Posts Tagged ‘Joel Kmak’

The Penetrators, the Bedbreakers
and Manual Scan at the Casbah

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

(After collecting a lifetime achievement award at last week’s San Diego Music Awards, the Penetrators performed Saturday at the Casbah Club, supported by fellow music veterans the Bedbreakers and Manual Scan. Che Underground: The Blog presents accounts of the evening by Sean McMullen, Gary Heffern and Kevin Donaker-Ring as well as a luminous selection of photos by Mr. McMullen.)

Gary Heffern, the Penetrators; the Casbah, August 13, 2011 (Sean McMullen)It was a full moon, I remember, and I was already sweating and thirsty after walking down from Banker’s Hill to the club, but couldn’t seem to get past the patio to the bar for a bubbly cold Tecate due to the onslaught of embracing and handshakes and stories that followed. Every one of these nights serves to reinforce the depth of this bizarre alter-family I have collected since I was a wild-eyed runt getting dropped off at Golden Hall for a Penetrators show, amongst others, full circle.

The Casbah, August 13, 2011 (Sean McMullen)Indeed there are few things in my life as gratifying as seeing people who used to revolt and butt heads like rams getting along with so much love and joy and pride. And the sheer fact that we remain so devoted to our music, to this town and each other, speaks volumes of the magnitude of our youth, and how we carry it forward incessantly with age.


The Penetrators play SDMA!

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

James Call, Penetrators; SDMA, August 8, 2011 (Eric Rife)Thanks to documentarian Eric Rife, those of us far from Southern California can enjoy video of the Penetrators performing at the 2011 San Diego Music Awards at Humphrey’s by the Bay August 8, when the band received a lifetime achievement award for its contributions to local music. (Vocalist Gary Heffern in June shared his thoughts on the honor with Che Underground: The Blog.)

If these performances of “Walk the Beat” and “Sensitive Boy” put you in the mood for more stimulation, don’t forget: The Penetrators will hold another reunion performance at the Casbah August 13!


The Penetrators in August:
SDMA lifetime kudos, Casbah gig

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Detail: Penetrators group shotAugust 2011 is a momentous month for San Diego hometown heroes the Penetrators, when lead singer Gary Heffern returns from Finland in time for the band to receive a recognition for lifetime achievement at the 2011 San Diego Music Awards August 8! The event will also occasion another Penetrators reunion performance at the Casbah August 13.

“As a child, I was told, ‘You will never amount to anything,’ ” Heff recalls. “Still that voice in the back of my head repeats that over and over again. It’s a mantra I fight against on a daily basis.

“When I first heard the Ramones’ ‘Beat on the Brat,’ the New York Dolls’ ‘Trash’ and the Sex Pistols’ ‘No Future,’ they weren’t just words but anthems to me, something that was personal, and all mine … People who understood those songs and what they meant to me became instant friends … It was us against the world …


Penetrators and friends at the Casbah

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

(San Diego’s legendary Penetrators got together for a rare performance April 3, when lead singer Gary Heffern flew in from Finland for a short visit. Ace photographer Sean McMullen was in the audience and offers a wealth of images for us out-of-towners.)

It was a really good turnout with a true rogue’s gallery of old friends.

““I made a joke about there not being much of a pit, and someone said it was more of a “hug pit.” Haha. I definitely participated in that. All three sets (including openers the Loons and Social Spit) were high energy and rocked the joint well. The level of passion and musicianship was an adrenaline rush all the way through.

““““Personally, The Penetrators were one of the first bands I saw live as a 13- or 14-year-old kid at Golden Hall. I became friends with Gary in the last decade through Casbah shows and Facebook, so it was a joy to have him back here and interacting with all of the people I grew up with from that early age.


Bandmates/other friends 1982-1990 (+1)

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

(Bart Mendoza of Manual Scan and the Shambles — San Diego music historian extraordinaire — shares some highlights from his stacks.)

Detail: Dean Curtis at Club Zu (collection Bart Mendoza)Some call it being a pack rat; I prefer the tag “archivist”! The dream is to put together a DVD/book with the rooms full of stuff I’ve accumulated in 30 years of collecting San Diego music memorabilia.

But in the meantime, in honor of the recent Che Underground reunion shows, here are 20 relevant vintage photos from my archive. For this fifth picture post, I’ve included a little bit of everything: random photos from 1982-1990 (+1), including bandmates and other friends.

1) Dean Curtis at Club Zu. You know it’s a good show if Dean is in attendance.

Detail: Dimitri Callian at New Sounds 1989 (collection Bart Mendoza)Detail: Patrick Works and Peter Miesner at Club Zu (collection Bart Mendoza)Detail: The Roosters at New Sounds 1985 / JP’s (collection Bart Mendoza)Detail: Mick (London) Hale at Club Zu (collection Bart Mendoza)


‘I was a Shambles drummer’

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

(Bart Mendoza of Manual Scan and the Shambles counts off drummers he’s worked with.)

“I was a Shambles drummer” pin (collection Bart Mendoza)No doubt about it: Kevin Donaker-Ring and I have worked with a lot of drummers over the decades, keeping in mind that we first began our team-up in 1976.

Here are a few of the incredible musicians who have spent time behind a drum kit with Manual Scan or the Shambles over the past 30-plus years. Not pictured: Paul Brewin, Morgan Young, Terry Moore, Rob Wilson, Trace Smith, Brad Kiser. … There’s a future post there.

1) “I was a Shambles drummer” pin. People have sat in with the band for one song to obtain one of these.