Career opportunities

Village PeopleAnother where-are-we-now topic to connect the dots between our past and present: While a select few of us indeed earn our adult living in the music business, most have found other sources of income.

Today’s question: What do you do nowadays to pay the bills? And what (if anything) did you learn from our salad days that helps you now?

This one’s pretty easy for me. I’ve worked in publishing (in SF and NY) for 20 years, more than 10 primarily online. I generally run large teams of creative, verbal, offbeat young people who’ve converged on the big city for aesthetic and social stimulation. Sound familiar yet?

Indeed, you-all were my training ground for twisting fast-talking, fast-thinking creative excess into fantastic new shapes … Practically nothing these kids throw my way can really shock me, and there’s usually something new and interesting to take apart and try out. (To quote management-training guru Syd Barrett: “There is no other day; let’s try it another way!”)

Your turn: What did we teach each other then that you use now?

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85 Responses to “Career opportunities”

  1. Jeremiah Cornelius Says:

    I work for Bill Gates, with the big weird customers on the Internet. You know, Google, eBay, Yahoo!. I do Microsoft technical strategy for our sales teams now, but that’s a twist. I come from strong Unix roots, for those who grok Geek, and was an Information Security consultant for many years. What does that mean? I kept commerce from being stolen, and hacked into banking and payroll processing sites (for their owners) in the wee hours. I guess I never forgot how I misused the computers at Gompers, in High School!

    I stole this comic

  2. Cynthia (Cyndie) Jaynes Says:

    To pay the bills, I write lifestylish articles for a large website (under a pseudonym). I also write books for kids and young adults. My first book is coming out hopefully sometime this year, if my illustrator can finish the art soon. Lately, I’ve been focusing on writing young adult novels, and my agent is currently negotiating our first sale on that level.

    My misspent youth gave me endless material for my writing and great characters to draw from. Not that any of you will ever (ahem) end up in a book or anything…

  3. Jeremiah Cornelius Says:

    Right. Who wants a children’s book about a loony with black cotton-candy for hair, and a fixation on 19th century plate-engravings?

  4. Mmrothenberg Says:

    I am delirious with glee to learn that Eric Bacher is doing whizzy things with guitars! This information made my afternoon, boychik.

    When I’m overstressed by all this pixel-pushing, I tell my wonderful spouse Nancy about my longing to earn a living building something tangible and real by hand. (Then she reminds me that as a kid, I assembled a birdhouse with caulk instead of nails and hung it from my parents’ pepper tree … After the first rain, two sad little pieces of wood hung there for years.)

  5. Toby Gibson Says:

    I’m an out of work fluffer. Carpal Tunnel. Life’s like this.

  6. Matthew Rothenberg Says:

    I thought that industry had been outsourced, Toby! Glad to know there’s still a domestic market.

  7. Toby Gibson Says:

    We’re Union and proud!!!

  8. bobo Says:

    and toby i think i can find some work in your chosen profession around these parts for you bro ! we can get you those little wrist brace gimiks.

  9. bobo Says:

    on a side note, 2 weeks ago i had the great pleasure to enjoy breakfast with the charming artist formerly known as carla schults. we happend apon this very topic and, talking about what jerry does for a living now, finnaly makes the obsessive math profency and the 2 hour duck joke make sence.

  10. Toby Gibson Says:

    Quote= Ray Brandes: Toby–I’ve found that working with young people is far more rewarding that anything money-making career I might have found myself in (not that I know how to do anything). I get to feel like I’m not going to leave the world like it was when I found it, but I also get to enjoy their energy, creativity and hopefulness.

    Yeah- I tend to identify better with kids and old people. They just don’t seem to be so caught up (or stuck) in their own identities like the rest of the masses. I’ve coached kids paddling, taking them out on 44′ Hawaiian outrigger canoes, teaching them to paddle and steer, eventually sending them out to race on their own. I also taught kickboxing and jiu jitsu, mostly youth classes. Even now I go down to the beach and I know most of the kids by name, and here in Hawaii we watch out for the kids, try to keep them from hurting themselves or being hurt. It’s very old school here- not big city at all. I figure I might do some good on the bad kid front, as I have a lot of experience along those particular bleak, dark avenues.

  11. Mmrothenberg Says:

    Toby: Viz. “the grinding wheel.”

    RE our day jobs, I’m trying to put it all together. How’s this? Toby and Ray can mentor kids to run a team of fierce musical robots that the youngsters build with Bobo and Eric and program under the supervision of Jeremiah … Cyndie will write the whole thing up (and photograph it) — and I’ll publish it to the Web.

    I think we may have a business plan here! (Although my part’s kind of boring.)

  12. bobo Says:

    oh boo, your special in your own way.

  13. Cynthia (Cyndie) Jaynes Says:

    I’m in!

    I’m so proud of us. Whodathought way back when that we’d all turn out as upstanding citizens, much less folks who contribute to society (well, sort of). I’ve been thinking about Ray’s post all day and how cool that all is. I was PTA President for a couple of years (my first adult novel is going to be titled “From Punk Rock to PTA” -- don’t steal the title :) and I got tight with some of the teachers and I couldn’t imagine doing their jobs. I married a Nigerian guy so our kids are biracial (although in the spirit of Ray’s red-headed childhood, one of them is so blonde he almost looks albino) and we live in a really diverse community. Mine is the house with the full fridge and the trampoline out back so I always have a houseful of kids whether I want to or not and it’s heartbreaking how some of them live and learn. They all need people in their lives to show them that there is another way to be, if nothing else.

    I’m so glad that Eric is working with guitars -- it’s so perfect that if you wrote it, nobody would believe it. And Jerry working for Bill is awesome and absolutely right in its own way. Although I find the music aspect of this blog interesting, I’m even more fascinated with the paths we all took and the people we’ve all become. I check the comments more often than I should just to see who has said what.

    I’ve also been thinking that what those years in San Diego gave me most was the ability to hold off judging people like you can do if you’ve grown up in a suburb (Del Mar in my case). I would have never had the life I had or even married the guy I did if I hadn’t met such an amazing and diverse group of people way back then.

    Okay, enough maudelin sentimentality. Now back to our regularly scheduled comments.

  14. David Rinck Says:

    Wow, people are doing great things here, but that doesn’t surprise me, since you are the most intelligent and innovative group of people I’ve ever known. I can say without the slightest doubt that my time in the Che Underground was the most important formative experience in my life. When asked about my background, I never hesitate to say that I learned economics at the University of Chicago, but I learned everything else by being a punk rocker in Southern California. You guys raised me right!

    Today I’m a USG diplomat at the Agency for International Development (USAID), currently posted to Kenya. I’ve lived in Africa for about eight years now. In fact, I rarely set foot in the United States nowadays (though as a lot of you know, I’ll be in California in December, hopefully visiting a lot of you!). Most of my work at AID focuses on post-conflict reconstruction, especially agricultural sectors. I’m posted to the East Africa Regional Mission here in Nairobi, so I travel a lot, and to a lot of places that are pretty messed up. I’m specifically responsible for programs in Sudan, Uganda, and Eritrea, but I also have a new program to develop regional commodity trading facilities over all of Eastern and Southern Africa, so I go pretty much everywhere these days (anyone with a more that passing interest in this field can find some of my work on this topic at:

    Okay, a career in economics and foreign policy was for me the result of a “moment of inspiration” I had during my traveling days, which occurred when I stumbled rather unwittingly onto the clash between U.S. politics and reality in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. “Wow” I told my rather naïve self, after attending a combo Sunday brunch/housing demolition in Ramallah one day “this is bullshit! There are people here that are not being taken into account, and so their rights are being trampled. History is being gerrymandered (housing demolition in fact being a clear tool of Israel to erase the Arab heritage in Palestine). This shit is going to cause tremendous problems down the road if things don’t get changed, because this people are living proof that the story we are being fed, is not kosher”. Hence, from Funland to Fatahland, the Palestinian national struggle followed Punk Rock as a demonstration of how mainstream narratives often (or usually) can’t be trusted, and that once we saw the light, an ONUS OF RESPONSIBILITY falls on us to challenge the status quo with alternatives.

    So I spent a lot of time in the Middle East, eventually completing the field research for my economics degree in Lebanon at the famous American University in Beirut (AUB), looking at how that country tackled its own post-conflict reconstruction. I have great photos of myself standing in the rubble of the bombed out Burj (Beirut city center) in 1994 in my Ramones t-shirt. Incidentally, the most exciting meeting of my life, aside from Iggy Pop at the Bachinal in 1982, was Yassir Arafat in 1987, on the very day he arrived in Gaza to found the Palestinian Authority. I argue that Arafat is the greatest hero of the post-colonial world, because of the way in which he led the Palestinians out of obscurity against overwhelming adversity (in fact against outright denial of their very existence). Anyone that can remain so stoic, while being on the receiving end of so much vicious historical revision (for example, see Barak’s fabled “generous offer” at Camp David, or the mythical “return to violence” during the second Intifada – i.e. the Aqsa Intifada, which of course more correctly should have been called the Ariel Sharon Intifada), obviously has character. Yep, the iconic PLO chairman is right there along side Johnny Thunders and Keith Richards in my pantheon of rebel heroes. His only weakness in my book is that he didn’t play music. If he’d played guitar, I’m certain that the Palestinians would already have their state.

    Anyway, I love my job, since I get to see world events up close. I’ve worked in over a hundred countries now, lately mostly in Africa and the Middle East, but also Latin America (especially Argentina, where I met my wife) and South Asia (India and Pakistan). I spent an especially exciting period in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban, where I got to see the realities of Bush’s “Global War on Terror” and state building agenda from a front row seat, and of course I again got to watch the destructive ripple effect of a continued failed U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond. And it’s a beautiful country, the rock climbing in the Panshir Valley is world class. Really, book your holidays there before it gets overrun with tourists! It’s not paradise on Fourth Avenue, but there’re great deals on Hazara carpets on Chicken Street.

    Punk Rock obviously taught us the importance of questioning authority. But I think it may be less obvious that it also taught us how to question it, and gave us the courage to actually do it. And we also learned that authority doesn’t just necessarily mean your boss, or the guys that tell you what to do, but it also means the conventions (and prejudices) that rule our lives and limit our imaginations.

  15. Cynthia (Cyndie) Jaynes Says:


  16. Dave Ellison Says:

    I always felt that playing in bands and being involved in music scene was one of the most important things I ever did. It connected me to the world outside the small town I grew up in, and shaped who I am today.

    I’m a graphic designer in Los Angeles… creating and implementing brand identity in-house for our company’s various lines of products and services. The interaction is very much like being in a band: working with other creative people with everyone focused on the big picture.

    Nowadays I only play music at home, but I now have some home recording equipment Ive been playing around with. As much as I like my job, there’s nothing like creating something with no one to satisfy but yourself!

  17. Larry Halterman Says:

    After readings everyones commits I’m reminded of a quote by Tony James of Generation X ” we all have skeletons in our closets, even if it’s education”. I was always amazed at the level of intelligence of the S.D. Scene back in the day,it ran the gamet(?) of lunitic fringe to genius, I had a sinking suspicion, even back then, that I was among people that would change the world for the better. I’ve always been of the opinion that we must use our super powers for good and not for evil.
    Anyhow I ‘ve done many different things over the years metal fabrication, specialty metal contractor, martial arts instructor(tai chi, 8 step preying mantis),salesman, bouncer,but I’m currently in a career transition and I returned to San Diego, after 20 years away, and went back to school to become a commercial helicopter pilot. I’ve already received my private rotorcraft license and I’m working on finishing my commercial and instrument requirements. It has been a fantasy of mine to delivery food to the hungry of the world. Who knows? Maybe one day I might be flying you on an adventure Mr. Rink.

  18. Dave Ellison Says:

    Larry, Im glad you found us here… today I saw your post on the “under the hood” thread for the first time and left a comment.

  19. Dave Fleminger Says:

    Since the mid-90’s I’ve been a freelance producer/composer/sounddesigner in San Francisco, working with media and PR firms and creating the audio portion of videos, adverts, games, presentations, tradeshow exhibits, live floorshow performances, and even song-and-dance infomercials, mostly for software, hardware, gaming and computer companies.
    I’ve created the soundtracks for several Leapfrog toys, mainly in the infant and toddler division. One of these toys plays more than 20 minutes of music, and along with the fun I take it quite seriously that I have been responsible for a part of someone’s early-life soundtrack…
    Also I’ve composed for some independent films and various arty endeavors…
    --basically I’ve remained a noisemaking gear-geek and when left to my own devices (pun intended) I play way too much guitar..

  20. Wendell Kling Says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of good works. Its a joy to hear about.

    For my part I’m an artist. I work with sculptural objects that do things which then get done in front of people thus making performances. Out of college I collaborated with a group of artists making underground spectacles in marginalized spaces. Lots of bright lights and loud sounds. Kinda theatrical in a way, though I’ve eliminated the element that gets in the way of good theater: the actors. Lately I’ve been making sculptural electronic instruments to create the soundtracks for my light projection devices. In my mind I’m still making rock and roll. At one point after Noise292 broke apart I remember making a conscious decision that I should either devote my time to music or to art. It was one of the stupidest black and white decisions I have ever made. I think I’ve spent the intervening time trying to reincorporate the music. I definitely miss the pure collaboration in music. I’ve had that kind of relationship only rarely in the Art world.

    Oh, but I’ve never made any money to speak of with my art. After a few experiments facilitating others’ art, I am now teaching Sculpture and New Genre at San Diego Mesa College where I hope to influence young minds that way my excellent teachers did me.

  21. Dave Fleminger Says:

    Wendell: that sort of collaboration indeed takes on such different forms in art and music..I also made a similar decision to pursue a fine arts education, and it too felt like it was an exclusive decision. Down the road apiece and before I could even claim to have pursued a career in art the siren’s call of music lured me back to tunage..which meant that for me that painting and creating singular objects would have to take a backseat. Whether or not that was again an exclusively exclusive decision I can’t figure out at this point.

    While I’ve had the pleasure of taking part in some collaborative art works they still usually sooner or later involved working music into the project in some way ‘r another..
    --it’s that veering back to the ‘band’ interactive thing again.
    I agree so much with what’s been already said in this thread about how formative and powerful that collective mind experience is.

  22. Mmrothenberg Says:

    Dave Rinck is my personal deity. Of course, he always has been.

    BTW, anything any of us can possibly mention after a Dave Rinck travelogue will sound hopelessly mundane, but I’ve been meaning to mention that I’m doing some fun consulting work for the BBC right now … So apropos the title of this post, I’ve been humming the Clash nonstop for days. (Except I make coffee there, not tea!)

  23. Jeremiah Cornelius Says:

    “Do ya really… Do ya really wanna be a cop?”

  24. Hobie Hodge Says:

    I’m a cop…heh…no not really. Since I lost my fear of nuclear bombs cops are the only thing left to fear. Nowadays I write software for institutional investment banks, currently here: . I guess its still a somewhat creative job, but mostly just a paycheck. I still have some dusty music gear that I warm up now and again. Kids and other callings interrupt before anything is ever recorded though. I look forward to showing my boys how to use it someday. On escaping to Arcata in ’83 I gravitated toward the artsy type folks at HSU, studied and composed electronic music and collaborated in various performance art, theater and film projects, recorded, engineered and performed in the local country-punk scene, DJ’d parties (force feeding urban dance, dub and early hip-hop records often to the dismay of the yokels). Several of my Arcata buds are still in the entertainment arts, but that wasn’t my calling or desire. I majored in science and the art was always just for fun. My current ‘career’ was found by accident and is just a really long transitory phase… extended training to become a true surf slacker.

  25. Hobie Hodge Says:

    Oh yeah, Johnny Downs pimped dairy products for my family’s business: Golden Arrow Dairy? If you went to public school in the 70s in San Diego you likely remember that orange milk carton and logo.

  26. Toby Gibson Says:

    I recall it was a nickle. What went wrong?!!

    Man- you google “Golden Arrow Dairy” and you open up a nights worth of San Diego History reading. I just read that at one time Mission Valley was mostly dairy farms. I guess the Dairy used milk from all over because someone was saying their parent’s had cows out on Jamacha Road (We lived not too far from there for a stretch when we lived out Dahesa Road by Harbison Canyon- it was all cows and indians with guns- wild west San Diego even back then. I can imagine what it was like when Mission Valley was Cow Pasture.) Seems like a lot of people have fond memories of Golden Arrow Dairy, and from what I’ve read a lot of people made their livings working in some way with them. Seems like they were a big employer in San Diego at a time when jobs were maybe a little scarce. To me that’s kind of a neat thing at a neat time.

    On a total tangent, I just remembered a story my (ex-granmother-in-law- that’s so akward) told me about she and her husband (the first guy to surf Swamis and a lifeguard at Oceanside back in the forties) would drive all afternoon to San Diego to go Dancing at the Mission Beach Ballroom, and they’d stay the night at a hotel there and drive back to Encinitas in daylight. Her parents owned Carlsbad before the depression- they grew beans. They were also junk collectors and sad to say their kids pawned everything off for cheap after they died. One of their passtimes back in the day was to go out to the surrounding hills and desert and grave rob. Totally wrong and bad, but it was a different time (when it was still pretty much totally wrong and bad. They had bags and bags of indian jewelry that is all gone now, as well as literal piles of arrow and spear heads.

    I always have felt cheated that I was born so late. I think I would have liked San Diego a LOT between 1900 and 1945.

  27. Mmrothenberg Says:

    My family’s San Diego roots only date back to 1976 (except for a half-year in Solana Beach in 1970 when my dad first came out there to teach), but my father-in-law was stationed as an MP in SD County at the beginning of WWII, joined by my mother-in-law. (They were actually married in Riverside.)

    They had some great stories about coming to Southern California from Michigan. He used to patrol Tijuana scooping up errant servicemen. Nancy’s mom had a cute story about sitting patiently all afternoon for the bus to “La Hoya,” watching all these buses from “La Jolla” — pronounced j as in “Jack,” double-l as in “Henry Rollins” — pass her by.

    I want to hear more about Ray’s grandfather’s experience as a San Diego cop way back in the day!

  28. Ray Brandes Says:

    Golden Arrow milk--I remember it well! In my days at Toler Elementary school, you could get free lunch and a fudgesicle if you worked in the cafeteria. I always preferred working the dishwasher, because we’d have water fights with the high powered hose. Anyway, sometimes they’d have us sell ten cent half pint milks outside--Golden Arrow. Nowadays, I’m pretty sure the elementary school kids drink Monsters at lunch.

  29. Dave Ellison Says:

    A little off the subject, but what a totally ingeneous idea someone had to get the STUDENTS to work in the cafeteria and not have to pay a dishwasher. Note how they only did that in elementary school, because by junior high the kids had all figured out their scam.

    The teacher always acted like it was a priviledge to do it, and of course everyone wanted to because they’d get out of class for a while. Then you realize that for the entire week, you’re going to be spending several hours a day standing around scrubbing peanut butter off lunch trays before you put them in the machine…with the water and peanut butter splashing up in your face the whole time. Maybe the experience taught a few kids not to do things like sign up for the military when they got older.

  30. Dave Ellison Says:


    I should have stayed in class and learned to spell…

  31. Hobie Hodge Says:

    Toby, I wonder if the first guys to surf Swamis (ca. early 40s) you mention included then lifeguard Fred Ashley? He is a watercolor artist, still kicking in Encinitas and is an old friend of my dad’s. I think Wendell may know Fred too. There’s a recent picture history book called “surfing in san diego”, if you use google books for a preview you will see Fred’s pictures around page 89. I know he mentioned being among the first at Swamis along with the Traux family. There’s also a 60s era pic and quote from my dad who was interviewed for the book (page 29). I agree the 1st 1/2 of the 20th century would have been a fine time to live there. As a side note, I am in the 5th generation of my family to live in SD, but really don’t have much desire to head back these days. I like my little town of Pacifica, just south of SF. Kristen must agree, she found her way here too!

  32. Jeremiah Cornelius Says:


    I’m just over the top of Sharp Peak from you, at Skyline! Right where the San Andreas reservoir laps against the south edge of San Bruno…

  33. Mmrothenberg Says:

    My understanding is Kristin and Hobie got serendipitously reacquainted through some sort of mommy-and-me group in Pacifica. I think all Pacifica kiddos should be given tiny BBQ grills and drumsticks as part of some sort of Noise 292 arts endowment!

  34. Hobie Hodge Says:

    Matthew is correct, Kristen and Ami (mi esposa) are Pacifica mother’s clubbers. Kristen was chatting with Ami some years back and guessed by last name our relation. Jeremiah’s a Pacificano too! fancy that fine confluence. I know Dave F. is nearby (SF?). I watched Lemons are Yellow play in Kristen’s living room some time back. A nice treat! Dave, it’s an easy commute to the city if you wanna join the club. Pacifica kind of looks like North County San Diego used -- to before hyper-mauve-stucco home growth transformed it. In Pacifica, we still have open spaces right near the ocean, minimal strip mall zones, and a banana belt -- or sun hole -- next to the Montara mountain trails and GGNRA.

  35. Toby Gibson Says:

    Oh- Afterthought- after Fred Ashley moved out of that camper I moved in for the next few years, a bit of philanthropy from my adopted family and ex-wife’s parents who saw something in me that seemed to them to be worth saving. Even then I knew Fred was somebody special.

    Next time I get into my dry storage I will be sure to pull out that small picture and scan it. Aloha- Toby

  36. matt johnson Says:

    Oops! Brian Van de W…(etering?)

  37. Toby Gibson Says:

    So basically your job is to try and get criminals back on the streets as soon as possible so we can enjoy affordable housing and produce?


    At least you can be pretty confident that your job won’t be outsourced to an illegal alien. ;)

  38. matt johnson Says:

    My job is to get my clients as little time as possible, to get them back home to their families in Mexico. I have many repeat clients. I think they teach them that in A.A. (“Keep coming back”), and they’re just trying to follow The Program to the letter, one day at a time. Job security is a plus!

  39. Toby Gibson Says:

    I know- and someone has to defend them. That’s just my sense of humor.

    Despite the fact that construction jobs make up a lot of the jobs being ‘outsourced’ to illegal aliens, I’m not against immigration. I am for having a somewhat even playing field by which to do business. I’m pro having the government either enforce laws or get rid of them. Right now the way the government handles enforcement (spotty and selective, like attempting to stop a river with a paper cup) anyone who wants to run their business 100% legally are forced to work at a distinct disadvantage when trying to compete with businesses paying illegal aliens cash. I don’t really feel that the major issue is immigration. I think the major issue is having a work force in this country with no rights and an upper middle class who can’t clean their own house or mow their own lawn.

  40. Matthew Rothenberg Says:

    Matt: Can you alert the Boys Club to our little corner of the Web?

  41. Toby Gibson Says:

    I avoid political discussions like the plague, mostly- except with very close and trusted friends. For the most part. And old punk blogs and message boards where I feel it’s safe to assume that one wont be completely written off for their beliefs. Discussions of politics and religion just seem to bring out the worst in a conversation. I do try to bar the easy labels like “Democrat” and “Republican” and “liberal” and “conservative” from casual conversation. If everyone did that 98% of America wouldn’t have an opinion.

    I do however dislike our government a lot- and governments in general seem to me to be exceedingly loathsome.

  42. Todd Lahman Says:

    After 15 years of working in the culinary arts, a fancy way of saying slaving away in a hot kitchen, I decided it was time for a change 1997 With the loving support of my wife Elvia I started my career in the tonsorial arts. I now own my own barbershop, Sweeney Todd’s Barbershop. Sort of ironic when you see the some the pictures of me on this blog. I guess it’s kinda like a reformed alcoholic doing counseling for AA(HaHa!)I’ve had the shop for just over a year now. I basically took the shop over from my boss who is now my employee. I worked in this shop for roughly 8 years before taking it over. I’ve had few celebrities in here too. Everyone from Lawrence Tierney(not at all different from his on screen persona), Gore Vidal(very fussy)Henry Rolllins(no comment)and Eric Bacher(again not at all different from his on screen persona)and Dean Curtis(world renowned cad)And no I didn’t name it after the Tim Burton atrocity.

  43. matt johnson Says:

    Todd, you had a pompadour back in the (pre-Wallflower) day, right? I had a pretty good one when we went up to S.F. with the Morlocks. Photos anyone?

    Didn’t we try to get you playing ryhthm for us that trip? I seem to remember us going to your apartment to recruit you. Your girlfriend was not amused, and you pulled some broken-down guitar with a couple strings out of the closet and didn’t dare strum it. We were majorly bummed not to get you.

  44. jason seibert Says:

    Im a jagermeister super model and your sisters boyfriend. Sometimes i sit in front of bambies in JJ wondering wat the donkies that arnt painted like zebras are dong for work.

  45. jason seibert Says:

    I also kook for the rich and famous

  46. Toby Gibson Says:

    I’ll vouch for his credentials: he is quite the seasoned underwear model.

  47. Todd Lahman Says:

    Yeah Matt I had the pompadour that pretty much defied gravity, for some time and yes I do remember that day in S.F. pretty well. I think I ended up doing the lights for you guys or at least my version of doing the lights f at some place on the upper haight. Its good to see you’re doing so well. Stop by the shop sometime if you’re ever around L.A. Hey that goes for everyone else here to.

  48. kmartin Says:

    @Jeremiah & @Hobie:
    I’m also just off Skyline — in northern Pacifica just on the border with San Bruno and Daly City. Hobie and Matthew are correct — I reconnected with Hobie through my PMC (Pacifica Mothers Club) board membership — I served as VP when Hobie’s wife Ami was the President. One of my many volunteer gigs…

  49. Dave Ellison Says:

    Paul, I enjoyed your story!

    Your description of the MusicMan combo amps is on the money. I have a 50W with a single 12″…I used to wonder why it never seemed loud enough in a small practice space (its actually a pretty loud amp), until someone told me how directional they are. I was told that using and extra speaker cabinet takes care of the problem.

  50. Dean Curtis Says:

    Wow, I love this topic! Amazing stories, and I’m happy to see so many old friends have such creative careers! I haven’t read the blog for a couple of weeks and I missed so much.

    I’m currently GIS (Geographic Information Systems) manager and IT manager for a small water resources consulting firm in Marin County, that was established in 1959. It’s a great place to work, so I’ve been here since 1992, when I graduated in Natural Resources Planning from Humboldt State U. Before I went to Humboldt I served ice cream at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor in La Mesa (’78-’80), sold toys at Toys ‘R Us (’80-’81), bussed tables and tended bar at the Jolly Roger in Seaport Village (’81’84?), drove a big rig for 6 months (for real!), delivered janitorial supplies for Blue Line with Mike Gomes (mid 80s), and delivered all kinds of packages for Pacific Messenger Service in downtown SD and in the mountains and deserts to Imperial Valley. Pacific Messenger Service has been operating in SD since around the turn of the century and the last time I was down there for the Tell Tale Hearts reunion I drove by their building on E St and was happy to see they are still in business.

    You may be wondering why I drove a big rig cross-country for a while. I just had to get away from a certain temptation in San Diego that was everywhere at the time. What’s funny is that it was in every truck stop too, but I managed to stay away from it. And I wanted to drive a truck since I was a kid. But it got old quick, haha, so I only did it for a few months.

    I think my days in San Diego in the early 80s will never be surpassed. In high school I was kind of a loner, I just didn’t relate to anyone. Feathered hair and OP shirts didn’t do it for me, the girls were stuck up, and I was bored with Styx and Kansas. But once I started going around as a mod and seeing punk shows I made so many friends, had girlfriends, and had something to do every night. Everything changed for me practically overnight! And I thank everyone who I knew then for those good times, but especially I appreciate all the super talented people I knew (and those I never did know) who were playing music, making flyers, cutting hair, fixing up scooters, organizing shows, etc. Those folks inspired me more than any famous people have done. I don’t know if those experiences have helped me in my career, but they definitely gave life meaning, and continue to do so. My work is OK, sometimes I even like it, but friends, girls(!), music, travel, dancing, and good food and drink are what I live for. I guess Todd is right, I’m a cad-about-town, haha!

    I would love to hear what Al Brown, Tim P., and John T. are up to these days. My ex-wife (Lisa Messick) and I saw the Bedbreakers quite a lot back in the late 80s (they played our wedding) and we had some good times hanging out with them. What is funny is that I was just talking to Carrie Swing about the Bedbreakers and Al Brown and she thinks one of her old friends, who now lives in LA, is shacked up with him in LA!

  51. matt johnson Says:

    Hey Dean,

    I remember seeing you quite a bit when I was playing with the Bedbreakers, just before moving to New Orleans in 1990. I think we played at the original Casbah at least once a week back then. That’s when you were driving the big rig, right? I always thought that was really cool, and it pops into my mind all the time since I now do so much driving.

  52. Dean Curtis Says:

    Yeah Matt, I was at Humboldt then (’88-’92) but I used to come down at least twice a year and go to the Casbah, Bodie’s, and the Pink Panther. And Lisa and I spent the summer of 1990 in SD. But that was a few years after the trucking job.

  53. Ted Friedman Says:

    Well after many years of being a speed freak, a junky, and, dope dealer, I am working as a Chemical Dependency Counselor … we do recover.

  54. Paul Allen Says:

    Matt Johnson, so you were in the Morlocks? What was the lineup then? The Morlocks could use a profile somewhere.

  55. matt johnson Says:

    Paul Allen, yes indeed! After the Morlocks took San Francisco by storm, then moved to L.A. to “make it big” and broke up soon thereafter (others can fill in the blanks here, I wasn’t there and may have got the story wrong), Leighton and Tommy got Paul Howland and I to try a second run. Leighton and I had been in our first band together, and Paul and Tommy played together in the Wallflowers before Paul and I played in the Wallflowers, so it was a sure thing! We took it in a little bit different direction, more Stooges, Funkadelic, MC5 influenced. Equally influential to us in that lineup were James Brown, the Meters and the then burgeoning hip-hop scene (mix tapes provided by our manager Ron Rimsite in New York). We went back to S.F. in like ’87-’88 to record and play some shows. Then I went out to N.Y. later and re-mixed the tapes with Ron. We put out a coupla singles from this recording session, and Ron gave some guy in Yugoslavia an alternate mix or two along with recordings of our shows I made on my boombox (seriously!), which were released as “Wake Me When I’m Dead”, with lineup one (Leighton, Tommy, Jeff, Ted and Mark) on side one and lineup two (Leighton, Tommy, Paul and I) on side two. I still have the original (1″?) tape as well as the remix (1/2″?), which I was trying to find some way to put out someyears ago. I think the guy who put the L.P. out died during conflict there in Yugoslavia. I’m glad to see that Leighton is going strong with lineup 3 as we speak/type!

  56. BOogie Says:

    apart from a brief misguided foray into charlies world of white dollars thanks to an economics degree from the university of california courtesy of the us army, i am still doing what i love to to, pimp, deal and party.

  57. Toby Gibson Says:

    Didn’t capitalizing on death and misfortune go out in like 1991? I mean- unless you work at the white house. Tres retro- Olé!!

  58. BOogie Says:

    hey baby, now look i’m hungarian, that’s what i do, that and play music and make guylas, that’s goulash to you. Now we gypsys are also well known for our political skills so i’m going to lay something on you:
    this is a recipe for guylas, if you make it for people you care about, make it while they are there and enjoy the comapny. if you make it for a woman that you want to make love to make it the day before so the smell of frying onions doesnt mix with her perfume.

    Chop one large onion and fry in olive oil untill yellow

    While that is happening chop 2 pounds of chuck roast into cubes
    rinse the meat in a sieve

    Take the onions off the heat and put 5 tbs of Pride of Szeged Paprika on top, stir and add enough water to make a paste

    Return to heat, add meat, stir, add 5 cloves chopped garlic, stir, cover and turn to low

    After 45 minutes chop half pound of yukon gold potatoes and add to pot along with 3 hungarian peppers, use anaheim if you cant find them.

    Turn heat to medium, add sea salt and fresh pepper, cook 1 hour and enjoy.

  59. Toby Gibson Says:

    Now you’re speaking my language!!!

  60. Mmrothenberg Says:

    I just came out of my second all-hands meeting at my new company, and I’m quite sure I’m one of the 10 oldest people out of the 250 on staff. How did this happen? I demand a recount!! :-)

  61. shawna Says:

    Am I the only nurse?? There has to be more?

  62. mara owens Says:

    last time i saw you, pat, was in sf. we went for a ride on your seriously dope guzzi and had dinner. that year was when i moved to oregon. never moved back. except for the summer of 1997 when i re-met ryk (crash worship) at wendells house and got pregnant with henry. i moved back up here with ryk in the winter of 1998 and had henry that following summer. we split and i went back to school, raising henry solo. got my degree in english, with an emphasis on latina authors. did my thesis on ana castillo and the parallels to the saints from her novel so far from god. i think all the time in north park made me feel a special way about the women in the community, so it made it into my consciousness and into my undergrad work. at any rate, i managed to get through that with honors and wound up following it up with a degree in psychology. a masters in psych. go figure. probably related to all my time with you crazy people. or maybe it’s me who’s nuts. (did i say maybe?) during that time i did a lot of work with the queer population on campus and brought about aids awareness by bringing parts of the quilt to the school. it’s something they have kept doing, and that makes me happy. it’s all about increasing awareness regarding something that took my dad in 1996. it was the least i could do. my dad was a good man.

    at any rate, now i am working on taking care of my kiddo (who is crazy brill in a way that reminds me of pat and kevin and brendan) and teaching him photography, film making, crafting, and how to appreciate the things he has versus what he doesn’t. i’m not currently working thanks to an endowment i received recently, and so i am able to focus on writing and that boy of mine. never married. after having men like you all around i never could find someone to compare. nope. such is life. my plan now is to pursue my phd in social psych and create a 501 c 3 to address the growing issues surrounding immigration. (matt, we should talk…)

    o, and i also founded a group online for mothering as a mama with anarchist leanings. we are called muff. mamas united for freedom. our credo is, speak it like you see it, say only what you’d say over coffee and be cool. it’s wonderful. through that i have friends in all 50 states, nz, england, italy, and finland.

    i’m proud of all of us. we have come so damn far from being a surly, take-ourselves-so-seriously bunch of miscreants! well, we did have a sense of who we’d become, didn’t we? look at jerry. at pat. at dave. and wendell, of course you are doing art.

    proud. yep.

  63. Kristen Tobiason Says:

    Hi Mara! My sister Susan and I went to SCPA with you and Shawna and Jody but we didn’t know each other real well.
    Brian (Bobo), now Cricket (like Jody, isn’t that amazing) says hello. He is on FB and I just wrote him and said you were on the blog. Do you know what happened to Tamara Brown?

  64. shawna Says:

    Your name sounds sooo familiar. I thought I knew everyone at SCPA. Mara and I were very close at one time. Tamara and my sister are still friends. Tamara is in like Vermont. What years did you go to SCPA?

  65. mara owens Says:

    tamara is in vermont? she’s still a knight, right?

    kristin, your name sounds completely familiar. and man, wow… bobo… that man and me have History.

    i have a list of people i want to find:

    kevin lyons
    alan clark
    brendan berg
    marit berg


    o, and my most recent happy reunion was with mark s in boise. henry and i stayed with him and kathy and the girls last fall. it was wonderful to catch up. to watch my son kick marks butt at video games. unreal to be family people together and talk about out old crazy.

  66. mara owens Says:

    jody… cricket… how i have missed you. whoa. your art is beautiful.

  67. shawna Says:

    I can’t stay off this!! Just checking to see if your on today. I don’t know how but I can get on at work. I just had 3 babies, three more to go and then I am off till Monday. Im trying to find the blog about the party at our house? We have to go to this reunion!!! Please for your baby sister

  68. Robin Says:

    >>What did we teach each other then?

    Paul Howland came over to my house with friends a couple of times, saying, “I told him you’d show us what it’s like to have a functional childhood.” I’d make dinner. We’d play board games. I’d read stories and give them blankies. His approach to this was funny. But the way he said it- his tone and how he looked at me, made me feel like making fish sticks and mixed vegetables with ketchup really mattered. Paul gave me a sense of who I was and what I had to offer. I’ve been grateful for nearly 3 decades.

  69. Robin Says:

    And now…I do volunteer work cooking and serving meals to homeless people. One day a woman shuffled vacantly through the line, didn’t look at her plate until she got to the table. Then she noticed the steak and five kinds of vegetables in homemade sauce. She literally shed tears of joy. In retrospect, some of that moment is due to Paul H.

  70. Sarah Spry Keenan Says:

    Tamara Brown update for ya’ll.
    She was in Vermont, she now lives in Pittsburgh. Cosmo is 21, Violet is 10 and she is expecting her 3rd in the Spring. Her married name is Tamara Shattuck. She is well and happy.

  71. ava (mara) owens Says:

    i miss her. tamara is still one of the most intriguing and wonderful people i have ever known.

  72. Kevin Says:

    I’m an artistic failure. A business failure, and (I think) a great dad.
    I’m also that guy that Flem doesn’t notice walking past him in West Portal, who then asks his wife “hey, wasn’t that Dave Flem?”

  73. Kevin Says:

    oh, and I’m also a drunk. How’d I leave THAT out?

  74. Tobylifehater Says:

    Part and parcel for the course.

  75. Robin Says:

    Wow, Kevin. You OK there, muchacho? You don’t have to stay stuck anywhere you don’t want to be.

  76. Kevin Says:

    No, I’m in SF. I love it here. Never going back to SD.

  77. ava (mara) owens Says:

    k, when i loved to oregon in 92 i knew i couldn’t live in california again. i took it one step further and left the damn state!

  78. Robin Says:

    I wasn’t referring to your physical location. I meant I couldn’t tell if you really think you are a drunk and an artistic and business failure. If you do, I’d hate for you to stay stuck feeling that way.

  79. Dean Curtis Says:

    Sarah: thanks for the update on Tamara. Tell her Hi from me.

  80. Kevin Says:

    Thanks Robin. I really appreciate it. The business and artistic failures are quantifiable and several. yet at the same time in retrospect I am either fine with or proud of the artistic and business ventures undertaken. They just never amounted to too much and at some point had to be abandoned or shut down.
    The drunk part is just an observation. While not a problem, yet, I realize that I could definitely use some scaling back.

    I suppose in the essence of self-fairness I should also disclose that my wife loves me, I have what most would consider a great job, and my daughter (3 yrs old) has a huge smile and hugs me every day when I come home from work. And I no longer live in SD, even though it is my home town.

    Lucky? Yup. So I’m sorry if the drama came out a bit. I was going for the quick highlight update, and nobody ever wants to read about someones’ happiness. And if we didn’t complain, how could we properly consider ourselves punks?

  81. Robin Says:

    Glad you are OK. Hope you do scale back. Ain’t nothing glamorous about slow death by alcohol.

    For the record, I very much like to read about someone’s happiness. Especially if it involves a 3-year-old daughter.

    We’re the ones who lived. We’re allowed to quit complaining and dance jigs.

  82. Robin Says:

    Hey, Kevin- I don’t think it’s possible to live this long without experiencing significant failure. The fact that it’s happened to you doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you a member of Everyone.

  83. Tobylifehater Says:

    So my job just got a little more interesting. Already we host bands on a pretty regular basis- usually b-list acts on the backside of their fame and fortune, but we’ve had Steel Pulse, Atmosphere, my favorite retro 80s Brit hair metal band “Dragonforce”, Jason Mraz, and a bunch of bands I really didn’t recognize the names of (mostly 90’s college/alternative bands.)

    So the marketing director at my work just called me to tall me we’re hosting these people for an event in August:

    Earl Slick, Glen Matlock, Gerald Casale, Wayne Kramer, Steve Ferrone, Joey Santiago and Steve Lovering. For my birthday no less. (Well- on my birthday.) Sometimes my job climbs to well above half-decent.

  84. Lesha Holland Says:

    “I also kook for the rich and famous.” -- Jason Siebert

    Well, I “kook” for the United States Government; I’m a dreg-- A drain on YOUR resourses!

  85. Lesha Holland Says:

    But if anyone wants to hook me up w/ a job uniquely tailored to my talents AND weaknesses, i’d be more than happy to return to the work force… San Diego on $860/month isn’t exactly the “Woman-of Leisure” existence I thought it’d be!!

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