this helps). So if you are listening to the show at home, PLEASE let me know if you can’t hear something. Please post on our facebook page ( http://www.facebook.com/people/Spitfire-Punk/100000067456121 ) .

When a bands plays live in the bar we only run vocals in the PA, sometimes the kick drum (actually now we always do), many people come to me and say turn up the bass guitar or whatever, I have to explain that you have to tell the band that. We have a small room here, its basically like a large practice spot, there is no reason to mic amps. We have a Yamaha EMX-512SC mixer / pa for the room its 500watts per channel and a Peavey 800 for the stage monitors. ( I always have the monitors turned all the way up, one of the biggest complaints from bands playing here is they can’t hear themselves. I have recently move the stage monitors around to help alleviate this problem.)  This equipment is enough for the room as long as the band is not amps to 11. Remember this is a small room, if you get to loud the room will just sound distorted and agitate the listeners. We only use Shure 58s for vocals. I will never buy a different mic, these mics are tough as fuck. I still use a mic we have had since we opened 6+ years ago, that is saying a lot with all the shit that goes down on stage here. Of course I do not know a lot about sound but its enough for a shitty little punk bar. People always say I should get this or that but it is what it is. We try to do the best we can with what we have.    

stosh

 

HELLOWEEN WEEK

This past week has definitely been our most fucked up week ever. Of course there was Hurricane Sandy that killed the East coast, but somehow we got hammered by Sandy also. I would not have ever imagine that us in Cleveland would have been affected by a hurricane that hit the east coast, 500 miles away. Things got fucked Monday night with power outages and such, so at 9pm we decided to close. Came the next day and we had power but lots of electrical shit was fucked up. Anything that had a a/c-d/c power inverter was not working ( its was like they were all fried). All the fluorescent lights were not working. The coolers were acting up. The previous week our import/micro beer cooler died, I did not need another cooler to go down, each of these coolers cost a couple grand. The ice machine went down, I just got the thing dialed and adjusted and it has been working great, now it’s not working. Of course our modem is not working because it has a ac/dc converter on it. We are essentially in survival mode (like everyone else that was affected by this storm). Our ship is essentially sinking, I was able to stop some of the so called leaks (problems) and keep things afloat till everything gets fixed. Then I come in on Wednesday morning (Halloween) and it looks as if someone has crashed their car into the front of the building, I am thinking wow that is kind of fucked up. The building was secure, and the door was lock, so that was good. I go in the bar and there is no note from the bartender and thought that was weird, later I would realize that this happened about 7am. I guess people have been trying to call me about the fact that a car crashed into the bar, but I forgot my phone in my normal rush to get my kids to school. A cop later showed up because my wife was trying to call me and thought maybe I got hit by the car. He comes in telling me to call my wife, he did not even know a car hit the building. I think he just thought I was shit faced and past out at the bar and my wife was worried. I explained I just talked to her and asked if he was here when the car hit my building. He said he did not know anything about it. He was able to get a hold of the cop that was here (who did not leave a card or note leaving contact info about the accident. He was not able to tell me much other that I could get the police report in 10 days. One of the reasons this happened is because of the traffic light in front of the bar has been out and assholes all day long have not been stopping at it. That intersection is bad enough as it is, there is usually a bad accident there every 2 months. The damage was not as bad as it could have been , but it was still shitty. Had some mason work damaged, I wanted to get that repaired asap , because that could turn into some really bad shit . The entrance had a bit of a hole in in it, I just patched that with some scrap wood (for now). Then Thursday I picked up a used stand up cooler to replace the old one we had. I plugged the thing in at the store I bought it from and it worked great and was only about 6 months old. I purchased through anonline auction site that everything is sold as is, so I bought it whether it worked or not. I go it back to Spitfire and plugged it in and it was not getting cold and it seemed light the compressor was not kicking on. I took it apart to inspect everything and everything look good and was surprised how clean and new the whole unit was. I finally occurred to me that maybe I was not getting enough power for the building. I went outside and looked at the electric meter and realized that we are pulling half the power we usually use. Looking at the power lines back to there source I realized that my power comes from two separate power grids. One of my 110 lines into the building was not on. This was some what of a relief because I now realized that the electrical problems we where having was not the equipment was fucked up is was because they where all under powered. I could not call the power company, they are not going to give a shit about me having ½ power when their are 40,000 people without any power. Friday and Saturday I had bands playing and I was not sure how the low power was going to affect there equipment. Luckily Friday night at about 9pm we got full power and all of my equipment started working correctly again. It felt pretty good to be back to normal or what we think is normal. Now I have to catch up on all the shit that I had to get done last week but could not do because of the disasters I was attending to. Well that is it for now……

The Spitfire Blackout

A couple years ago the power went out on our block in Cleveland Ohio. It happens occasionally, but this time it has been out like six hours. It went out sometime early on a Saturday morning. The power is not out usually out more than 15 minutes and I am an optimist so I was not worried. Well when I went in on Saturday afternoon, the power was still out. This is when I started to panick, it is Saturday night we need to be fucking open. It was just me and a couple bartenders pondering what we going to do. As it was getting dark out we soon realized it was just us that the power was still out (yes the electric bill was paid). When I was about to make the decision to close for the night people started show up. Luckily we we did not have any bands scheduled, otherwise they would have been pissed they could not play ( I would have still paid them and given them free beer). The people showing up said they did not care, the beer was still cold since it was in the coolers, so we made a decision to open. People wanted to come here, even when we did not have any power. This was an extreme compliment to us (or maybe just because every other place sucked, at least at that time). We made a mad dash to go get some candles, lights for the basement and some ice. It became quite a different atmosphere than the Spitfire is used to having. A candle lit bar with just our friends’ conversation as the entertainment. The power eventually came on after midnight and of course there were lots of cheers. Many people wanted us to just keep the lights off and play the jukebox on low, as we did the rest of the night. A couple weeks ago our bartender Mel was suggesting we create that same atmosphere again as many people enjoyed the change. We decided on doing it again on Saturday September 15, 2012. The only difference being the beer will be colder than that night and we will be able to accept credit cards. We will also have an acoustic performance by Shaun Hussain.