Halloween Night Show & Benefit for Ace Auto’s Bill the Junkman @ CELLspace

Junkman Bill @ The Redemption Center

photo by Scott Beale

Saturday, October 31st more than a dozen bands, performers and DJs will sing swan songs to everybody’s favorite junkyard in San Francisco and the world to raise funds for the Junk Man who has run it for a quarter century as a selfless patron of all those who turn mere ‘dumpster diving’ into the art of divining precious obtanium.

Ace Auto Dismantlers will itself be disassembled by the last day of 2009. Meanwhile there’s a Halloween night ruckus planned at CELLspace to raise spirits and funds for the man behind the yard. All the artists, musicians and metal-reanimators will return 2.5 decades of favors, and throw a party to scare away the bill collectors scratching at Bill the Junkman’s chamber door.

Power Tool Drag Races

photo by Scott Beale

YOU can come and put some much needed cash in the till, and get rocked, amused, bemused, and dance your junk off. The likes of Extra Action Marching Band, Mark Growden, Attaboy and Burke (they’re back!?!), Los Banos, SEEMEN and many more. All hosted by the singular duo of Dr. Hal Robins & John Hell.

The show is on Halloween Night, Doors are 8PM, show starts at 9–and what a show, full details below. Ticket price is $10 sliding all the way up to how much art and culture mean to you. Please be generous–Bill has tens of thousands in legal fees in trying to fight eviction and related costs.

Dress like as a junkyard zombie, a piece of haunted junk, the ghost of Power Tool Drag Races past, a homeless trash pile, or a nuclear irradiated pirate on a garbage skiff. The Bill the Junkman lookalike contest is sure to be a hoot (girls and guys both encouraged to enter!).

Ace Auto

photo by Scott Beale

For me, ACE was one of THOSE PLACES. One of the place in my life that I count on the fingers of one hand. You know what I mean; we all have those places and regardless of our luck in life, good or bad, there are only a handful of them. These places are where the good things happened. Where we met or really got to know our real friends. Where we made the memories that we will take to our graves. The good times. The stupid time. The places where, perhaps, we did really dumb and embarrassing things, and, wonder of wonders, no one cared. Ace was that place for many of us.

During these 25 years, Bill Kennedy (AKA: Billy the Junkman, Junkman, Belinda, William Kennedy and “Ed” among other nom de plumes) evolved into one of the most atypical, generous and best loved art patrons and philanthropists in Frisco.

From the early days of SRL (Survival Research Labs) scrounging big engines and other industrial strength gadget from Ace for use in cobbling together various demonic robots, thru the later era of Burning Man Burnoids picking through the junk in search of just the right widget to make their Playa blinky thing work, Billy has given away more junk (the good junk he could have sold for $$) to starving artists than any fancy schmancy grant council could even imagine.

I hope you will all come out to support William Kennedy in this very difficult transition to the next phase of his life. I KNOW, that without The Junkyard he will still be The Junkman. It won’t be easy to convince him of the truth of that statement, but I think we can do it. See you on Halloween.

-John Law

Ace Auto

photo by Scott Beale

Billy is out tens of thousands of dollars from paying an attorney to fight his evil landlady. Let’s help out & raise some dough for a guy who never hesitated to help others when in need. This night, Halloween, 2009, we will conjure the Spirits of the Junkyard long gone. We will usher out the age of ACE and, hopefully help the Junkman ease into his future, whatever that may be.

Here’s the lineup I’ve been bragging about…

MC’s Dr. Hal Robins & John Hell

Attaboy and Burke (who’s first performance ever was at the Junkyard in 1998)

Extra Action Marching Band (in action)

Los Banos

The Turks

Mark Growden

Esmerelda Strange

Marisa Lenhardt

DJ Stradivarious Rex, aka our own zombie lover Big Daddy

Kal Spelletich (SEEMEN)

K r © B

David Apocalypse

Paul Cesewski

Hammer Horror Classics

Mr. Mark (of Lifesized Mousetrap) & Madame Rose (of Baxtalo Drom), former reigning champs of Halloween with The Haunted Barn, will predict your future

…and loads of archival footage, art, and assholes!

Bill The Junkman himself will take the stage at some point, handing out ceremonial Junk of the finest quality and pedigree to lucky members of the audience.

See it all on Saturday, October 31st at 8pm @ CELLspace

Some of the many folks helping with this Tip O’ the Hat and expression of Love and Respect for Billy The Junkman are: Katy Bell, Simone Davalos, Mark Perez & Rose Harden, Dave X, David Durand, and Linda Lagunas

Power Tool Drag Races 2008

photo by Scott Beale

Though hundreds came and went over the years, there was a very rare breed who were actually EMPLOYED by the Junkman. So respect and recognition for the special few who pulled a paycheck (or cash or buds or…) at the finest Junkyard in San Francisco’s long, gleeful and sordid history. They including, in no discernible order:

Dave Durrand (#3), Julian Xu, Mark (Einstein) Hampton, Justin C. Atwood (Jarico Reese), Rob (Pervert) Hampton, Simone Davalos, Tym (Circus Boy) Simpson, Sue Glover, Joe Dean, Cheri (Rat Girl) Brugmann, Michael Lyons, Kim Knight, Samantha Campos, Jillian Iva, John Castro, Michael (Flash) Hopkins, Phil Sanchez, Kevin Mathieu, and Nick.

Ace Auto is Dead! Long Live Ace!
— Video by Dave (Number 3) Durand

Maybe it’s not surprising that scrappy artists and a scrap yard owner find mutual benefits and common cause, especially in the colorful and costly city of San Francisco. But please come enjoy the creativity and contrariness of some fantastic performers, and also celebrate and help support a guy who has been pouring fuel on that fire for 25 years.

A Horrible Dangerous Junkyard Party

photo by James Sime

See Simone’s earlier post for more on Ace, and don’t forget to READ THE COMMENT THREAD to get bludgeoned even harder by how important the man and the ‘yard were for the SF art community.

This John Law post was channeled through mikl-em.


Actor, nerd, poet, producer, writer mikl-em made his name short so you wouldn't have to. In addition to his blog you can find his writing in "Hi Fructose" magazine and witness him almost life-sized in various plays at The Dark Room Theater in SF's Mission district.

He tends to write about theater, humor, San Francisco culture and history, and stuff that's just plain weird. He thanks Scott for sharing the keys to the Laughing Squid virtual HQ and promises to uphold whatever it is that the mirthful cephalopod would prefer to be uplifted.