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Santa Clara Concert Venue Avalon Set to Close June 30

In Clubs, Music
OK Go played a sold-out show at Avalon last year.

OK Go played a sold-out show at Avalon last year.

There’s a certain symmetry to the alpha and omega of Santa Clara’s Avalon Nightclub. Mike Beard, who has booked hundreds of shows there though his Man Down Productions, remembers when Avalon owner Mike Jafari first transformed what used to be the DJ-dance spot Backbeat into a live music venue back in 2003.

As a Santa Clara native and a hard-rock fan, Beard knew that Y&T lead singer Dave Maniketti lived not far from the club, and decided one day just to walk over to his house.

“Dave was out there gardening or whatever,” he remembers. “You’re not really supposed to do that, but I did. I didn’t care, because at that point Y&T was really doing nothing, Dave had this band called Maniketti. I said ‘Hey, Dave, my name’s Mike Beard. I grew up in this area, played little league down the street. There’s a club here that’s doing live music now, called the Avalon. Why don’t you call over and check it out?'”

Beard didn’t think much of it at the time.

“But a couple days later, [Maniketti’s] wife, Jill, called the club and chewed Mike Jafari’s ass about me coming over to the house. But they started talking, and they played a show there,” he says. After a long, close relationship between the band and the club, which includes a benefit held for Y&T bassist Phil Kennemore before he passed away in 2011, Beard says “They’re cool about it now.”

Fittingly, perhaps, Y&T will play the last-ever show at the Avalon, on the day the club is set to close, June 30.

“It’s kind of come full circle,” says Beard.

There’s some symmetry, too, to the “Last Days of Avalon’ show this Friday at the Santa Clara club. Headlining will be El Chicano, the L.A. group known for hits like “Tell Her She’s Lovely’ and “Viva Tirado’ in the 1970s. A documentary about the band, In The Eye of the Storm, was filmed at the Avalon in 2009.

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