We’re having family fun, but crazy-busy. On Friday our family and niece Katie drove our camper-trailer the 800 miles back from our annual gathering near Muskegon, Michigan, with Nancy’s kin … Got in around 1am Saturday … On Sunday evening, a contingent of those Michigan/Arizona relatives arrived at our house back here in Jersey … Four a.m. Monday, I got up to take the kids to Montclair to embark on their two weeks of camp … Nancy’s brother Dave arrived at noon at Newark airport to join the rest of the away team … Then we all caught a train into the city … Took my first-ever bus tour around Manhattan, then took in my first-ever baseball game at Yankee Stadium … Got home around 1am … Everybody but Dave took off this morning to drive back to Michigan … Dave and Nancy and I had a lovely walk around Central Park and dinner at Vynl on 84th & Columbus. Now home — whew! Time to get back to work so I can get some rest!
I’ve been even less active than usual on this blog but busier than usual blogging: My preliminary efforts to chart my personal history in San Diego music have now merged with a larger campaign to salvage and restore some highlights from the slammin’ little music scene I had the good fortune to join in the early 1980s.
The first result is this Che Underground blog, named in honor of UCSD’s now-venerable Che Cafe (site of some of our finest musical moments). Songs, pictures and stories of the fabulous Answers, Hair Theatre, Noise 292, Rockin’ Dogs and Wallflowers, to name a few!
The power of Google: Ace photographer Harold Gee posted this picture of me and Noise 292 percussionist Wendell Kling rocking the acoustic at Presidio Park back in 1984. I must reconnect with the most excellent Mr. Gee …
Update: I coincidentally unearthed a 1991 memoir I wrote about that summer that includes mention of Harold and the circumstances of this photo. “Our stretch of Presidio Park was @ the foot of a five-sided tower on a hillside, w/a pretty good view of downtown & the Navy docks; [Hair Theatre vocalist] Sergio & I entertained a pack of skinheaded youngsters there one night w/Donovan & Creedence & Dylan numbers, & there were usually four or five guitars & maybe a harmonica floating around the crowd. Harold Gee, another older guy, an eternal local photographer & jeweler & writer, showed up w/Chris Negro a couple of times & added his trumpet to the Presidio mix. “
More library science: I’ve used my own stash of fliers to assemble a preliminary list of the shows I played in the mid-’80s. I know this isn’t exhaustive: All reminiscences and addenda welcome!
May 26: Ché Café, with the Answers and the Odds
May 27: Revelle Quad, with Know Discipline
June 30: Muir College Tennis Courts, with The Rockin’ Dogs
July 29: Ché Café, with the Answers (and Hair Theatre??)
August 26: Headquarters, with the Pandoras and the Answers
Nov. 5: Ché Café, with the Wallflowers and Hair Theatre
Nov. 12: UCSD Rec Gym, with the Pandoras, the Odds and the Answers
Nov. 17: Ché Café, with Hair Theatre and 11 Sons
Nov. 27: Ché Café (art show)?
Feb. 9: Ché Café, with the Wallflowers
Feb. 11: UCSD Rec Gym, with the Three O’Clock and the Odds
Feb. 24: Ché Café, with the Odds and the Front
April 14: UCSD Rec Gym, with the Unclaimed, the Mirrors and the Odds
April 19: Ché Café, with the Tell-Tale Hearts, the Wallflowers and the Rockin’ Dogs
April 25: Center for Music Experiment, with Jerome Rothenberg and Bertram Turetzky
April 29: The Club (AIDS benefit)
May 30(?): Chris Henry’s house party
May (?): Pea Soup Andersen’s (Jesse Jackson benefit)
June 3: Becky Cohen photo installation
June 6: Torrey Pines Theater, with Shades of Grey
July 13 or 14(?): Anticlub, LA
July 28: House party at Paul Allen’s (first appearance by the Morlocks)
August 10: Party in Anaheim
August 11: The Web, UCSB campus, with the Whitefronts
Oct. 31: Greenwich Village West, with the Morlocks, the Wallflowers, Hair Theatre and Cindy Lee Berryhill
3 Guys Called Jesus
August: Kavern Klub, LA, with Manual Scan and the Nephews
August 31/Sept. 1: Go Go Impossible (Kristy Maddox event)
Oct. 19: Jimmy’s Place, Point Loma, with the Nashville Ramblers and Hair Theatre
Oct. 22: Spirit, with Liquid Rhythm, Ten Yards, Drive-Ins
Oct. 26: Ché Café (Mexican earthquake benefit), with Camper van Beethoven (first SD gig), Hair Theatre, Black Tango, Synesthesia, Everybody Violet, Holy Moroccos
Dec. 2-4: That Dada Strain (play), at PJ’s Warehouse Restaurant
Dec. 20: “Bon Voyage Party” with Decision
Dec. 27: Party at John Stees’ house
Jan. 11: Jackie Robinson YMCA, with the Leaving Trains, Black Tango, Death Bunny
March 1: Jackie Robinson YMCA, with the Angry Samoans, RasZebraE, Decision
April 11: Big John’s, Anaheim, with Love & Terror, Incomplete Monday
April 16: Club Cult
May 6: Spirit, with Ashcan School
May 9: New Generation, with Cambridge Apostles, Bell Jar
May 12: Club Fester
May 16: North Park Lions Club, with Specimen, Tell-Tale Hearts
May 31: Party at John Stees’ house
August 28: Spirit, with Camper van Beethoven, Idiot Savant, Social Spit
Oct. 22: Spirit
Jan. 10: Spirit, with the Hitters, the Landlords, Dick Hippo, Blue Puss
Jan. 30: Club Cult (at Wok Express)
Delving even further into my back pages, here are a couple of images with David Rives, Kristin Martin, Wendell Kling and Joanne Norris of pioneering noise-psychedelic warriors Noise 292. This was in the UCSD rec gym, probably in November 1983 (with the Pandoras, the Answers and the Odds) or in February 1984 (with the Three O’Clock and the Odds).
For my next trick, I must figure out how to upload MP3s!
I’m working on my rock-‘n’-roll archives, exhuming a lot of ancient analog assets to share digitally with old bandmates. Here’s a shot I found in a set of low-quality Polaroids taken from an early rehearsal (circa 1985) with 3 Guys Called Jesus.
I’m eager to collect any sounds and sights from our old San Diego scene (as well as subsequent musical efforts in San Francisco). If you’ve seen this man, please ping me!