The Crest


The Ghost of Filibuster by Clarkie
photos by Clyde

Huh? Ghost of Filibuster? Yup, that's right I haven't cracked up. Read on, hopefully you'll see how the title will have double meaning and make some sort of sense. Skunk Records invited Ryde and I to Sacramento to review and interview the well-known local Sac ska band Filibuster playing downtown at the Crest Theater. We brought along Bonnie and Clyde, two apprentice photographers who wanted to gain experience shooting stuff like that. Fine, less for me to do and it was cool with Skunk. The Crest is a huge old theater, ornately decorated, and with history that goes back to the vaudeville days. We arrived during sound check, and wandered around, talking to staff of the theater, waiting for Jason, sax player and lead dude of Filibuster, to show up. We finally hooked up in the alley, got all the guest passes square, but they had to leave for a while and wanted to do the interview back stage when they got back. Though they were nice, cool, appreciative, and totally into doing an interview with Real Skate, they seemed a little mysterious.

No, Ryde is NOT relieving himself on this cop car  

So Bonnie, Clyde, Ryde, and myself wandered around looking for a place to have dinner. I swear, there are no places to eat within blocks of the Crest. Who best knows where all the good food joints are? Cops. So Ryde flags one down and they told us to go to the Hard Rock Cafe and gave us directions. We took our time, knowing Fili was top bill they would be on last.

When we got back to the Crest the promoters of the concert had taken over the door and suddenly we were no longer guests of Skunk and Filibuster, but instead "the press." Jason came outside to try and smooth things over, to no avail. This promoter wanted his money. He had a policy to only allow in two "press" people, so Ryde paid for Bonnie and Clyde's tickets since they were with us, and our designated photographers for the night, and we had all driven a long way. Since Ryde paid, I'll give the privilege off filling in the blank "_______ Productions" in his article." j/k.

jason boggs
Jason Boggs, aka Chinbone   

     When we finally got in, the concert was well underway, with very loud bands, and lots of boogying all-agers. Only the two "press people" could go backstage so Clyde and I wandered down to the basement to the green rooms. Jason was rehearsing on his sax by himself. We cruised around to other dressing rooms and met some of the bands. We liked the Ledystics who had just come off stage. They wanted us to interview them instead! We said we would some other time.
      The rest of the band began to show up so I flipped on the tape and we began to chat. Filibuster had just returned from a European tour with the Skatalites, who they admire dearly. They talked about skating, and skatepark issues, about some of the pros they skate with, and some of the stuff they've done to support skating in Sac. Not even into the interview 10 minutes and they were called to go on-stage, to their surprise, next to last. So again, a thousand apologies from Jason who invited us to come on-stage for shots, or meet after, or call him later on or whatever, and we all wandered upstairs for their gig. They were awesome, I loved them! (See Ryde's article for a review of the show).

rob rossi
Rob Rossi, turntables—and skateboarder   

I took a couple shots from the balcony then turned my camera over to Bonnie who together with Clyde did a great job. I kicked back and enjoyed the show! My flash pooped out on Bonnie, so the two of them, being the typical high school students they are, wandered back down to the backstage area to look at all the beer and drinks the caterers had set up, avoiding the ancient couches that lord know who's butts had sat on throughout the years!
OK, on to the point of this article. I gathered up all the film and had it developed at a mass production place. The first print I took from the balcony had a strange wispy light image. I go "Oh wow I got a ghost!"
       Looking at the other ones Bonnie and Clyde took, I saw that same image shot at varied distances, still true to size in proportion with the distances they shot compared to the long shot I took from the balcony. OooooooWeeeeeeOoooo. A couple days later I noticed Ollie chewing on a strip of film, you know the lead-in strip that's usually black and you always throw away? I remembered my flash didn't go off on the first two shots. I took it out of her mouth, held it up to the light and sure enough it was shots one and two on that roll, I saw an identical image that was the same image on the first
print of the balcony shot and at that same focal distance! I know I've made probably every mistake one can possibly make in a darkroom but I've never made THIS mistake. It was clearly an image and nothing else.

Crest ghost
I don't think the ghost needs any introduction, photo by Clarkie

   I took the negs to a reputable photo lab, Bay Photo where an amazed lab tech ran a bunch of custom prints of the scrap negs just out of his own curiosity, and agreed he'd never seen any stray light source or anything quite like that. My curiosity fluid levels were running wild. I contacted the Crest. In a one-line e-mail simply asked, "Is the Crest haunted?" A nice person named Sid wrote back to me saying, "Yes, but in a friendly sort of way." I friggen

The enlarged image on the lead-in flim, without flash

screamed!!!!!!!!! I wrote back "Have you ever seen any ghosts there; do you know who they are?" Sid wrote back, "Yes, I see a man in a white shirt who hangs out up by the projection booth, and a little girl in a party dress. Why?" I scanned a couple of pics and sent them to Sid, who said he'd seen many pictures of the Crest but never saw anything like this. He confirmed there were no light sources in their house system that could make such an image.

      I logged on to the Crest homepage, and if you look hard enough it gives the history of the Theater. Sure enough, I found there had been many deaths at the Crest throughout its history. Among them, three firefighters died in a blaze. Someone else was killed during one of the many phases of reconstruction the theater had undergone, when the marquee fell onto some pedestrians on the sidewalk. Being the high-tech Internet princess that I am, I researched some ghost stuff. Sure enough, there were several sites with pictures similar to mine. filibusterThis is called a "ghost mist" as opposed to an "orb." Or it could be an orb in motion. These have become household terms around here! I showed the pics to a coworker who plays in a Goth band (hah) and no doubt they've captured ghosts on film while they were performing too. They sent theirs to some ghost people who verify pictures, and they posted in on their website. I guess ghosts like to chill with bands! Don't blame them, must not be too much fun being dead.
      OK, if you haven't clicked out of here by now, here's where I pull this story all together. I sent the scan of the crest ghost to Hector at Skunk saying "either this is a ghost or Robs aura is leaving him," and he was all ohhhh weeeeeeeooooooo too! At the time neither of us knew it, but a couple weeks later, Hector e-mailed me to say that Filibuster had broken up, THAT NIGHT and the performance we saw that night was their last performance ever. More screaming, and a little crying because I absolutely loved Filibuster. Bummer, they broke up. And that's why I call this article "The Ghost of Filibuster."

clarkie and jason
The last Filibuster interview, ever  

      Be sure to click below for Ryde's review of the show, and a happy surprise ending.
      Check back in a few weeks and I'll tell you another close encounter ghost story. The Consolidated Skateboard Company ghost! (And no, Consolidated has not split up, they are live and well and strong and cool; they just don't sleep in their warehouse any more! I wish these ghosts would just leave me alone.

Happy Halloween BOOOO!

Special thanks to the band formerly known as Filibuster,
Skunk/Cornerstone RAS Records,
Bonnie and Clyde, and to
all the folks (dead or alive) at the
Crest Theater.

Ryde's Review


Real Skate Copyright © 1999-2003 by Clarkie, Santa Cruz, CA. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means; electronic, mechanical, photocopy, or otherwise without the prior written permission of the copyright owner, photographers, writers, or artists named herein. Trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. (What this means is, Please Don't Steal!).