Forever changes: Che Games for May
and the the perpetual nostalgia machine

Detail: Dave Fleminger, the Mirrors; May 30, 2009 (photo by Dave Doyle)Ava points out that it was exactly one year ago that Che Underground: The Blog hosted its first-ever reunion gig (a k a “Che Games for May”) at San Diego’s Casbah.

The two-night blowout included eight great San Diego bands (nine, if you count the unannounced, sizzling first-night mini-set by Lemons Are Yellow), most of whom hadn’t played together in a quarter-century. It marked the first time most of us had been together since the mid-’80s — and the opportunity to meet a few new friends who’d met through the site and their shared San Diego musical history.

This anniversary thus represents an interesting object lesson in the recursive nature of memory: This event itself has now passed into its realm and hence deserves its own commemorative post!

N.b.: Unlike our 1980s gatherings, Che Games for May benefited from 21st century videography and audio led by Eric Rife and Jason Brownell, respectively. Dave Fleminger at long last has the assets in hand, and we’ll be co-ordinating with the bands which fuzzy warbles they want to feature here or on distribution channels of their choosing.

Che-check it out:

Check out related bands, people, venues and gigs!
Che Underground Trivia Question
The Penetrators

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17 Responses to “Forever changes: Che Games for May
and the the perpetual nostalgia machine”

  1. Jeremiah Cornelius Says:


    Remember the 1340’s? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
    You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
    and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
    the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
    Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
    and at night we would play a game called “Find the Cow.”
    Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.

    Where has the summer of 1572 gone? Brocade and sonnet
    marathons were the rage. We used to dress up in the flags
    of rival baronies and conquer one another in cold rooms of stone.
    Out on the dance floor we were all doing the Struggle
    while your sister practiced the Daphne all alone in her room.
    We borrowed the jargon of farriers for our slang.
    These days language seems transparent a badly broken code.

    The 1790’s will never come again. Childhood was big.
    People would take walks to the very tops of hills
    and write down what they saw in their journals without speaking.
    Our collars were high and our hats were extremely soft.
    We would surprise each other with alphabets made of twigs.
    It was a wonderful time to be alive, or even dead.

    I am very fond of the period between 1815 and 1821.
    Europe trembled while we sat still for our portraits.
    And I would love to return to 1901 if only for a moment,
    time enough to wind up a music box and do a few dance steps,
    or shoot me back to 1922 or 1941, or at least let me
    recapture the serenity of last month when we picked
    berries and glided through afternoons in a canoe.

    Even this morning would be an improvement over the present.
    I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees
    and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light
    flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse
    and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.

    As usual, I was thinking about the moments of the past,
    letting my memory rush over them like water
    rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.
    I was even thinking a little about the future, that place
    where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine,
    a dance whose name we can only guess.

    --Billy Collins

  2. Mmrothenberg Says:

    I’ve been hearing some interest in future events …

    Does anyone have requests for what they’d like to see (and for out-of-towners, what they’d be willing to travel for)? Perhaps the performers can be coaxed out of retirement if there’s sufficient popular sentiment behind it!

  3. Paul Kaufman Says:

    >> Does anyone have requests for what they’d like to see…?

    Listen to your brothers’ calls: The Injections!

    The Crawdaddies.
    The Unknowns.
    The Gravedigger V: original recipe.

  4. ava Says:

    paul, you took the words right our of my… erm… fingers.

    except i never saw or even heard of the injections until this site was created. i was too caught up in my crawdaddies world.

    o, and the bedbreakers, the downs family, and anything else dave dick was involved in. the man is a genius.

  5. Mmrothenberg Says:

    If others were interested, I would like to do an event focused on songwriters, maybe playing stuff they’ve done over the decades.

    Maybe some kind of song-swap would be fun — I know I’d enjoy covering friends’ material! :-)

  6. Ray Brandes Says:,1392/

  7. Dave Fleminger Says:

    That’s an awesome idea Matthew! Song Swap-Meet!

    I second the notion of wanting to see every band already mentioned on this thread.

  8. David Rinck Says:

    I second the Injections! Someone call Lou and get him to stop waffling.

    Also, I would love to see the more songwriting forums and performances. Everybody here is a genius, and they still have a lot to say.

  9. Mmrothenberg Says:

    I want to cover Jeff’s songs from the Answers era!

    And ditto to Dave Rinck on current projects … I like how people have evolved, and maybe I should get off my butt and write something! It’s been a while. :-)

  10. David Rinck Says:

    Matt, yes you should. In fact all of you guys should. Stop depriving the world of your considrable talents.

    As I once heard it said -- We need change and we need it fast, before rock becomes part of the past!

  11. louie damian Says:

    at some point it will all come down
    to a davefest weekend at che cafe
    whaddaya think….

  12. Mmrothenberg Says:

    >>a davefest weekend at che cafe

    Louie: I still don’t understand how to hook up the Che Cafe for an event. (Not that it ever made a lot of sense even in the early ’80s, but now I’m totally mystified!) I would love to go back for a gig, though.

  13. ava Says:

    if they don’t want to we can always play in the eucalyptus grove nearby. unplugged davefest. sounds good.

  14. Bruce Injection Says:

    “I second the Injections! Someone call Lou and get him to stop waffling.”

    Hey Dave -- not really a question of waffling as much as family logistics and our own health issues at the moment. Lou is in the process of releasing some old stuff on vinyl through a company in Brooklyn…have to see.

    Of course an East Coast show would be easier for us but our hearts are still in SD!

  15. Dave Fleminger Says:

    Looks like the Che has events going on again…

  16. louiedamian Says:

    the che cafe is doable
    we could have a super 20 band extrav
    even this year
    just sey the werd

  17. bobby lane Says:

    Yes,lets go back to the Che and bring the kids for an all day hootenanny.

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