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Goldenvoice celebrates 30 years with punk rock festival GV30

November 2, 2011 |  5:42 pm

Goldenvoice Productions turns 30 next month, and the hugely influential Southern California concert promoter will celebrate with a series of concerts Dec. 16-18 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium that reach back to its roots as a champion of hard-core punk. Each night of GV30, organized by Goldenvoice founder Gary Tovar, will be headlined by a classic local punk act: Social Distortion, Bad Religion and the Descendents.

The sound of West Coast rock was forever changed  by Goldenvoice, beginning with an obscure show by T.S.O.L. at La Casa de la Raza in Santa Barbara on Dec. 4, 1981, followed by concerts big and small in and around Los Angeles, nurturing sometimes confrontational bands few mainstream promoters would touch: the Ramones, Public Image, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and local heroes like Black Flag and the Circle Jerks. The largest shows were headquartered at downtown L.A.’s Olympic Auditorium (now a Korean church) and the Santa Monica Civic.

“I felt that this music should be heard,” Tovar says. “I felt it should be given a platform. We carved our niche. We carved it in cement. This town will always be punk rock.”

Now best known internationally for creating the influential Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Goldenvoice was bought by AEG Concerts West in 2001. Tovar remains a consultant to company President Paul Tollett, but took a hands-on role for the anniversary shows, which will also include performances by X, Adolescents, T.S.O.L., Vandals, Youth Brigade and many others. Tovar is still hoping to get the Circle Jerks.

“I don’t believe how punk rock is everywhere now: in movies, on T-shirts -- younger kids just love it,” Tovar says.”"I’m so glad it’s so ingrained in the fabric of Southern California.”

He expects a mostly newer generation of fans, but hopes to draw some of Goldenvoice’s original clientele to the celebration, which he’s been at work planning for months. “I hope to get some old people. I have a feeling it’s going to be a lot of new people with a sprinkling of people with strollers.”

The lineups so far:

Friday, Dec. 16: Social Distortion, X, Adolescents

Saturday, Dec. 17: Bad Religion, Youth Brigade, T.S.O.L.

Sunday, Dec. 18: Descendents, the Vandals, the Dickies

Single-day tickets and three-day passes go on sale at noon Saturdayat Goldenvoice.com


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Photo: Descendents guitarist Stephen Egerton, left, drummer Bill Stevenson, vocalist Milo Aukerman, and bassist Tony Lombardo perform at FYF Fest, at L.A. State Historic Park in Los Angeles, in September.