a week on the scene


Gruene staff gawkers captured a photo (above) of the elusive Ashcroft in his natural state of dress: casual

Photo by Gruene staff.
attire. The carefree, easygoing guy is pictured with longtime Gruene Hall and Gristmill co-owner Mary Jane Nalley. Menacing FBI agents are strategically tucked in the dark recesses of the surrounding wooded area, and in Ashcroft's ass.


When Club Fuel opened on East Houston last summer, club owner and promoter Deren Bushala had hopes of "bringing something that's hot everywhere else to the forefront of the city's music culture."

"People want to go someplace different, but you have to give them something new," Bushala said before opening Fuel. "And there's no club in town that has done straight-up, quality, underground electronic music Wednesday through Saturday. Instead, it has always been the same pumping Top 40 or hip-hop just banging." Bushala was right - but in the wrong kind of way. SAPD vice squad detectives kept a scrutinizing eye on the former "rave promoter," and shut down his club several times. Bushala never fully recovered to establish a regular clientele, and Fuel floundered in its opening months. Instead of featuring dance music mainstays like Lil' Louie Vega, Fuel hosted mainstream artist Lil' Flip and the Nelly afterparty, as Bushala moved toward renting out the club for private parties rather than wasting money on big-name DJs with little return.

Less than a year after its inception, Bushala unloaded the club on new owners. Today, Fuel is just a typical SA club: a meat market with weekly mainstream mixes and radio remotes. "All the clubs here are cookie-cutter clubs," Bushala once complained. "It's a dance floor and a bar, and they all play the same music, and it's the same crowd that goes to every single club all across San Antonio." Add Fuel to that fire. •