Nirvana

The Grunge Gold Rush

Jan 12, 2018

On the most humiliating day of Jawbox's career, guitarist Bill Barbot was wearing a colorfully striped cotton T-shirt, white Calvin Klein jeans and Persol sunglasses and standing in a suburban New Jersey grocery store. Underneath orange and purple balloons and a hand-printed "Juicy Cubed Beef 59 ¢ lb." sign, he held his guitar in the air, poised to smash it into a cart full of junk food. To Barbot's left were his bandmates: drummer Zach Barocas, in a cream-colored jacket, bassist Kim Coletta in an impeccable red dress and singer J.

When you talk about the unrest that broke out in Los Angeles 25 years ago after the Rodney King verdict, one thing people usually remember is the looting.

People went into stores and just walked out with stuff. Some people stole vital things such as food and baby formula because they didn't know how long the riots would last. Others stole booze and cigarettes. Still others dared to carry mattresses and giant TVs home on their backs — and they weren't stopped by anyone.

Gilbert Monterrosa was one of those looters. But, he says he was a reluctant participant.