Posts Tagged ‘the Crawdaddys’

Back to the Blend

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

(Dave Fleminger revisits the sights and sounds of this cornerstone of the early-’80s San Diego scene.)

Manual Scan scooter pose2012 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 … challenges …. you!” every couple minutes.

King's Road Cafe opening flyer (more…)

The rise of the Gravedigger Five

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

(Gravedigger Five co-founder John Hanrattie recounts his side of the renowned San Diego garage band’s short but eventful history.)

Detail: Ted Friedman, Leighton Koizumi, John Hanrattie, David Anderson, Tom Ward, the Gravedigger FiveI was 17 when I first played guitar for an audience. I was working as a roadie for a San Diego band called N/E One. They were a very good cover band that would occasionally write one of their own songs and include it in their set. They built up a loyal following among San Diego teenagers and started playing high-school dances and at a local “under-21″ night club called Headquarters.

They started inviting me on stage to join them in covering the Rolling Stones’ take on Bobby Troup’s “Route “ I was using a six-string Rickenbacker and playing rhythm guitar with Rob Glickman, the lead guitarist. I had been taking classical guitar lessons, but I really wanted to play rock ‘n’ roll. I switched teachers to someone who could teach me Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly licks. It was a long process, and I learned some chords, but my skills were limited.

During my senior year in high school, the ASB started booking bands to play in the quad during Friday lunch. They eventually got around to inviting N/E One to play, and I joined them on stage for their set. Afterward, several people approached me, asking if I wanted to start a band. I was flattered, but I held out, hoping to find people who wanted to play the same kind of music I loved. I refused to have anything to do with playing Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin covers. I wanted to play British Invasion beat and 1960s garage music.


Crawdaddys/Unknowns Labor Day
showcase from the McMullen Collection

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

The Unknowns; Casbah, Sept. 3, 2011 (Sean McMullen)San Diego photographer Sean McMullen is a true friend of Che Underground: The Blog and of most of the participants featured here. He’s also a friend to anyone who cares about preserving gorgeous images of the town’s most exciting gigs.

Sean McMullen, Dave Doyle talk photography

The Crawdaddys; Casbah, Sept. 2, 2011 (Sean McMullen)I’m very grateful to him for his latest contribution: this wonderful set of photos from our recent showcase at the Casbah, which ran Sept. 2 and 3 and featured the 30-year San Diego reunions of the Crawdaddys and the Unknowns, supported by a galaxy of local stars.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for video and audio from Labor Day Weekend 2011!

Flyer; Casbah, Sept. 3, 2011 (Sean McMullen)Heather Vorwerck, Dave Fleminger; Casbah, Sept. 3, 2011 (Sean McMullen)

Here are the acts, in chronological order:


The Sidewalk Scene plays “Richard Cory”

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

The Sidewalk Scene; Lestat's, July 30, 2011 (Dave Fleminger)It may be a new band on the block, but the Sidewalk Scene represents a veritable Murderer’s Row of San Diego musical talent. (Don’t miss your chance to see the band open for the Unknowns along with the Comeuppance on Sept. 3 at the Casbah — Day Two of a Labor Day weekend blowout that also features an evening comprising the Crawdaddys, the Amandas and the Baja Bugs.)

Buy your tickets now for the Crawdaddys and the Unknowns at San Diego’s Casbah, Sept. 2-3!

This video clip (accompanied by photos shot by Unknowns bassist Dave Doyle) portrays the Sidewalk Scene tearing into Paul Simon’s “Richard Cory” at Lestat’s July 30, when they headlined “Che Underground present Sounds of the Sunset Strip.” A great band with hundreds of years of San Diego history among them, delivering with the passion we’ve come to expect from these consummate musicians!


Crawdaddys/Unknowns reunion flyers
from Kristen Tobiason

Friday, August 26th, 2011

(To celebrate Labor Day weekend’s 30-year reunions of the Crawdaddys and the Unknowns at San Diego’s Casbah, longtime graphic artist and Che Underground blog contributor Kristen Tobiason has prepared a striking pair of flyers to feature each night’s lineup. Here’s the story behind the art and a glimpse of the sociology of music flyering.)

The Unknowns, the Sidewalk Scene, the Comeuppance; Casbah, Sept. 3, 2011 (Kristen Tobiason)It seems like yesterday I was drawing a flyer for the Wallflowers’ first gig with a black Sharpie.

Twenty years later, here I am putting together a poster for the Unknowns, while listening to one of their songs on YouTube.
I still sketch my preliminary ideas on paper, but my medium has evolved, becoming less primitive and infinitely more digitized.

Buy your tickets now for the Crawdaddys and the Unknowns at San Diego’s Casbah, Sept. 2-3!

The Crawdaddys, the Amandas, the Baja Bugs; Casbah, Sept. 2, 2011 (Kristen Tobiason)Some girls love shoes, I love color and typography. I was never patient enough to learn guitar, but drawing came naturally. I loved record albums as a kid, and some of my earliest memories are of studying the covers from my dad’s collection. As a teenager in the San Diego music scene, flyering was a way that I could contribute to the music without having to actually be in a band. When I was 16 I got my first box of rapidograph inking pens, which I had seen Jerry Cornelius use for his illustrations. Jerry’s art was intimidating, but inspiring too. I learned by emulating his style, and used to sit and copy Tennielle’s drawings from “Alice in Wonderland,” or the covers of H.P. Lovecraft, to learn how to do the crosshatching/shading.


The Crawdaddys, Nashville Ramblers
in Spain: A view from Toledo

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Ron Silva, The Crawdaddys; El Sol, Madrid, Spain; June 12, 2011 (Silvia Zadarnowski)In mid-June, the reunited Crawdaddys and Nashville Ramblers were the latest of our San Diego crowd to enjoy the hospitality of Spain. Both bands played the Go Sinner Go! festival in Toledo June 10 and 11, and the Crawdaddys followed up the next day with a surprise appearance at the renowned El Sol club in Madrid.

Go Sinner Go!, Toledo, Spain; June 10, 2011 (Silvia Zadarnowski)I’m grateful to Silvia Zadarnowski (spouse of Crawdaddys bassist Mark) for these photos of all three events and to musician and show organizer Eduardo Arriero Hernandez for answering my questions about the show and Spanish fondness for this San Diego scene.

Buy your tickets now for the Crawdaddys and the Unknowns at San Diego’s Casbah, Sept. 2-3!

What is your own involvement with the Spanish music scene? You have a band, and you’re an organizer of the Go Sinner Go! Festival. Can you tell me briefly about those and how long you’ve been part of the music scene over there?

I’ve played in bands since I was 17, and I’m 32… so half of my life!! I’ve played guitar and sung with Hollywood Sinners for 11 years and keyboard with Fumestones for one year. I started organizing concerts in Toledo, my home town, of national bands I liked, and I continued it in Madrid. I can try get my favorite bands from all around the world, spend some days with them and have fun!!


The return of the Unknowns

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

(Last chance to see: Ray Brandes reviews why this San Diego reunion of the band’s classic lineup is a very big deal indeed.)

Detail: The Unknowns’ second lineupLabor Day Weekend is approaching fast, and tickets are selling briskly for the Che Underground’s long-awaited showcase featuring historic reunions by San Diego hometown heroes the Crawdaddys and the Unknowns.

The Crawdaddys have received some recent critical acclaim in both the domestic and international press for their shows in Los Angeles, Toledo and Madrid, while interest in the Unknowns reunion is heating up quickly.

The Unknowns’ reunion will mark the first time Bruce Joyner has sung with the group in 21 years, and the first time all the members of the group’s classic lineup have played together in nearly three decades! I spoke to the members of the band about the historical significance of the show and what it means to them personally.


Crawdaddys/Unknowns Labor Day gigs:
Buy your tickets now!

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Casbah logoWhat could be hotter than the triumphant return after 30 years of two famed San Diego bands? The tickets to the event, which just went on sale on the Casbah Web site!

Here are those details again of this can’t-miss event: (more…)

The Crawdaddys at Rhino Records!

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

(Crawdaddys Redux: Joe Piper channels his inner Andrew Loog Oldham to write this eyewitness account of the Crawdaddys’ long-awaited return to the stage last Sunday.)

What was originally intended to be a “low-key warmup gig” for the reunited ’81-model Crawdaddys prior to their jetting off to Spain for a prestigious appearance alongside The Nashville Ramblers at a bullfight or somesuch (actually “Go Sinner Go!! 2011″), quickly turned into The Event Of The Summer one whole day before summer even officially kicked off.

A capacity crowd crammed into the Rhino Records pop-up store on Santa Monica Blvd. last Sunday evening to raise money for a most worthy cause (MusiCares, providing a safety net for music people in times of need — feel free to contribute any time) and get their Rave Up R&B groove thangs righteously refurbed.


Unknowns, Crawdaddys revisit San Diego!

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Casbah logoWhere were you 30 years ago? If you were hanging with San Diego’s cool kids, chances are a gig featuring the Crawdaddys and/or the Unknowns was on your social calendar. And since a few decades hardly matter among friends, Che Underground: The Blog is proud to present a Labor Day weekend featuring both these legendary bands at San Diego’s Casbah!

Here are the deets:

What, when: Che Underground presents the Crawdaddys (Friday, Sept. 2) and the Unknowns (Saturday, Sept. 3)

Where: The Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd. San Diego, CA 92101

How much: $20 per night, $35 for a two-night package (on sale soon via the Casbah site)

Here’s what’s cooking with our headliners: