In the late ’80s, Kevin Donaker-Ring co-produced Manual Scan’s “Days & Maybes” EP with Ray Brandes (side note: humorous liners by Mike Stax), and we were all part of a group of musicians that frequented Megalopolis on Fairmount Ave., often playing round-robin style — David Moye and Jon Kanis amongst the round-robiners who didn’t end up in the band (though we did back up Kanis on a compilation-album track).
Post-Manual Scan split, the two began to collaborate, with Mark Zadarnowski and David Klowden entering the equation next. Though, like Ray, David’s stay was relatively short (up to some first album tracks), Mark has been crucial to the band’s sound since the beginning — check out the song “Change” for one particularly cool listen. Although he retired from live shows with the band in 2005, he’s still part of the action and will be holding down his usual spot on the band’s next recordings.
I wasn’t an original band member but came aboard soon after, just prior to our UK road trip in 1991. Bill Calhoun and Ron Silva were part of the group for a while as well –- check out Bill’s killer playing on the song “Rain” from our album “Clouds All Day” or the “We’ve Got a Groovy Thing” single, in particular.
The transition in lineup can be noted on the group’s first single, “(She’s Used To Playing With) Fire,” which includes recordings from the first lineup but pictures the one with Ron. Lots of other drummers have joined for short spells. (More on that in an upcoming post.) We were fortunate to have had indie-label interest right away — particularly in Europe, and yes, Spain — so releases have been fairly steady.
Next up is “Forty One Sixty,” the first of two discs with artists covering songs from The Manual Scan or The Shambles catalog, from Michigan’s JAM Records.
Funny to think that Manual Scan was around for nine years, but the Shambles have now been gigging for 17 years –- and that doesn’t count all our other bands. The current live lineup of The Shambles is Kevin Donaker-Ring; Bart Mendoza; multi-instrumentalist Kenny Howes; and drummer Todd Woolsey (Static Halo).
1) The Shambles’ first lineup at the Marquee, London, England.
2) The five-piece Shambles at the old Casbah, l-r Mark Zadarnowski (in mirror), Bill Calhoun, Bart Mendoza, Ron Silva, Kevin Donaker-Ring.
3) Manual Scan at the Adams Ave. Theater, l-r Kevin Donaker-Ring, Paul Brewin, Kevin Donaker-Ring, Dave Fleminger.
4) Manual Scan at Tower Bridge, London. I seem to recall some of these pictures ended up in one of the British ‘zines of the day. We’re a three piece at this session because Ron Friedman was on the road, as tour manager, with UB40.
5) Mark Zadarnowski / The Shambles at Java Joe’s in Ocean Beach.
6) Mark Zadarnowski / The Shambles at The Marquee, London.
7) David Anderson and Ron Friedman of Manual Scan at Rock Palace.
8 ) Manual Scan’s Kevin Donaker-Ring and Tom Ward at an outdoor gig in Fresno.
9) Tom Ward and Kevin Donaker-Ring with The Jetset’s Paul Bevoir recording the “Lost Sessions” EP at Circle Sound Studios.
10) Manual Scan’s Ron Friedman at The Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco.
11) Ad for The “Phase III” EP (England) with Manual Scan, 1986.
12) Mark Zadarnowski / The Shambles at The Old Casbah.
13) Ad for The Shambles’ “Fire” single. The first 45 featured Kevin, Ray, Mark, David and Bart.
14) The Shambles in Madrid, Spain – Bart, Mark, Frank Barajas, Kevin Donaker-Ring and Mike Kamoo. Francisco “Paco” Poza not pictured.
15) Legendary Minneapolis trio 27 Various (with Ed Ackerson) at Soma / New Sounds. I joined in for a few songs at the end of the set. Here’s the amazing part; their bass player was Bart Bakker, and Bart Davenport joined in on vocals for the next song …
– Bart Mendoza
Tags: 27 Various, Adams Ave. Theater, Bart Bakker, Bart Davenport, Bart Mendoza, Bill Calhoun, Dave Fleminger, David Anderson, David Klowden, Ed Ackerson, Francisco "Paco" Poza, Frank Barajas, Kenny Howes, Kevin Donaker-Ring, London, Mabuhay Gardens, Madrid, Mark Zadarnowski, Mike Kamoo, Mike Stax, mod, Paul Bevoir, Paul Brewin, Ray Brandes, Rock Palace, Ron Friedman, Ron Silva, San Diego music, the Casbah, the Jetset, Todd Woolsey, Tom Ward, UB40