From the Past: Fight Breaks Out at Colorado Club in Mack While Band Plays
Did you ever get to visit the Colorado Club in Mack? If you did, you're no doubt familiar with the venue's owner, Jake Smith. Check out Jake in action when someone starts trouble with the band with this NSFW video.
According to Mark Shortess, this video was shot in 1989. Right about 3:37 you'll see a couple of figures pass in front of the camera. Obviously, a commotion had commenced during the band's rendition of "New San Antonio Rose." That's Jake Smith playing the acoustic guitar at the far left. Note how quickly he reacts. Before long, Mark starts getting smart with the culprits, and suddenly the band is in trouble.
The Colorado Club at 980 Highway 6 & 50, or as some know it, Jake and Mary's Colorado Club, was a western Colorado fixture for decades. Many up-and-coming musicians cut their teeth at the Colorado Club. All the local greats, Doug Lenard, Rusty Estes, Greg Achord, Todd Farr, Ted Dusor, they all played this room. While it was a real "Picker's Haven," it certainly saw its fair share of trouble.
Grand Junction musician/songwriter Mark Shortess uploaded this video to YouTube. He also posted the backstory on Facebook. Like Mark says in the post, Mack is a little way down the road, and as a result, it could take the Mesa Country Sheriff's Office time to get there. This is where the club's proprietor, Jake Smith, steps in. According to Mark, "On this night Jake showed he wouldn't back down to anyone to keep his club civil and safe. I guess my smart-ass ways didn't help much."
For the younger generation who might be more familiar with "franchise" clubs and security devices at the front door, here's a little trip back in time. This is how we used to roll in the '70s, '80s, and '90s. No bouncers, no metal detectors. When trouble started, the guitar player/bar owner would come down from the stage and straighten things out.
John Roland "Jake" Smith was born in Texas in 1939, and after meeting his wife Mary, relocated to Colorado. I didn't meet Jake until 1993. My musical adventures brought me to the Colorado Club a number of times between 1993 and 1995. I found Jake to be fair, an excellent musician, a great person to work for, an honest businessman, and an all-around nice guy.
I miss Jake, and I miss the Colorado Club. When I used to play this room it was with a couple of the guys you see in the video. Those were fun times. Nothing against the current bars operating around the valley, but I don't know if we'll ever see the like of Jake and the Colorado Club again.