written by Nathaniel Stephens
This past couple of weeks have been quite the upset for the punk community of the Los Angeles area. Jim Smith, owner of DTLA venue The Smell, released a notice stating that the property owners were planning to demolish the building sometime in the future. The response was huge, everyone in the scene reached out and gave their remorse. A petition manifested encouraging the stay of the building; already, over 8,000 signatures have been received. I have fond memories of this place and the scene there. My heart goes out to Jim and everyone affected.
The Smell was established in 1998. The all-ages drug free environment is dedicated to artistic expression, creative ingenuity and individual liberty. It has become a safe haven for those who just couldn’t seem to find a niche in today’s society, who faced rejection after rejection until they decided to settle at The Smell, making it for most a home away from home.
The Smell prides itself on being a community-oriented, not-for-profit organization, built on the foundation of D.I.Y. It helped break the mold for bands such as No Age, HEALTH, Mika Miko and others. Recently, record labels such as Danger Collective and the up-and-coming label Penniback Records have been been utilizing this artistic space.
“Going to The Smell was a life changing experience,”
co-owner Luis Anthony of Penniback Records said.
“Jim started letting us do shows there and after awhile it really helped us take off. Penniback and The Smell working together means a lot to me, and all that really matters at the end of the day is that we’ve worked with Jim and put on incredible shows there, allowing our friends and I to leave our mark on 247 S Main St.”
However not only was The Smell given noticed for demolition. Joe’s Auto Parks, the owner of The Smell’s building issued notices to all tenants on the block. There isn’t a set date for the demolition but Joe’s Auto Parks’ chief operating office said that they wanted to make sure the tenants were informed about the future of their land.
Jim Smith has already made huge strives in preserving his establishment This past week he put up a GoFundMe campaign seeking to raise $1.4 million to avoid future predicaments. Many people thought they were going to lose a precious part of their life, however Jim Smith’s dedication prevailed with plans to open a new Smell if the old one is torn down.
“I, to be honest, didn’t feel too upset but I did feel like I was about to lose something big,”
stated to Tunnel Nick Santana, drummer for band Slow Hollows.
“I know how Jim is and how he handles things, the community there is strong and I know something like this wont be the end of The Smell.”
The people here at Tunnel send out our regards to Jim and the world of artistic beauty that is The Smell. For all interested please sign the petition and support a good cause. It only takes five fingers or two thumbs; so get to it!