Tag Archives: elvis underground

Pinball Throwdown at the Stork Club

I hadn’t been to the Stork Club in about a hundred years. I am too old for bone-crushingly loud music in tiny venues these days… but back in the day, the Stork was one of the only cool clubs with an unbelievably eclectic roster of live music that friends and I used to frequent… I saw my first Idiot Flesh show there… it was mind-blowing! The Stork Club has been around for as long as I can remember  – it’s an Oakland institution.  Though in a different location now, and without all the Christmas creepiness (it used to be Christmas all year long), they’re still rockin’ the East Bay hard!

Stork Club Oakland

Stork Club Bar in Oakland

I stopped in Saturday night to witness the Pinball Throwdown hosted there between rival gangs, Oakland Pinball Mafia and Radio Pinball Union.  My friend Ryan clued me in to this event with a hilarious article from the Oakland Tribune: Night Owl: Oakland Pinball Showdown…

Here’s the flyer for the night…

Oakland Pinball Showdown flyer

The idea was that the two rival pinball gangs would compete on three vintage machines in the Stork Club’s back game room… high score takes the title.

The pinball fanatics were out in full force… and the folks from Lucky Ju Ju didn’t disappoint, bringing their full fledged pinball museum on wheels – Lil Ju Ju. Created by multimedia artist Michael Schiess, the museum houses four vintage pinball machines (though sometimes as many as six) in a 1947 Spartan Manor, rebuilt with hydraulic leveling system, reinforced frame, and upgraded suspension. What’s even cooler is that play on the machines is FREE. That’s right folks. It’s the same premise that operates at Lucky Ju Ju’s prime facilities in Alameda… make a donation – no quarters required.

1947 Spartan Manor Pinball Museum

Lil Ju Ju Mobile Pinball Museum

Lil Ju Ju Mobile Pinball Museum

I had to leave before the end of the evening so I don’t know who won the throwdown. Anyone?

There were three live bands… Cleve-land, Straggler, and VIR. The lead singer from one of the latter two bands (sorry, not sure which one) performed in a full batman get-up. Awesome! He had some serious pipes too.

Music at Stork Club

Batman performs Stork Club

In addition to all the pinball fans, there were some proud members of the The Church!: Elvis Underground, representing and proselytizing. I love these guys!  And how could you not when their philosophy is so simple and pure:

“To continue and further the Work of Elvis Presley, The King, toward uniting all species in universal rhythm and harmony.

Amen to that brother!

Check out their website… it’s full of fantastic and fun tidbits, not to mention some serious principles.  I’ll post The Eleven Commandments of Elvis here, because they’re just that good:

  1. Follow That Dream
  2. Don’t Be Cruel
  3. Love Me Tender
  4. Shake, Rattle, and Roll
  5. Do the Clam
  6. Treat Me Nice
  7. Don’t
  8. It’s Now or Never
  9. Return to Sender
  10. Viva Las Vegas!
  11. Wear My Ring Around Your Neck

You can read the more detailed scriptures on their site… Elvis Underground.