12 thoughts on “El Tropico on E. 1st

  1. My Wife played in a band called The Stupor Stars. they played there a few times. while going to the john I was privy to the goings on of the vaquero coke trade.

  2. Duhhhhhh…. Parking my bike after the ride from Rosarito Beach to Ensenada? No, that would be too obvious. Berlin before the Wall collapsed???? No, too political! A gabacho leaning his bike on a wall while he takes a pee during the LA Marathon bike ride? No, too racist!

    I give up! All yee, all yee, all yee oxen…. free, free, free.

  3. Whoa! too many to mention……bands like sandy duncan’s eye, fishhead, 3rd grade teacher, hurl, popdefect, blues experiment, slowrider, ollin and tons and tons of others……
    the owner was kind of a weird cat…….if I remember correctly he lived below the club in the basement and it was accessed by a trap door…….
    place had a good run in the mid to late 90’s.
    oh, and the parking lot sucked!!

    anybody know what’s happening w/it now?

  4. the place started hosting punk gigs in the early-mid 90s, then hosted a few more (booked by ralph from fishhead) in 1999 before stopping again. place was a lotta fun, saw some great bands (watching the fuckboyz with their lead singer wrapped head to toe in bubble wrap was, um, interesting) and as slowrider mentioned, the parking sucked…..fondest memory is that they used to set aside a keg of beer for the bands and you could drink as much as you wanted provided you had a “band” wristband. of course, anyone privvy to the keg usually left the places completely wasted. while it was commonly thought the keg was filled with some high fallutin’ shit like MGD, it turned out to be a keg of shaeffer or burgie or something. never even knew that stuff could be bought in kegs. that free access to beer resulted in one fishhead set where john ended up singing in his underwear and randy passed out and fell off his drum throne mid-song….

  5. last show i saw there was the stains, teenage rage, bad chile and some other band who’s well known but whose name escapes me at the moment. was late 1999, stains was rudy w/ mike and jody from circle one and rick tongue on bass. some heavy duty chingazos went down between two very drunk girls out in the parking lot, as i remember. in all a good show…..

  6. I remember El Tropico from 2002 and 2003. It was a topless bar run by a cool husband and wife. They told me ownership was in dispute between the male owner and his brother so it was shut down. They bar was dirty and many of the dancers also were prostitues in the back part of the club. Any one who remembers the place remembers that it was a large space. The stage was near the bar and a curtain separated the back half for privacy. The booze was bad. The owner would often handout free shots of brandy from a PLASTIC bottle. I once toook a sip and tossed the rest under the table.

  7. Ahhh, good ‘ole El Tropico. I never went much to the shows during the late 90’s but I still have some flyers. They stopped doing shows but started again sometime in 2003-2004. It was pretty cool seeing Madball in my home town. 😀

  8. this is an old post office and the owner always packed heat.. is slowrider charlie if so what up dwag… gee…

  9. El Tropico has a lot of history. The bands I’ve seen there are plenty.

    Quinto Sol, Aztlan Underground, Ollin, Blues Experiment, Los Tumbados, Little Man and The Giant, Nopal, Orgullo Cafe.

    The story I heard is that the owner sold the club, parking lot and adjacent thrift store to the people of 7 Mares. The idea is to create a restaurant/nightclub to compete with the Rinconsito del Mar restaurant across the street.

    The club was rundown. Weird things were happening all around, but El Tropico was one of the few venues that provided a space for local artist in The Eastside.

  10. Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to attend the establishment being that my mother wouldn’t let my uncle take me in my younger years, but trust me I heard a lot of the stories of what used to go on inside of those walls. It’s a shame that I couldn’t attend my uncle’s very own establishment.

    Although I never set foot in the place It sucked learning that they were letting go of the place.

  11. I played there as a resident DJ back in 2002 alongside other performers like Mezklah, Very Be Careful, Chris Wonder, and others. Hector, the owner, was good to me (always calling me “mijo” and making sure I was safe getting home). He wanted me (a gringo) to become his promoter to help revive what he had, but in the last conversation I had with him, he was making plans to open a 99 Cent store. I don’t know I believe the earlier post about prostitution, but Hector did share some illicit tales that I can’t repeat here. He was cool for having Rock, Punk, Metal, Hip-Hop, and (me) World Groove playing there back when every other bar in East L.A. only played Banda and Nortena. He also had one night a week for transgender Latinos who would have gotten the crap beaten out of them anywhere else on that side of town.

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