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Love Gutter played on Pac. Ave. 6 years until a $450 ticket
by Brxnt Adxms
Monday Feb 24th, 2014 12:54 AM
Love Gutter was a favorite downtown act for many years, until they were driven out.
They played an average of 50 days a year for 6 years. They gave away free CDs and left a large pile
of coins on the sidewalk for others when they left each performance as a offering to the street they loved so much.

Love Gutter was the practice and result of live experimentation. They never had a practice session, only playing together in live settings.
Over time, they honed a vocabulary of exclusively odd metered rhythms that they played interchangeably. With an instrumentation of 55 gallon plastic barrel with carpenter's hammers and kitchen cooking pots played with special metal tipped gloves they espoused a strict DIY ethic.
Often they were joined by Breakfast on saxophone and for several Burningman and festival performances, by Igliasion Jones on electric bass.

They had a loud sound, and it must be said that odd meters can be disconcerting for some.
Love Gutter would move from one end of Pacific to the other as to not disturb anyone. They took great pains to play as far away from dwellings and only in areas where they would have ample space so as not to crowd anyone. They intentionally distanced themselves as far from other musicians as possible to prevent the drum's bleed over into other acts.

They often were stopped by police, who told them that there was a complaint, but the complaintant was always left a mystery. Everytime they had a complaint they elected to stop playing and move down the street... except for the last time. They had gotten tired of hearing about some mysterious person who called the police on them. They decided to stand their ground and risk a ticket. It was signed by an attorney named Penrose whose office is above Forever 21 (back then it was Borders Books). It was a surprise because the ticket was issued on a sunday at 4pm. They had intentionally played at that time so as to not disturb business.

The law cited was Unreasonably Disturbing Noise.
The law office was more than 100' from the performance and behind a double paned window on a second floor. There was doubt that the music was disturbing to the point that the law had intended.

They were met by Penrose in court and Commissioner Baskett decided that Love Gutter was guilty of the crime. Love Gutter was charged $450. This was a big factor in the act ending its performances on Pacific Avenue.
by Brxnt Adxms Monday Feb 24th, 2014 12:54 AM
by Brxnt Adxms Monday Feb 24th, 2014 12:54 AM
§Complaintant's office
by Brxnt Adxms Monday Feb 24th, 2014 1:18 AM
It's all true.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Me... (Lee)
Monday Feb 24th, 2014 11:31 AM
[Image: Me, circa 1983, warming up behind the Catalyst w/pre-Perg Dr. Miller's rooming house in background, when there was still a bench around the tree and no parking lot loitering law.]

Simple question Brent: If an INFRACTION ticket can stop you from playing music on the street what kind of Street Musician ARE you?
by Brxnt Adxms
Monday Feb 24th, 2014 1:06 PM
Strange.. a challenge to my 10 years of playing on the street..
The nerve of some folks.

I faced down the police for years. If you know how difficult an instrument that the hammers on barrel can be.. for hours on end, yet.

We decided that 8 years together (6 as Love Gutter) were good and we put our creative
energies into other pursuits.

I doubt that after a $450 ticket, many artists would keep coming out.
Why don't you ask Morgani that question, silly.

Haters gonna hate.
More on Brent's case "Silencing the Drums" at

Two more cases:
" Sinister Singer Case Goes to Appeal" at &
"Political Prosecution of Sinister Singsong Two Continues " at

A case taken to federal court overturned part of the "Unreasonably Disturbing Noise" law (MC 9.36.020) which now reads:

"No person shall make, cause, suffer or permit to be made any noises or sounds (a) which are unreasonably disturbing or physically annoying to people of ordinary sensitiveness or which are so harsh or so prolonged or unnatural or unusual in their use, time or place as to cause physical discomfort to any person, and (b) which are not necessary in connection with an activity which is otherwise lawfully conducted."

Its use has largely been superseded by the September 2013 Sidewalk Shrinkage amendments contracting sidewalk space for performance, tabling, and much other street activity to 5% of the total Pacific Avenue space.

Ironically the section overturned was a section helpful to street performers and those singing political songs. It read "As used in this section, “lawfully conducted activities” shall include, but not be limited to, any and all activities conducted by the city for public health, safety or welfare purposes."

The successful challenge to the ordinance was in the case of a preacher and is described at .
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Feb 25th, 2014 7:18 AM
City Council's (and Cynthia Mathew's) 2002 process of ignoring its own commissions and initiating destruction of the Voluntary Street Performers Guidelines at the hands of Cynthia Mathews can be found at .

It's instructive reading.
by Trip Weir
Tuesday Feb 25th, 2014 8:19 PM
That Sentinel article refers to "Ryan Coonerty, a vocal critic of aggressive panhandling". In that respect, I feel such violent agreement with ex-Mayor Coonerty it's like a sex act with me as the moving party. But that's 647(c) (accosting for alms, not sodomy, of course), so who needs a silly Muni Code section about 10" or 14" when the state Penal Code would suffice?
by Razer Ray
Wednesday Feb 26th, 2014 6:14 PM
Because state code violations cost a LOT more to prosecute.

One of the BEST THINGS that could ever happen in Santa Cruz would be for the city to get stripped of it's charter. The mechanism by which the state allows municipalities to make "laws" of their own called "Ordinances".

If the SCPD had to write state code cites for, lets say a guitar case as trip hazard, they'd really have to think long and hard whether it would be worth the money to risk an acquittal, and if there were A LOT of acquittals, what might happen to the SCPD for writing essentially bogus state court tickets.