Thursday, June 11, 2009
LIVELY AS EVER… And Squid thought there was a lot going on at Monterey Live when it was open. On the one tentacle, Squid did f***ing love the entertainment at Live – it was fresh, delicious, always different, like a dream seafood buffet. On the othertentacle, for a cephalopod like Squid (who thinks rumor, innuendo and confusion is even more indulgent a spread), Monterey Live may be more exciting closed. Beloved former booker Hattie Catania is allowing she hasn’t been paid for previous services, while continuing to send out info on gigs. “They owe me money,’’ she said. Fellow show coordinator Brian Conway submits that she hasn’t contacted them in months and is no longer involved. Owner Gary Smith isn’t answering and his voicemailbox is full.
The good news: Other local music moguls are picking up their shows. “The [Ol’ Factory Café] has its own events, and obviously so does ML,” writes Morgan Christopher in his newsletter. “The owners/operators of ML, Gary and Brian, are bringing their talents and many of their concerts to the OFC (among other venues). The info they give you regarding their concerts at this venue will be accurate.’’
Across town, Jose’s – under the big-hearted ownership of Ozzie Maldonado and the promotion of revolution-talk-loving Tobin Peregrina – is taking acts like rabid Rushad Eggleston into its increasingly raucous Underground Lounge. So, crossing tentacles, maybe Squid can get Squid’s seafood buffet and eat it too.
Monterey’s Madoff?… Squid’s been saving the headline: “Cedar Funding broker charged with fraud.” But more than a year after David Nilsen filed bankruptcy for Cedar Funding, there hasn’t been a peep from District Attorney Dean Flippo, the FBI, nobody. State real estate and corporation regulators barred Nilsen from doing business starting last May. Investors alleged he was running a giant Ponzi scheme for years, and bankruptcy trustee Todd Neilson reiterated this accusation when he took a long look at the company’s books. Through enticing mortgage pool and real estate investments, Cedar Funding attracted more than 1,500, mainly-local investors, accumulating more than $180 million in loans. The DA’s Office and the Securities and Exchange Commission are conducting criminal investigations and a federal grand jury has also taken the case. A fraud or theft conviction could give investors a windfall. In response to Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme the IRS created a new rule that allows taxpayers to deduct theft losses. But until Nilsen is indicted, investors will have to consider their retirement money and life savings a straight-up loss.