For the second time in about a month last Saturday, agents from the state comptroller’s office stormed Lola’s Saloon (2736 W. 6th St., 817-877-0666) and performed a limited seizure, taking available cash to put toward outstanding back taxes –– Lola’s, easily the most popular live-music venue in town, owes the comptroller $13,250, according to comptroller spokesman R.J. DeSilva, dating back to April. During a performance by Mills & Co., Fate Lions, and Goodnight Neverland, three agents seized the cash box, walking away with $643, according to Lola’s owner Brian Forella, leaving no money with which to pay the bands. Lola’s paid them from the register.
“Everybody needs to calm down,” Forella said, adding that he’s been getting phone calls from media sources all afternoon after an explosion of rumor-mongering on Twitter. “We’re not getting shut down. We’re not in danger of getting shut down. And bands definitely don’t need to worry. They’ll always get paid.”
DeSilva said there’s no magic number that determines when or how frequently seizures are performed. “It really depends on the discussions between the business owners [and the comptroller] and also the amounts involved, all different variables,” he said. “There are no cut-and-dried procedures.”
UPDATE: The Good Show (9am-noon, KTCU/88.7-FM) has been hosting monthly shows at Lola’s for years now. Co-host Tony Diaz said that he and co-host Tom Urquahart have no intentions of moving the series from Lola’s, even in light of the comptroller’s recent shakedowns. “Actually, I’m not worried,” Diaz said.
Lola’s owner Brian Forella, Diaz said, has “always been square with us. He says it won’t happen again? I believe him, so there it is. I’m not worried about it. I’ve done business with him for years. Everybody goes through issues with whatever you’re involved with. [Forella] says it’s not going to happen again? I believe him.”
As with every Good Show concert, bands are paid from the money generated from cover charges at the door –– whether that amount is $5 or $500, the bands take it all home.
“The Good Show has no qualms, no worries at all with what Lola’s provides for us,” Diaz said. “There is no rocking of the boat or anything like that. We do it there and will continue to do so.”