Last week’s photographic contribution from Tell-Tale Hearts guitarist Eric Bacher of the band and audience at Greenwich Village West, ca. 1984 — salvaged from a vintage contact sheet — omitted some great shots of the band, including a grainy image of keyboardist/harmonica player Bill Calhoun.
Archive for the ‘Performance History’ Category
According to Eric, the Hearts played this underground lair only twice. The photos, lifted from an old contact sheet, of course include Eric as well as Tell-Tale Hearts vocalist Ray Brandes, drummer David Klowden and bassist Mike Stax. (Keyboardist Bill Calhoun was not captured by the lens that night.)
Befitting their short, colorful career from the summers of 1983 to 1984, souvenirs of the Gravedigger V have been in short supply on Che Underground: The Blog. Now, Tell-Tale Hearts guitarist Eric Bacher steps up with two new additions to the set.
“We just did some ‘fall’ cleaning, and I found a few old pictures,” Eric writes. “The one of Leighton and Chris Gast was given to Denise by Leighton some time in the 80′s, I’m not sure of the provenance of the other.”
(Paul Kaufman solicits support for a new project by Che Underground’s own.)
San Diego has embraced its prodigal musicians as they return after decades. Consider the Comeuppance, a “chamber pop” combo led by David Fleminger (guitar, vocals) and Heather Vorwerck (cello).
This ensemble has a distinctive sound influenced by diverse jazz, country and classical traditions, all the while staying true to the high standards of songwriting that Che Underground readers know to expect from all of Dave’s endeavors.
Readers of this blog will recall that the Comeuppance relocated last spring to San Diego. The move marked a homecoming for David after 25 years in San Francisco; it’s a return to the city where he created so many memories as the creative force of bands like the Answers and the Mirrors as well as a founding member of a wide array of musical notables from Social Spit to Manual Scan.
(In the first installment of a series, Che Underground: The Blog considers how a young San Diego show promoter became a Eugene, Ore., soup titan. Plus: a bonus after-party recipe from Mark! If you’d like your story told, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org!)
The last time we were in the same town, you were playing in the Frame and promoting gigs in SD and Orange County at spots like Greenwich Village West, Big John’s and Club Cult. How did you move from there to the culinary arts?
I started at a steak-and-seafood joint as a dishwasher in Mira Mesa when I was in 10th grade, moved into doing salad station. There were all these “college” girl waitresses who would flirt with the new kid.
After that I got a job across the street at Chuck E. Cheese, doing pizza, and I would go out and do promos as the rat. My favorite was when they had me do an event for kids with Daryl Strawberry, then a Padre, who took me aside roughly when he thought I was upstaging him and whispered, “Take it easy, Chucky.”
(Just in time for Che Underground: The Blog’s fourth birthday, Gary Heffern shares an international collaboration featuring some of San Diego’s finest!)
Here is a new song by Gary Heffern & Beautiful People with lyrics written by myself, music by Rustman, and arrangement by Beautiful People: Selinda Shirley, Oulujoe, Mad Mulligan and Rustman.
It also features Ray Brandes, Joe Piper and Dave Fleminger on backup vocals and Ray doing some great harmonica as well. I thought if you would want to feature it on Che, you can do so and have first grabs at featuring the song.
(Dave Fleminger revisits the sights and sounds of this cornerstone of the early-’80s San Diego scene.)
2012 still sounds to me like a year from the future (or perhaps a Rush album). But here it is, and here we are, and 2012 will contain the 30th anniversaries of many happenings already chronicled on this blog. In the spring of 1982 the North Park venue known as the International Blend was re-named The Kings Road Cafe.
Within an unassuming building on 30th St., an incredible stew of various musics were served up to an all-ages crowd. There were even after-school shows that felt like a continuation of some grand afternoon dance-party tradition.
Whether it was the Iblend or the Kings Rd., the decor inside of the club was pretty much the same: bare-bones and all about the music. The stage was immediately on your left as you walked in the door and in the back of the room was a pinball machine that would shout “The … Black … Knight …
(Bart Mendoza invites you out for an evening of free music to celebrate the debut of “String Theory.”)
For this special show, the band will perform two sets. In the first, the quartet will play the new album in its entirety, plus a few old favorites. In the second, Wendy Bailey & True Stories will be joined by special guest musicians for a run through of a dozen choice R&B and rock-‘n’-roll classics — a different guest for each song.
“String Theory” is the debut album from Wendy Bailey & True Stories, featuring lead guitarist and vocalist Wendy Bailey; bassist Billy Fritz; guitarist Bart Mendoza (Manual Scan, the Shambles et al.); and drummer Danny Cress (the Coyote Problem, Skid Roper and more).
(Bart Mendoza ushers in this salute to the big cat.)
Saturday, Dec. 17, The Casbah will be the site of the Pink Panther’s 25th anniversary party. Expect many familiar faces in attendance to celebrate the late bar’s brief existence. Founded by future Casbah proprietor Tim Mays, Peter “English” Verbrugge and Bob Bennett, the Pink Panther was the meeting spot for much of San Diego’s music scene during its run and fittingly, the night features an eclectic bill.
Tickets are $15 and available online.
Opening the night will be the soul and rock dance combo The Amandas. Fronted by Amanda Suter, the band includes the ace rhythm section of Tom Ward (bass) and David Klowden (drums), with guitarist Jon Erickson, saxophonist Aaron Rossi and keyboardist A.J. Croce.
(Bart Mendoza remembers a friend and dedicated member of San Diego’s mod community, who passed away at age 44.)
I couldn’t imagine them without Scott Harper. His passing last week is another devastating blow to the San Diego community and yet another reminder how short and unfair life can be.
Scott was such a part of my life for most of the ’80s, he was like a brother. Adventures were legion, he rarely missed a Manual Scan show and was instrumental in helping with the New Sounds festivals.
My fondest memories, apart from some nights spent in discourse over a few drinks, is the way he always pitched in to help with crises big and small. At events, whenever there was static, or a question about something being done, he’d always be the first to jump in and say, “I’ll do it.” Worth his weight in gold.