A History of the Golden Bear by Robert Carvounas
3 out of 5
Just mention the name “Golden Bear” to a Huntington Beach local and the utterance is usually met with a knowing smile and regretful tilt of the head. Almost everybody— young and old— still remembers the once great landmark. This book is not intended to be— nor could any one text ever be— a recounting of all the great memories from countless individuals over three generations. Instead, it is meant to provide the historical context for those memories. It is the story of the people behind the Golden Bear. From Harry Bakre— whose talent and vision gave birth to the Golden Bear when Huntington Beach itself was still in it’s infancy— to Del Kauffman, George Nikas, and the Babiracki Trio who presided over the Huntington Beach landmark when it was a legendary live music venue. It contains their personal stories and recounts some of their interactions with legendary performers— and also with their community. It is a story about Huntington Beach businessmen who created a legacy that still reverberates to this day. It is a story of success, a story of triumph, and ultimately a story of defeat and great loss. The world lost the Golden Bear when it was demolished in the summer of 1986.
This is a very BRIEF history of the Golden Bear. It leaves out many details about the local music scene and the influence the Gold Bear had on local musicians.