NOSCUM (New Opportunities for Santa Cruz Underground Music) was a Santa Cruz non-profit-collective (1979 - 1980) established to find a permanent local venue for new wave music and alternative dance, theatre and film. One suggestion was to convert 512 Front Street into a Mabuhay Gardens-style space. Members of this collective included Walt McKee, Nan Tracy, Beth Regardz, Charles Bingham, Phillip Bingham, Sue Marsch, Lynn DiMartini, Owen Hill, and Eric L.
At early meetings the name choice fell between NOSCUM (Underground Music) and NOSCAM (Alternative Music), the former being voted in over the later.
NOSCUM's first fund raiser was a yard sale at 619 Broadway, on August 18, 1979. It was followed on August 21 with a Sock Hop at the Laurel Center, where prizes were given for the best socks and for the best dancers. The collective succeeded in putting on many benefit concerts at houses and at Shellie's Too.
Due to a total lack of venues willing to book punk, new wave, alternative/underground music in Santa Cruz during this era, most early gigs were at private residences while NOSCUM tried to soften local bookers. Among the first gigs were an impromptu set of dates two weeks apart at a "secret" private residence location in Boulder Creek. Tao Chemical, The Xtremists, The Satellites and others either played or were in attendance. An early lead singer of Berlin (Zin Fandel / Lynn Healy) visited one of these gigs and guested on a few numbers with one of the bands. It is possible that Tao Chemical performed here, and set their lineup at this early gig.
Shellie's Too was a noted (GREAT) out of the way (mostly) lesbian bar. It is fitting that outsiders welcomed outsiders, and NOSCUM had a brief home venue.
One of the highlight's of NOSCUM's short existence was a gig at Shelley's Too headlined by Joe Allen and the Shapes. Joe Allen was originally a drummer and a member of Vinegar Joe, the band that brought Robert Palmer to fame. Re-locating to San Francisco, Joe Allen put together a very tight and professional new wave band: The Shapes.
Beth Regardz was a local art luminary who at one point co-founded/co-owned the late great India Joze restaurant. She was responsible for the interior design and art installations at the restaurant, as well as the cook books published and sold at the restaurant. Walt McKee immigrated to Los Angeles, where in addition to co-managing a gun shop (!!!) pursued musical interests.