By Lisa Robins, with Eric Ahlberg & Suzy Williams
A magical celebration was enjoyed by all when we, the Beachhead Collective, hosted the first of our 50th anniversary fundraiser parties on Sunday February 18th. The doors of our beloved Beyond Baroque opened at 7pm for mingling, memorabilia, and a potluck feast. Beachheaders swarmed the lobby, and finally made their way to the theatre for some of our favorite poets and musical talents. For More Photos Click Here.
The program was hosted by Eric Ahlberg, (aka “not the editor”) and yours truly, Lisa Robins, with music organized by Suzy Williams. The talent was crazy great!!
Suzy and Sam Clay opened, bewitching us with Moon Over Venice. Pegarty Long graced us with Philomene’s poetry. Alice Stek recited. Linda Albertano always a thrilling presentation. Laddie Williams, a descendant of those who built the First Baptist Church in Oakwood, and a pivotal activist in keeping it from being torn down, was spotted in the audience. She gave a stirring plea to keep the fight going to prevent BUBs (Big Ugly Buildings), and to save the character of our community.
Stefanie Valadez and Carol MacArthur wowed us with their songs. Suzy and Brad Kay had us howling, mocking Trump with Roy Zimmerman’s Bleep Hole.
Greenback Dollar, with Eric plucking bass to Sam’s guitar, reminded our audience of the Beachhead’s need for the almighty dollar to keep us in print.
Eric put together a remarkable slide show highlighting the illustrious and rebellious history of the Beachhead.
To complete the spoken portion of the night, Suzy, Brad, Eric, Sam and I implored our community via song, to Rally Round the Old Beachhead.
After a short break the “Beachhead All Stars” played until one in the morning, and we danced our butts off to some of the greatest musicians in town. Alfred Johnson on keyboards, Michael Jost, Greg Cruz, and Leon Rubenhold on guitar, Rick Moors on bass, Steve Sadd wailing on the sax, Andy Kravitz on drums, Stefanie Valadez, Sally Piano guesting on the piano, and of course Suzy Williams singing and dancing her heart out.
We reveled in the reason we moved to Venice in the first place — social activism, art, hedonism, joy, community…The message of our celebration is a plea for you to be involved in whatever way you can. I originally got roped into writing for the Beachhead when my dear friend Karl Abrams invited me to a meeting. It was a great little Tuesday night party with present and/or former collective members. We drank wine, ate snacks, and talked about Venice. I decided to join the Collective since my daughter was graduating high school soon, and I figured that giving to the community was a good antidote to my separation anxiety. I thought it’d be fulfilling to investigate and report on issues affecting Venice life, and it is. I only wish I had more time to delve into possible solutions for issues that plague Venice like homelessness, and gentrification. I love meeting on Tuesday nights to discuss what we can do to help reveal all that’s going on here.
“WRITE an ARTICLE about it!”
One of my favorite parts of being on the Collective is getting my talented writer friends to contribute. I love asking, “What’s on your mind about Venice?” and then saying, “WRITE an ARTICLE about it!” Be it writing, distributing, ad revenue, taking on a column, photography, or however you want to contribute, do it. Do it now! Oh, and by the way…Money’s good too!
The obvious question is “when will we throw another bash?!” As a community known for Dionysian pleasure, we plan to host several celebrations of our 50th year, culminating in December when we’ll mark the true date of the very first issue of the Free Venice Beachhead.
My hope is that our Beachhead printed word, along with our festivities, will lure new residents of our city to better understand the community that they have joined, while further cementing the bonds of our existing tribe of Venice. SEE PHOTOS