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Teen of Hearts: A couple takes a concrete seat while waiting for the ska show to begin.

Mostly white, middle-class and fond of tobacco, ska fans want more shows

By Traci Hukill

A GROUP OF GIRLS with pink and orange hair clusters outside the Gaslighter Theater at a ska show, smoking between sets. "We need a place that holds concerts every weekend near us," Emily complains. Campbell is too far to drive from Los Altos every weekend, she says, and the others agree.

"We need more places where we can meet people," Carla pipes up.

"There's not a lot of all-ages shows," Amy points out.

"And the Cactus is so anal," gripes 17-year-old Jill. "You have to have your school I.D. with a picture on it." She thinks a second. "I like bowling, though."

Inside, Blind Spot starts to play, and the girls excuse themselves. Like the rest of the crowd, they get as close to the stage as they can, dancing in the Gaslighter's cramped aisles. It's an intimate venue.

A few people linger outside. Caesar, Jennifer and Jaime go to Del Mar High School. The two girls flank Caesar on either side, clowning around and pulling on his tongue gauge. Like a lot of teenagers in this town, the three scramble for stuff to do on the weekends. Lately they've been shooting pool every Friday night.

Caesar says they also like to bowl. "Sometimes we go to the Top of the World," he adds. The Top of the World is a parking spot overlooking Los Gatos.

Some things never change.

I ask if their parents know they smoke.

"My parents know," says Caesar, who's 17. "My parents have been smoking for 30 years. What can they say?"

Jennifer's been thinking about what she'd like in the way of entertainment. She turned 15 last night and is still riding high on the awareness that she had a really wild time. "I'd make one place for kids to go for free," she says with finality.

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From the Nov. 26-Dec. 3, 1997 issue of Metro.

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