The Story So Far…

Front Door

On the corner of 8th Street and Gilman Street in North Berkeley, there stands a small, nondescript brown building. No signs say what it is, only a painted arrow pointing to the caning shop next door. One might walk by without paying a second though. Yet behind the door under the numbers “924” lies a stage that has provided a stage for countless bay area punk bands, and a home for the city’s dissidents, rebels, and rockers. The origins of 924 Gilman Street can be traced to the actions of two men: Tim Yohannon and Victor Hayden. They envisioned a non-profit performance venue where the artists and patrons made the rules, a space where people could make the place their own, instead of yet another commercial space. The current building was scouted in 1984 and given approval by the city of Berkeley. Renovations began in the summer of 1986, and the very first show was held on December 31st of that same year.

The Gilman Street project would briefly close in 1988. Not only were the venue’s financial managers grossly mismanaging Gilman’s funds, Tim Yohannon also believed that the goal of creating a space for self-expression was not being met. 924 Gilman Street would then reopen under the organization the Alternative Music Foundation, and it remains open and hosting the latest underground punk talent to this day, enduring financial close calls and actions from many city councils opposed to the presence of the punk community. Many famous punk bands would get their start at Gilman. Green Day, Rancid, Operation Ivy, NOFX, The Offspring, all played here in their early years. Gilman has inspired other similar non-profit, community run venues. Many have since closed, but Gilman retains the spirit and means to keep going ever since its doors first opened.

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Posted on December 8, 2015, in 924-Gilman, Anthro136kF2015. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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