Alley Cat Dianne Chai
On June 7, 1979, punk rock got a new venue in LA's Chinatown. Sure, Madame Wong's, the kitschy restaurant turned rock club was thee place to play in downtown LA by '79, but some of the harder, punker acts couldn't get booked there. Esther Wong, the Madame herself, was particular about who graced her stage, and more important, about how the audiences treated her real estate.
Enter the Hong Kong Cafe, across a courtyard from Wongs, they offered up another stage for local bands. The Plugz from LA and UXA from San Francisco initiated the club on this night, 30 years ago. On this same night, across town, on the west side (where Madame Wong also had a restaurant & club), The Go Gos were playing at Club 88.
Always this year's model, Belinda Carlisle, before she Go Go'd
The Alley Cats, featuring the sultry Dianne Chai (pictured above) played the Hong Kong Cafe's second night, and played again later in the month, lending the club some credibility early on, which was cemented by performances by local heroes, such as X before the month was out.
John Doe and Exene
In 1979, the cure for the Summertime Blues was a new club in town, for sure.