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Molly Goodheads is great new rock venue

By: David Knickerbocker

Date Posted: 2002-01-31

There’s a new live house on Gate 2 Street, and it’s definitely a contender for being the best venue for rock-and-roll on the strip. Located right next to Pulse Night Club, Al’s Place and Gate 2 Garage, Molly Goodheads is a great American rock bar. With black lights, a pool table and a band stage, Molly Goodheads has many of the same qualities as other live houses on the street, but it’s is not your typical bar. After spending a few minutes listening to music and watching members of the crowd peacefully interact with each other, it quickly became apparent that this new establishment was perfectly fitting for the heart of rock-and-roll in Koza. Molly Goodheads is a fun, upbeat place to bring a couple of your buddies for some good music, a few drinks and great times. Now a frequent venue for well-known local live acts including Clint Walker and the Groove Cats, Cry Wolf, the Dave Ralston Band, Stevie from Gate 2 Garage and Fujiyama, and Full Circle, you can hear all of the greatest from Okinawa’s rock scene here.

Molly Goodheads had its grand opening on Oct. 1 and has quickly been gaining a reputation for good music and good times. “This place has got its own style,” says owner Steve Brigante. “When I first opened, I had been out to most of the other places and I wanted to do something different.” Brigante is a very generous person, and his musicians put their hearts into their music for him. The bands all respect him for his lifestyle and personality and have quickly adopted Molly Goodheads as their home. “The spirit of the musicians is heard through their music here,” says Brigante. “It’s not about the furniture or free pool tables or anything else. It’s all about the music.”

Once you walk into Molly Goodheads, you will notice that there are a number of age groups that frequent the club. “We get anyone from 20-year-old PFCs to 65-year-old men in here,” says Brigante. “It’s a relaxed place. When they walk in, they’re not greeted by a bouncer because the crowd doesn’t need that. Our crowd is a peaceful crowd, and the music is very positive.”

Molly Goodheads has a great sound system, free pool, free cards, great live bands and more. One thing that sets this place apart from any other live house or club on Gate 2 Street is that they have cold beer on ice. “Tell me what American will refuse a beer that’s so cold it hurts his hand when he grabs it,” says Steve. The crowd seemed very pleased with the club on the day after the Kadena curfew was lifted. Molly Goodheads was packed with people dodging footsteps to get to the bar. People were positively happy to finally let loose after a week at the grind. The musicians were playing off the crowd, while the crowd was enjoying the music. Everybody was happy. The venue really has a good spirit.

During my visit, Clint Walker and the Groove Cats were performing. Their music was a great mix of dirty blues and classic rock. Led by frontman Clint Walker, the band is a must-see for those in search of the greatest rock-and-roll on Gate 2 Street. Walker and his band are flawless to the note, and they play their hearts out. “Molly Goodheads just recently opened, but we love playing here,” says Walker. “The crowd is great, and Steve’s a great guy. We feel our vibe a little more here, like we can reach out and touch the crowd. I love this place. There’s a lot of great music coming out of here. Steve is a very gracious host and is very supportive of the bands, so we’re supportive of him. This will be a really good place.”

Well-known local blues guitarist Dave Ralston dropped by to hang out for a bit, and he jumped on stage to jam with the band. “I like it here,” says Ralston. “I’ve never played here before, but I like it. People seem to dig the music, so I’m looking forward to playing here tomorrow.”

For those looking to drink, Molly Goodheads has a variety of domestic beers and mixed drinks as well as a few original shots. “The TC-1 is for the girls, the TC-1C is for the guys, and the TC-1E is for the really hard drinkers,” says Brigante. “Usually the hardest drinkers can only do about three of these.”

Molly Goodheads is owned by Steve and Sachi Brigante. The two wish to give their special thanks to Al and Yasuko from Al’s Place and Harry and Mieko from Gate 2 Garage for their support and for loaning them the tools and equipment they needed to get Molly Goodheads open. “They are great neighbors, and I love them like family,” says Brigante.

While wandering the streets of Okinawa City in search of the best rock-and-roll on island, be sure to drop by this new addition to Gate 2 Street. You’ll hear some of the greatest music being played anywhere and will leave very satisfied. Molly Goodheads is open from 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. on weekdays and from 7:00 p.m. to late on weekends. Though currently closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, the owner is looking to open one of those days starting in March. For more information, call 090-9783-1762.

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