"Mother Earth But Rock 'N Roll," Barb Retires From Amoeba To Begin New Year and New Chapter In Her Life

Posted by Billyjam, January 1, 2015 11:55pm | Post a Comment

Barb (left) with Joan Baez, Roxanne, and Karen at Leopold's in Berkeley, pre-Amoeba.

"Mother Earth but rock 'n roll…and we're all gonna miss her a lot," said Amoeba's Karen about Barb, who is set to retire this week. Following decades of being a recognizable friendly face behind the counter of Bay Area record stores (including the better part of the past two decades at Amoeba Music in Berkeley), passionate music fan and much beloved maternal figure Barbara (or Barb as most know her) is readying to begin a new chapter in her life in the new year.

When Barb began working at Amoeba Music in Berkeley in 1997, she was already an integral part of the Bay Area's rich record store scene following decades of being at Leopold's in Berkeley. She also worked at the Leopold's Oakland store on Telegraph, as well as at her husband Eddy's record store in San Francisco's Mission District. But it was at Leopold's on Durant in Berkeley where most folks at Amoeba first go to know Barb either as record store shoppers or as fellow employees.

Once a vital component of the music world, the long-gone but still missed Leopold's (profiled in two parts on the Amoeblog here and here) was where many Amoeba employees started out their record store careers before the founding of Amoeba Music. Folks such such as Roxanne and Karen (pictured above with Barb when Joan Baez stopped by Leopold's in Berkeley) as well as others including Gail, Jim Henderson, and Mark Beaver all worked at Leopold's before Amoeba. Mark Beaver along with Amoeba Marc and Karen all address the Leopold's/Amoeba connection in the short video below. 

OFF!'s Amoeba Berkeley In-Store Show Yesterday Was OFF! The Hook

Posted by Billyjam, May 13, 2012 09:41am | Post a Comment
Just as OFF!'s Amoeba Hollywood in-store was back in October 2010, yesterday afternoon's (May 12th) energized set by the SoCal punk rock super-group at Amoeba Music Berkeley was equally off the hook (pun intended) with a sound mix that was perfect, a set list that included lots off the recommended new album (OFF! avail on LP and CD), and between song banter by Keith Morris that was at once entertaining and enlightening.

Check out the official Amoeba Music photos HERE.

As lead singer and former member of the influential and iconic West Coast punk outfits Black Flag and Circle Jerks, Keith Morris has done in the past, again at Amoeba Music yesterday he reiterated how he and his bandmates [Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross), and Mario Rubalcaba (Earthless/Hot Snakes/Rocket From the Crypt)] like to distance themselves from the term "punk" but rather consider themselves simply "human." He made that statement right before OFF! jumped into another five song set of high-energy, fast delivered, short n satisfying punk rock sounding songs. He even made a joke about how their songs are so short, typically one minute in length (like on their new 16 minute, 16 track album), that five songs take five minutes to play.

Yesterday's in-store show was more packed than I have ever seen one at Amoeba Berkeley (easily at, or close to, the 300 maximum capacity mark) and was made up of a wonderful cross-section of people of all ages from new younger teenaged/20 something fans to folks who were followers of Black Flag and the other bands OFF! were in from when they first started out - many of them bringing their kids along with them. Knowing how loud an OFF! show can get parents of some of the kids came prepared by placing muffler headphones (like the guys guiding planes at the airport wear) over the little ones' ears. This became fodder for Keith Morris in one of his many entertaining between song mic breaks when, before he would curse out loud some oppressive power, he advised parents to cover their kids' ears so as not to hear the "FUCK" word. "Oh I see they already have their ears covered," he quipped, pointing to the headphones kids in photo above. Morris, who in his October 2010 Amoeba interview noted that the band's name means "Get the fuck OFF! my back," spoke out against many issues including how the US government needs to stop policing the world and stay the hell out of other countries' political problems and wars (to applause). He had no good words to say about Republicans, but the current administration didn't fare much better either. He admonished Barack Obama, even if he is "a good guy" he said, noting how rather than working on saving the country the prez was busy down "in Studio City hanging out" with Hollywood celebrities for fundraising purposes solely.

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Halloween at Amoeba Berkeley, 2011

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 6, 2011 02:38pm | Post a Comment
Halloween was a mellow affair at Amoeba Berkeley, but several of the East Bay Amoebites were in the holiday spirit! Get a load of these get-ups!

Bean is spot on as "The Doctor!"
Dr. Doctor Who costume

Mondia's "Snookie as Elvira" costume...perfect!
Snookie Elvira costume

Kaiser, a convincing priest.
Priest costume

Ranon as "Boltman." (It's a Chargers' thing, right?)
Boltman Chargers costume

Amoeba Berkeley Summer Sidewalk Sales!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 28, 2011 12:41pm | Post a Comment
Beginning on Saturday July 9 and Sunday July 10, Amoeba Berkeley will hold weekend CLEARANCE sidewalk sales in front of the store from 12-7pm. Come on down for some great deals on LPs, CDs, and DVDs. Sales will run every weekend through the summer. All genres will be represented and lots of steals to be had!

    Berkeley Sidewalk Sale

We're 20 Years Old, So We Threw A Party!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 16, 2010 11:08am | Post a Comment

Photos by Kaitlin Layher
Words by Spenser Russell-Snyder

In this week 20 years ago, the first Amoeba Music opened on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, CA! I'm sure none of you need a history lesson, but just in case you do, head over to our "History" page and educate yourself on all that is Amoeba Music! On Sunday, November 14th, Amoeba Berkeley had a birthday blowout celebration featuring in-store performances, DJs, prizes, cookies, and a 20% off used item sale! Here are some pictures from throughout the day:

Kicking off the day at noon was Amoeba Berkeley floorperson Kyle, who spun old time rock 'n' roll, garage, blues, and soul records.

The Berkeley store's Grace had people spinning the prize wheel all day! Also at the prize table, we held an hourly raffle, with all proceeds going to The Berkeley Free Clinic. Prizes from the raffles included "Lunchbox" amp from ZT Amplifiers, a year's worth of Peets Coffee, a $100 Amoeba gift certificate, plus other rad items!

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