The dudes behind Houston House of Creeps -- downtown home of DIY concerts, free kegs, kitchen Jacuzzis and possibly even a few renters -- are throwing another huge party on Saturday, and you're invited. This time, though, all the debauchery will be for a cause: raising money for a lawyer.
Scott Doyle, the O'Doyle Rules front man and co-founding Creep, says that he and his former housemates are being sued by the landlord of the HoC's original location on Carrolton Street, just north of Old Spanish Trail. It seems the Creepers were evicted from that house about two years ago, after the property owner discovered they were hosting wild DIY house shows.
"We were four guys that hung out and we'd all played in bands," Doyle says. "We wanted to put on shows and have our own club, kind of. We really didn't have the means at the time to start our own club, so we wanted to do house shows.
"We got evicted because they said we were running a business and they didn't want us ruining their house, even though we paid to have things fixed when they got broken," he adds. "Some of us were still in bands, and were already practicing there. We told them we'd be practicing and having loud music, and no one ever called the cops. They evicted us even though no one complained."
The Creeps were hardly sorry to leave the old place behind. To hear Doyle tell it, the original location was freezing in the winter, broiling in the summer and the plumbing was spotty, at best. As the new, downtown House took off, Doyle and the gang became so busy that he says he can't even remember the old landlord's name.
They'd soon learn, however, that eviction was just the start of their trouble.
"What we didn't realize was that in our contract, it said that if you're evicted, you have to pay six months' rent," Doyle explains. "That's over $6,000 right there. And I think they have $3,000 in other little damages: They charged us for every little bottle in the backyard and stuff like that.
"So basically, it's about $10,000 they're suing us for, plus two years of interest," he adds. "We were hoping it would go away. We were willing to pay for the $3,000 in damages or whatever, but when they sent a $10,000 bill, we weren't going to pay that. We tried talking to them, and they just said, 'Talk to our lawyers.' We never got it handled."
Soon they won't have a choice; Doyle and the original Creeps are due to appear in court next month. Luckily, they've got a lot of friends and a new House of Creeps to boot. Saturday, a dozen bands will be performing at a big benefit bash across two stages at the current House of Creeps (807 William) and their like-minded DIY neighbors at the Doctor's Office (1301 Nance), including We Were Werewolves, Deep Cuts, Mother Ghost, Chase Hamblin and the Roustabouts, the Wiggins, Giant Battle Monster and more.
As if that weren't enough, there will be plenty of donated St. Arnold's and Lone Star beer on hand as well as badass raffle items, including Fun Fun Fun Fest passes and a Cactus Music gift card.
The story continues on the next page.
"Hopefully, it raises enough money to pay for a lawyer," Doyle says. "All we're hoping to do is raise maybe $1,000. We'll cover the rest; I mean, we're going to have to, anyway! And more than that, we hope it's just another good show where everyone has a good time like our other parties."
Potential legal liabilities aside, throwing bonkers house shows is a calling that the House of Creeps fully intends to continue pursuing, even if their activities have been tempered by hard lessons.
"We used to do a lot more punk and hardcore shows, but we basically can't do that anymore, because it's not worth it," Doyle says. "Now we book more indie-rock and bands that don't have hard music or people that are going to break the walls, falling into them.
"The one hardcore show we had was kind of an overflow from one of Walters big hardcore shows, and of course someone fell through the wall," he continues. "Our landlord's really cool. He just fixed the wall and didn't even complain, although I'm sure he wasn't happy!"
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