Legendary Grand Junction Bar Manager and Drummer Passes Away
If you ever visited Grand Junction's most famous club, The Rose, you remember Allen Gibson. For many years he was the manager. For some time, he was the drummer for the band Sierra. Western Colorado residents are sad to learn Allen passed away recently.
Back in the day, the band Sierra ruled the roost in Grand Junction. This was back in the days of the San Antonio Rose. After a bit, the name was shortened to "The Rose."
Please note - all the years I knew him, I never saw his name written out. I apologize if I have used the incorrect spelling. When Hugh Plumleigh sent out the message via social media, he spelled the name Allen.
During Allen's tenure as manager, The Rose was simply out of control. Back in the early 1990s, you could drive by The Rose and see a line of people wrapped all the way from the front door, around the building, and then doubling back on itself by the front door.
Patrons didn't bat an eye at paying a $7 cover charge for Friday's FAC. Keep in mind, back in 1991, Colorado's minimum wage was $3 per hour. Doors would open at 5:00 on a Friday night with the bands playing from 5 to 7. The bands would then break, and resume at 9:00. Patrons all dressed like they were on their way to the CMA awards. I don't remember an enforced dress code at the time. They didn't need one. People wanted to dress up.
During those years, to make your way from the stage to the bathroom was a good 10 minutes. The bar wasn't that big, it was simply crowded beyond belief. It was reminiscent of Gilley's II in Las Vegas during the World Finals Rodeo.
I never knew Allen during the Sierra days. I first met him as the manager of the Rose. From what I hear, during Sierra's heyday, they would literally have to shut the band down early just to attempt to get the crowd out of the bar by 2:00 a.m.
Speaking as someone who played a lot of bars over the years, I can honestly say no one ever did it like Allen. The Rose was pure class (in my opinion). That was a tight ship. Year after year, the bar held on to the same bartenders, waitresses, and bouncers. Circuit bands were anxious to make their way back to The Rose.
I'm afraid I haven't stayed in touch these last ten years or so. Back in the day, The Rose and KEKB were joined at the hip. We did tons of fun things at Allen's bar.
Here's to you, Allen. Nobody ever ran a bar like you and Jack Ludwig. Those were the glory days. Thank you for a job well done.