On a crisp November day in Silverlake, things suddenly changed behind the scenes at the club known as Spaceland. It wouldn’t be until March that workmen changed the sign on the building to read Satellite. There was no warning, nor explanation to clientle. The LA Weekly ads for the club also suddenly read Satellite instead of Spaceland on the show header. The east side of Los Angeles was buzzing with gossip of what had happened to the former hot club. Rumor had it things were about to change and the hipsters feared it was for the worst. Their fears were quelled as things that changed stayed exactly the same at the top 2 Indie Music clubs on the eastside of LA.
What’s in a Name?
Spaceland was never the club’s legal name at 1717 Silverlake Boulevard. Promoter Mitchell Frank owns a company named Spaceland Production. An opportunity to produce shows 6 nights a week at the venue for 17 years, allowed for people to call the venue by that name, instead of the legal title “Dreams of LA”.
Horst Wolfram, a German immigrant, owned the space, which was originally a restaurant, called the Red Chimney during the 1960’s. It changed titles to Dreams of LA and became a sports bar. Jeff Wolfram, Horst son, was bartending at the club in 1993 when Mitchell Frank decided he wanted to begin producing shows. Frank had 2 partners and called the night “Pan”, which highlighted such noteworthy talent as Beck. In March 1995, Frank broke from his partners and produced his first night alone and called it Spaceland. Beck, Foo Fighters, and Possom Dixon performed during that first show.
Frank’s two main bookers in 2002 were Jennifer Tefft and Liz Garo. Both women booked for Spaceland and then added on The Echo in 2002, and Echoplex in 2007. The venues began to be divided between the women as Garo primarily booked Echo and left Tefft to Spaceland. The women enjoyed a “healthy competition” for acts such as Airborne Toxic Event (The Echo) and Ozomatli (Spaceland) as they feverishly booked what were suddenly LA’s top eastside clubs.
In November of 2009, Tefft and Frank had a “big falling out” and she was fired from Spaceland. Working with another production company, The Fold, she began booking The Bootleg Theater with Scott Sterling and remained there until 2010. This left Garo booking three venues for the entire year, until things once again changed.
With Tefft gone and booking Bootleg Theater, there was “suddenly a third game in town”. According to Tefft, Wolfram was unhappy with the ways things were being run in her absence. He had wanted to combine the door sales with the club sales and offered her a position to finally work “in house”. For the first time since the 90’s Wolfram had finally had his entire club back and decided to change the name once more to something new, but similar…Satellite.
The last Spaceland show was on March 23, 2010. Even though Frank and Wolfram parted ways in November, their were still bookings up until March that were honored at the club. Wolfram “had different visions of booking” as Frank recalls the end of “Club Spaceland”. “R.I.P. to Club Spaceland” Frank says and hints that there are some venues further down the road that “Spaceland Productions” might have a hand in. His message to Wolfram is “Happy hunting” and added that he “hoped between The Echo & Echoplex and Satellite, [they] are helping to keep the music scene healthy and vibrant”. Wolfram could not be reached for comment.
Editor: Jordan Brandes