Rock and roll history was made on the Sunset Strip, but it was rehearsed in Frogtown. At least that's what happened in the mid-1980s when the bands Guns and Roses and LA Guns practiced near the corner of Gilroy and Ripple Streets. Drummer Nicky Beat lived in a small warehouse known as the Love Palace that doubled as a rehearsal studio. But the musical connection didn't end there. Anyone who followed the local music scene in that era remembers bands like Tex & The Horseheads, The Little Kings, Sam Mann and the Apes.
What they may not know is that members of those bands started a fraternal order later known as the Loyal Order of the Water Buffalos (yes, from the Flintstones). Mostly an excuse to get away from their girlfriends once a week and drink beer, the Water Buffalos used the Love Palace for their Lodge Meetings.
Nicky Beat owned a 1950s Buick that rarely ran and stayed parked on the street; the license plate read ROADHOG, the name of one of Nicky's bands. Greg and Carl Kruegermann recall hearing the music clearly from their pickling factory across the street on Gilroy. They thought it was the perfect location, didn't bother anyone. Listening to Guns and Roses rehearse, the brothers remember liking the sound. They, however, had no idea musical history was being made in their neighborhood.
(Unless otherwise quoted, information comes from a conversations with Water Buffalo members Chris Bailey, Robin Raedeke and Goyo Vargas)