RIDE LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO: Twenty years and 500 miles later

ride-barcelona

The LONG tale of one American’s journey to see some British men sing the word “ah” a lot.

Ride’s reunion was not revealed subtly.  Last November, a huge black banner with the band’s name appeared, covering a building in Barcelona, Spain. Worldwide, people stared at their computer screens and knew EXACTLY what it meant.  After 20 years, Oxford’s kings of noise would ride again.

I first became aware of the band in 1990 when my girlfriend heard them as guests on KROQ’s popular Los Angeles call-in show Loveline. All she told me was that they were British and that their music was terrible. I was intrigued.  After all, this was the girl who refused to sit in the car with me after pulling into a parking space at our college dormitory while I finished listening to the Stone Roses’ eight-minute album closer “I Am The Resurrection”.  Sure enough, I heard the glorious “Vapour Trail” and was instantly sold.  I made myself deaf walking to class listening to a cassette of their painfully trebly sonic masterpiece Nowhere on headphones all year long.

Their 1992 follow-up, Going Blank Again, gave the band a cleaner studio sound, big anthems and more pop hooks without losing a lick of power. Now that I was converted, it meant I’d finally catch them when they came through town.  I’d missed them on their first trip to America, where a friend of mine saw them soundcheck with the Roses’ “I Wanna Be Adored”(!). Sure enough, they announced a Los Angeles show but then a high school friend attending college in Santa Barbara told me that they were playing the tiny Anaconda club there.  It was only a 90 mile drive away, so I went there twice that month: first to see a very bored Bluh with a redhot Senseless Things and then two weeks later (on a Tuesday?!) to see Ride with Slowdive.  Not surprisingly, I saw the tiny town’s same 50 Anglophiles at both shows.  After waves of shimmering Slowdive noise washed over us, it felt like nothing could follow such beauty. Then the “bokka bokka bokka” intro of Ride’s “Leave Them All Behind” played for a full five minutes before the band finally came out to turn us into a bunch of pogoing crazies, wishing the American Revolution had never happened so that we could have cool accents and not have to call it “soccer”.  A SCORCHER of a gig for a small gathering of faithfuls.

Ride played with the Pale Saints at UCSD  in my hometown that month where I went and saw two up and coming Saturday Night Live cast members.  Wonder what ever happened to those two.

Ride played with the Pale Saints at UCSD in my hometown that month where I went and saw two up and coming Saturday Night Live cast members. Wonder what ever happened to those two.

Fans and band members agree that it was mostly downhill from there.  Their next album, Carnival of Light, had a few great instant classic rock moments but they weren’t going to win any awards with lines like “Blackbird flying in the sky/please don’t look me in the eye.”  It probably would’ve been best to just stick to their finest go-to lyric: “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH”.  By the time they split in 1996 after one more album, it felt like no one wanted them to make new music, which didn’t make a reunion desirable for a very long time.  It didn’t help when I started to dig up live tracks and videos that soured my memory of seeing them.***  Had I imagined on-key harmonies or did the welcomed volume bluh things a bit?  I love it raw and they always looked great but I couldn’t unhear all the mistakes and lazy lead guitaring or lack thereof.  After the breakup, guitar god Andy Bell took all of his talent and put it into the plodding basslines of Oasis.  I didn’t want them back.  I wanted my perfect memory of that Santa Barbara night back.

***UPDATE: listening to this amazing 1991 recording of them in Los Angeles while I finally finish writing.  Apparently there were some really good nights too!

That is until 2003 when Bell joined Mark Gardener for an acoustic set of Ride songs in Bell’s adopted home of Sweden.  When video showed up on Youtube in 2007, it was stunning. Simple, forceful strummed guitars and SPOT ON heavenly harmonies.  They COULD sing together. It was only a matter of time before they brought the band back, even for old time’s sake.  When Oasis split in 2009, Ride fans all gasped and waited until Bell did the unthinkable, sticking with Liam Gallagher in the thankfully short-lived Beady Eye.  Within weeks of the band’s official split last year, there was a huge dark beacon of hope on display in Spain. We all exhaled and sang “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” in harmony.

The inevitable European festival dates were announced but it seemed unlikely that the band would add America’s Coachella to the list that spring and make their big pitch debut in a country where fame had eluded them, especially when they’d already announced they were playing East Coast US dates in the summertime.  OBVIOUSLY, they’d either wait until later this year to play Los Angeles’ FYF Festival or play Coachella next year, like the Stone Roses did. WRONG. There they were when Coachella’s 2015 lineup was announced, leaving most longtime California fans to wait patiently for festival organizers, Goldenvoice, to announce where else the band would be playing.

The reunion phenomenon associated with the festival has changed over the years.  As fewer and fewer people attend Coachella for the music and the average age keeps dropping, veteran bands reunite to play for small crowds in Indio for a huge paycheck. Where bands used to be restricted from playing any connecting shows, the festival has become so huge, selling out two weekends regardless of who’s playing, that Goldenvoice can now put on other shows statewide with longer sets for their aging fans who don’t have the patience for the heat and the crowds.

Ah but where to go?  When the first North American dates were announced for Toronto and New York, some megafanfriends of mine bought tickets.  When Coachella was confirmed, other sunshine state shows were expected but no one thought they would play San Francisco, LA, San Diego AND Pomona.  SF’s Warfield Theater was the first to be announced and sounded better than any other possibilities so I bought two tickets the day they went on sale. The Bay Area always had better crowds and a huge Brit-loving scene. I hadn’t been to the beautiful theater since 1994, where I saw James, Crowded House and the Go-Go’s that year. Plus, it would be justice for when the band was supposed to come to town that year.  Sorted.marquee ride

When they announced a show right here in San Diego at the beautiful but noise-restricted Humphrey’s By The Bay (I once saw Spinal Tap hilariously proclaim their show there the quietest they’d ever played), a lot of locals opted to go drive a couple of hours to Pomona or, surprisingly, sit the tour out completely.  I wanted to make seeing them after so long a special one-time thing, so even I stayed away, taking a much needed night off during a busy week of shows. Four in six days ain’t so easy anymore.  The show ended up being sparsely attended but apparently great, opening with an epic 16 minute jam incorporating “Nowhere” and other songs they didn’t do anywhere else in America.  No regrets!

Still can't believe the band posted this Anchorman homage for their San Diego show on Facebook

Still can’t believe the band posted this Anchorman homage for their San Diego show on Facebook

With my tickets bought, I just needed to stay away from spoilers and make some travel arrangements. Andy and Mark played a charity acoustic duo show two months before any full band gigs and while I shielded my eyes from setlists, I watched a video or two.  Not surprisingly, they sounded as good as they had in Sweden ten years ago.  But how would they sound with the roar of one of the best rhythm sections of their time behind them?  Maybe, unlike the Stone Roses, they wouldn’t be too proud to sing as good as they were once capable of.  I prayed for inner-ear monitors and quickly looked away when reports of a warm-up gig in Oxford, a last minute club show in LA, a radio gig at KCRW and video streams from Coachella flashed on my Facebook feed. LA LA LA LA I’M NOT LISTENING!

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 2.11.14 AM

Photo ℅ MOB IN DA BAY

Per usual, I made all of my travel plans at the last second and printed up my tickets the night before, which fittingly happened to be the 50th anniversary of the Beatles releasing “Ticket To Ride”.  Of course, my plane from San Diego ended up being overbooked. I had to turn down a $200 voucher I was offered to take an earlier flight that I couldn’t make and was then told at the counter that there were no other spots available for the entire rest of the day.  As I took out my phone to get a ride home, my name was called and I was handed an aisle seat, obviously kept from me so that I’d REALLY appreciate it.  My first attempt at using AirBnB didn’t exactly work out as planned either. Even though I couldn’t find what I wanted in the Oakland suburbs recommended to me, I figured that something nearby couldn’t be too bad.  I ended up in a neighborhood that my uncle told me most people refer to as Ghost Town.  I thought he was kidding until we drove by a six foot high sign that, as a Specials fan, made me smile but I made sure I wouldn’t have to walk the long four blocks from the BART train at midnight…..again.

After a day and a half of East Bay living, I returned to San Francisco for the show. As I walked by the Warfield and saw the marquee, I was reminded of the first time that I went there.  I was in town visiting a friend in 1991 and we went to see the Replacements with the Posies opening.  I knew next to nothing about either of them but they became two of my favorite bands of all-time. Afterwards, we couldn’t find where we’d parked the car and spent a long hour walking up and down hills being offered every kind of drug and prostitute imaginable.  Even walking through the Tenderloin to my hotel during they day, I could see not much had changed.  By some strange coincidence, the Replacements were also playing just a few blocks away.  At the least, I figured I should try to hoof it, catch their encore and see some friends there. The pessimist in me considered ditching the Ride show altogether and seeing the reunited ‘Mats out-of-town for the third consecutive calendar year.

After TOTALLY not forgetting my ticket at the hotel (only an amateur would pull such a move), I rounded the corner to hear the faint strains of a Cure tribute band coming from within the Warfield’s walls.  No, it was the amazingly named Eagulls, who I couldn’t be bothered with. The people watching was just too good in the lobby. Besides a leggy friend who was working there and a brief Flaming Groovies’ drummer sighting, I was rolling solo until my date Alex Green from StereoEmbersMagazine.com showed up.  I’d read his 33 1/3 book on the Stones Roses’ first album a few years ago and was shocked that instead of letting a British journalist handle such a task, they’d let some Jewish Californian with my initials write it. We’ve been friends ever since, though I hadn’t actually met him until this trip. Our long talk about love, life and all kinds of UK tunes was a good primer for the Ride show. DJ Jamie Jams helped too, preaching to the choir with Chapterhouse and My Bloody Valentine songs.set times

All of my fears washed away as soon as Ride strode out and started into “Polar Bear” from Nowhere. With all of its references to flying, I’d had the song on the brain the entire time I’d been in airports that week. Backed by a HUGE simple backdrop that faintly smelled of Barcelona bearing the band’s name, lights caromed around the hall and I took the brunt of the volume down front. When they stepped to their microphones, Bell and Gardener were pitch perfect.  Bell hunkered down to nail as many guitar parts as he could with the help  of a half-stage full of effects pedals.  By the end of the song, I realized how much I was grinning.  Completely mesmerized.

Must...have....more....pedals.  Photo from 2015 Oxford reunion show by  Carolina Faruolo

Must…have….more….pedals. Photo from 2015 Oxford reunion show by Carolina Faruolo

“Joyce Dewitt, godammit./I just wanna do Janet.” -Rabbi Gimbel’s Jews Explosion

It was all even enough to completely distract from Fedoragate 2015. The band is as strikingly handsome as ever but since one of them was blessed with a receding hairline, he has recently decided to cover it with Sinatra headwear. Not since Aretha Franklin at Obama’s inaguration has so much attention been paid to a hat in social media.  You almost can’t blame him when Andy Bell still looks dead cool rocking the haircut musician Eric Shea has coined “The Joyce Dewitt”. Though the floppy cabbie-style hat Gardener wore at LA’s KCRW (see below) seems more fitting, I was too distracted by their song spectacle to worry if a wide-brimmed lid worked with a plain black t-shirt.  Gardener is still the smiliest of the bunch and has even replaced his traditional post-song “K’you” with a full on “Thank you.”  Class.

Photo by Piper Ferguson

At KCRW in Los Angeles. Photo by Piper Ferguson

Opening with a slow-burner was a cool move but then they TORE into “Seagull” and the whole place lit up. Drummer Loz Colbert and bassist Steve Queralt were off and running and Bell’s GRINDING wah-wah cut through an already fierce storm of sound for at least nine minutes.  It might’ve been the highlight of the night and we were only two songs in.  From then on, it was a fan’s dream setlist culled from the band’s early singles, EPs and first two albums.  Sure, a fave here or there could’ve been substituted but just about anything would’ve been amazing. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a band ignore their later albums so much.  They knew what we wanted and delivered for 105 glorious minutes.

Photo by N A K O

Photo by N A K O

They only played one song from their last two albums: a fierce “Black Night Crash”, which had never been played live until this year. I was a jumping mess and as much as I love Tarantula more every time I listen to it, I blurted out “NOW DON’T PLAY ANYTHING ELSE FROM THAT ALBUM!” to the amusement of my new friends surrounding me. This included two British air guitarists I tried to coach into also biting their lower lip. They looked at me like I was the crazy one.  A girl in front of me laughed, turned around and said, “Maybe they should bring out the children’s choir?” referring to Carnival of Light‘s Stones homage.  Ha! NO.

Photo by Austyn McLoughlin

Photo by Austyn McLoughlin

Song after song started and I found myself yelling “YEAH!” after every single one. Feedback and nostalgia poured over us, their biggest ever American crowd.  The band took so much care to get it right, even using backing tracks for New Order-styled synths, Withnail & I quotes and cellos. Joel from Brian Jonestown Massacre came out to shake a tambourine during the “Leave Them All Behind” first encore.  Funny enough, BJM opened Oasis’ very first SF show, long before Bell was in the band. They argued for 20 minutes when their guitarist couldn’t get his amp to work and then finally played one AMAZING song.

For their last encore, Ride returned to two of their earliest tunes, “Like A Daydream” and “Chelsea Girl”. With a recent Facebook argument about how no one should ever cover the Stooges still fresh on my brain, I rolled my eyes as they went into a slower version of Iggy’s most overly borrowed song, “I Wanna Be Your Dog”.  Ah well.  Maybe someday they’ll make good on their threat to cover Sonic Youth’s “Schitzophrenia”, the Beat’s “Best Friend” and the Mamas and Papas. Before I could be too disappointed, I got a text from a friend at the Replacements show.  They’d started at 9:15 just like Ride and had just finished their 30th and last song while Oxford’s finest had epic’d out seventeen tunes and were still at it.  Hell, they did one note during “Drive Blind” for THREE AND A HALF MINUTES.

Photo by Gareth Kay

DE photo by Gareth Kay

My friends and I have been talking about starting a band called Ticket To Ride for fifteen years now.  We’d play “Leave Them All Behind” for 30 minutes with “Ticket To Ride” stuck in the middle.  Now we don’t have to because nothing could top this.  All expectations exceeded. Thanks, gents.  If you come back and need an opener.  Let me know.

ride3

Photo by Michael P Funk who apparently was standing next to me

For Summer.
summer-ride

ELVIS & THE BEATLES

Was looking up Elvis thangs for the ABC’s of Rock and ended up finding lots of goodies relating to the Beales.  They only met once, at Elvis’ Bel Air home in 1965.  Beatles press agent Tony Barrow remembers them jamming on “I Feel Fine” and Cilla Black’s “You’re My World” but memories are conflicting and hazy. There’s a page of great Beatle quotes about that night and photos at Elvispresleynews.com but it leaves out the Ringo line from Anthology about how E eventually tried to have them banned from America


Ridiculous recreation….



Playing endlessly on Elvis’ jukebox that night…


DSC08151 elvis
Photos from beatlephotoblog.com and solotravelerblog.com.

More great quotes about that night from Beatles, Memphis mafia, Priscilla and more at
Elvis.com.au “Elvis Presley Meets the Beatles : August 27, 1965″
Elvis-history-blog.com “Elvis and The Beatles … What They Really Thought of Each Other”
ScottyMoore.net “Elvis Meets the Beatles”

FIRST…SHOW…EVER: THE POSTAL SERVICE at the Casbah, San Diego 4/4/03

℅ SDReader.com/archives

℅ SDReader.com/archives

In February of 2003, the Postal Service released the album Give Up after recording remotely and separately for two years. With that comfortable pace and Death Cab For Cutie’s popularity soaring, I was hoping to see them tour but wasn’t counting on it.  The album was a huge, immediate success and a tour of small clubs was announced.  It sold out almost immediately. From the sound of things, they could’ve played places two or three times bigger.

DeathCab

DCFC at Casbah circa 2000 ℅ Modern Fix

Just our luck, the very first show was here in San Diego on April 4th at the tiny Casbah (capacity 220). Ben Gibbard was no stranger to the club.  Death Cab played their first San Diego show there in 1999 to about five of us.  When they came back a year or two later with Pedro the Lion,  it was sold out. Ben remembered their first show onstage…
Ben: The last time we were here, there were only about five people.
Me: and it was awesome!
Ben: You weren’t there!
Me: Yeah, I was!
Ben: (seeing it’s me) Ok, YOU were.

The Postal Service sounded amazing, despite a couple of first-show technical delays in-between songs, and looked stunning thanks to the visuals of Def Cab bassist Nick Harmer. I can still the words WHERE I AM floating in space being projected. Most of the beats were pre-recorded but Ben hopped on the drumkit a few times.  I’m sure I didn’t know which songs Jenny Lewis sang on the album but she sounded great and got a huge cheer when she strode out to do her part on “Nothing Better”. They played everything off the record and encored with a cover of Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds”, complete with slow-motion scenes from the movie projected over them.

Lee Meredith got some great shots, per always, for her Colored Lights website.
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Ska Parade's Tazy Phyllipz with Ben and Jimmy at Casbah, 2003

Ska Parade’s Tazy Phyllipz with Ben and Jimmy at Casbah, 2003

Short Subpop video for the 10 year anniversary, mentioning starting in San Diego

Check out Ben remembering that first show when the band played the SDSU Open Air Ampitheater in 2013…

MTV news report posted the night of the first show
Recently reuploaded 2003 KCRW footage 
Postal Service 2003-2004 gigography from Rilo Kiley fansite.
Owl & Bear’s review and great photos from their 2013 return to San Diego

BACK TO BEST…DEBUT…FAREWELL…REUNION…SHOW…EVER

ALSO SEE CONCERT SCRAPBOOK (1984-94), SHOW MEMORIES 1994 TO SEMI-RECENTLY AND TOO OLDE FOR SHOWS

BEST…DEBUT…FAREWELL…REUNION…SHOWS…EVER

Through accidents, coincidence and ridiculous prioritizing, I’ve ended up seeing a few first/last shows.  I’ve been meaning to put this page up just to talk about a few times I saw a few alt-rock bands’ debut performances. Typically, it turned into more when I started thinking about some farewell and reunion shows plus some American debuts I caught. I know I’m forgetting some.  You’ll understand when you’re my age. Click to see pics and memories.

FIRST…SHOW…EVER
92magic benefit ad
PORNO FOR PYROS at Hollywood Palladium, LA 4/4/92
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THE POSTAL SERVICE at the Casbah, SD 4/4/03

plus
BEN FOLDS at Belly Up, Solana Beach 7/16/01
(more comin’ soon)

91 mozFIRST…U.S. SHOW…EVER
Sting at SDSU Open Ampitheater 8/13/85
Soho at KROQ Acoustic Xmas, Universal Ampitheater 12/21/90
Morrissey at San Diego Sports Arena 5/30/91
Cast at SOMA, San Diego 3/30/96

LAST…SHOW…EVER (until the inevitable reunion)
Oingo Boingo at Hollywood Ampitheater, 10/31/95
The Loved Ones at Great American Music Hall, SF 1995
Redd Kross at Brick By Brick, San Diego 7/19/97
The Posies at Bottom of the Hill, SF 9/19/98
Rocket From The Crypt at Westin Hotel Ballroom, San Diego 10/31/05

02 love knitting…AAAAAND THEY’RE BACK
Love Jones  at the Mint, LA 2000
Love at the Knitting Factory, LA 5/1/02
that dog. at the Troubadour, LA 8/26/11
Drive Like Jehu at Spreckels Organ Pavilion 8/31/14
I’m sure there’s others I’m forgetting.  Um….er…..

ALSO SEE CONCERT SCRAPBOOK (1984-94), SHOW MEMORIES 1994 TO SEMI-RECENTLY AND TOO OLDE FOR SHOWS

FIRST…SHOW…EVER: PORNO FOR PYROS at Hollywood Palladium, LA 4/4/92

(posted a month ago for the ABC’s of Rock)

92 magic poster

℅ Beastiemania.com

P is for pre-cellphone horror story. My good friend Andy was ready to come down from Santa Barbara for this 1992 benefit, so I got up early on a schoolday with donuts and coffee and headed to the Palladium box office to buy two tickets. Around 1000 people were already there waiting for me. While we waited to see if we’d make the cut, I talked to different groups of people around me, wondering who Porno For Pyros was. “I wonder if it’s Perry’s new band,” someone pondered. Not a bad guess. We inched forward when tickets went on sale but not that much before angry people started heading our way, yelling that it had already sold out. As we stood there in shock, a spaced-out looking man walked towards a group of us and said, “I ended up with extras-” and was immediately swarmed by people waving cash. I was only able to get one. I told Andy he could have it and we’d go to the show early to scalp another.

Sure enough, they actually released some tickets that night and I was able to get one easily for just $35. I practically danced through the door but stopped dead in my tracks as I heard security holding back Andy behind me. COUNTERFIT TICKET!? As they pushed him back, he yelled, “I’ll try to get another one!” and I slunk into the hall. I was feeling too guilty to think, even when Porno For Pyros hit the stage for the first time ever. I’d fallen for Perry hard after seeing Jane’s Addiction less than nine months before at Lollapalooza. The new stuff wasn’t as bombastic but it was slinky and dark and cool and the crowd went nuts for it. Because of their namesake song and “Black Girlfriend”, I always thought they got their name from what Perry thought of the LA riots but those fires were still 25 days away.

92-magic-n-rsI spent the whole Rollins Band set looking everywhere for Andy but he was nowhere to be found. I can’t remember if I left during Fishbone or Primus, but they returned together to the Palladium later that year. I just couldn’t enjoy myself knowing Andy had come all the way from Santa Barbara and was outside in the frigid California spring air. Of course, Andy was nowhere to be found outside either. He’d gone to the nearest bar to drown his sorrows, leaving me to sadly listen to the Beastie Boys from the parking lot. A year earlier, Andy and I were at the Palladium watching the BBoys do their first real show in years. They’d only done a few shows since then but it was their first big show playing instruments. Someone tell me it was terrible. The end. Best…night….ever.

BACK TO BEST…DEBUT…FAREWELL…REUNION…SHOW…EVER

ALSO SEE CONCERT SCRAPBOOK (1984-94), SHOW MEMORIES 1994 TO SEMI-RECENTLY AND TOO OLDE FOR SHOWS

POSIES, ZOMBIES, CANDLES & SUMMER

sfsm_singer

As part of the ABC’s of Rock, I’ve been posting about my years of fanning and friending with the Posies.  Check out the BIG POSIE STARS photo album to see most of the posts. I had to mention how nice they were to let us use a track for the Songs For Summer charity album and found what I wrote about them for the album’s website back in 2000 on Archive.org.

Ah, the Posies. Without them, who knows where we’d be? We might never have heard Big Star. I might never have had the pleasure of seeing Summer sing “Who gives a shit?!” If I hadn’t joined their online mailing list, we would never have met some very cool people, including Cari, who designed this site, and Patrick, who appears with Pansy Division on the record, and Andie, who has really cool red hair right now. We wouldn’t have had a free place to stay on our New York vacation (listmember Drew and his girlfriend, Karen, let us stay with them, even though we’d never met them). Luckily, we weren’t without them.

frostingSummer loved Frosting On The Beater so much that she broke the cd case. “Solar Sister” was one of her favorite songs ever, even before I knew her. For some strange reason, I owned every Posies album and single on cd EXCEPT for FOTB. In a move that SCREAMS commitment, we agreed to combine certain bands within our collections. So, she gave me her copies of Frosting and #1/Radio City while I gave her my Cocteau Twins and Bjork cd’s so they’d all be in one place in our apartment. Sick, innit?

After we started dating, Summer started hearing and falling in love with the rest of the Posies’ tunes. She also grew to love the bands that they covered and were influenced by (Big Star, the Zombies, the Bee Gees). We were going to film ourselves in polyester outfits singing a lounge version of “Everybody Is A Fucking Liar” but never got around to it. We also never got around to seeing them together because she was always being underaged. Lucky me (no pun intended), she insisted I go see them without her and was treated to three stellar performances in as many years. I managed to get a few videos of their shows, which she loved watching.

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 9.02.30 PMPeople on the band’s online mailing list, Dear 23, had been reading me blab about Summer for a couple of years. Out of the hundreds of people on the list, no one knew the name of anyone’s boyfriends or girlfriends, except for me and the girl who ran the list. When I asked if anyone wanted to send Summer a get-well note, they poured in. Many of the first people to sign the guestbook on the See Summer Swing Dance website were Dear 23 listmembers. A few of them even sent donations, even though they’d never even met her. Many of them told me that they felt like they did know her, just from reading my posts.

After Summer passed away, I decided to make a video to give to friends. It consisted of three parts, one of videos of her with a Stan Getz song playing behind it, one of photos of her set to “Where’s Summer B?” by Ben Folds Five and one of her artwork, in time with the Posies “Paint Me” (hopefully coming to Youtube soon). After the band’s first farewell concert in San Francisco in 1998, I had the pleasure of watching them watch this video. They tapped their feet, smiled, laughed and totally loved it.

For some reason, I got it in my head that I wanted to get up and sing some of Summer’s favorite songs with them up in Seattle. I ended up cancelling the trip but at their next show in LA, Ken said, “I thought you were going to sing with us!” Gulp. They said I could sing “Every Christian Lionhearted Man Will Show You” by the Bee Gees with them the next night in Santa Barbara, even though they’d never played it before. I couldn’t even remember the words, so Jon told them to me and I walked around all day saying them to myself. Brian and Joe had never heard the song before and, as luck would have it, I had a tape of the Bee Gees’ version. It was on a mixtape made by our friend Tom Morgan, who I’d met at a Posies show and would be quick to tell you that he makes the best mixtapes on earth. Of course, he made this tape using our cd’s but I digress…

So, I got up and, wearing a “That Summer Feeling” t-shirt, dedicated the song to “the girl upstairs”, sang the only live version the band ever did of the song, and gave them all kisses. I thought I sang ok but the resulting videotape proved otherwise. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to destroy all of the existing copies because people keep trading it. I know she’s up there laughing at me. After the show, I asked them if it was ok if I added their name to the list of bands who were committed to being on Songs For Summer. I wasn’t sure if they’d end up on volume one or two but they said they were in.

A year later, the making of the album had dragged on long enough and I was all too happy to give up on trying to cut the more popular groups’ red tape so that some of Summer’s favorite lesser known groups could be on the album too. I got in contact with Jon and Ken and I proposed a few ideas for songs we could use: “Solar Sister” (her favorite), “Open Every Window” (her second favorite), “Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You” (their ONkey version), “Fall Apart With Me” (because of the Summer references), and the song they chose, their cover of the Zombies’ “Brief Candles’.

world of zombiesShe first heard their version on the Zombies tribute album, World of the Zombies. The album also has Zumpano’s version of “Changes”, one of her absolute favorite recordings ever (mine too). Summer didn’t know much 60’s pop music when we met, but, in our years together, we both grew to love lost masterpieces by bands like the Kinks, the Left Banke and the Zombies. I finally bought the Zombies album Odessey and Oracle after having it recommended to me by numerous people over the years. Summer and I both fell in love with it instantly.

Getting the song on Songs For Summer wasn’t the easiest thing in the world. The company that had swallowed up the record label that the Posies were signed to when they originally recorded the song thought they wouldn’t be able to get in contact with the band in time for our everchanging deadline and said we couldn’t use it. They didn’t realize I’d already talked to the band and after a quick panic and an e-mail from Ken, who was on tour with REM in Europe, we had their ok 24 hours later. Phew. Then, no one knew where the master tape was and we couldn’t take it off of the World of the Zombies cd because you could hear the song before it still fading out at the beginning. Conrad Uno from Popllama came through with a DAT. Thanks, Conrad!!!

It was worth it. The song is beautiful and very appropriate. The title says it all, doesn’t it?

Ah, the Posies.

sfs artworkPlenty of copies of Songs For Summer to be found on Amazon

More Summer tales here.

ROOKIE CARD SHOWS 2001-2006

rc-headerI end up checking our archived website on Archive.org sometimes to check a date  and thought I might has well have it online for real.  Wow, we played with a ton of great bands. Indiepop faves (Lilys, Mazarin, the Waxwings, Pernice Brothers), Elephant 6 family (Apples In Stereo, Beulah, Essex Green, Elf Power), 80’s vets (ABC, General Public, Dramarama, Bow Wow Wow, Violent Femmes) plus the Mother Hips, Soul Asylum, David J, the MC5/DKT.  What a blast.  Most of the links are dead.  To keep in the loop, dig the Rookie Card Facebook page.  We didn’t play for a long while but nowadays, we get together every year or two for fun.

11.10.06 The Casbah w/The Rugburns, AM Vibe

10.02.06 Molly Malone’s (Los Angeles) w/Trading Yesterday & Caitlin Crosby

10.01.06 Hotel Utah (San Francisco) w/Lakes, Vavak, The Procrastinistas

09.30.06 The Bolt (Sacramento) w/Hedwig & The Angry Inch cast

09.29.06 Fagan’s Irish Pub Alice Radio presents Kristi Warner‘s cd release
show

09.28.06 The Gypsy Lounge w/Pawn Shop Kings

09.15.06 Belly Up w/THE MOTHER HIPS, TRUCKEE BROTHERS, JAMIE ROBB

09.09.06 Southern Comfort Music Experience w/Flogging Molly, Cowboy Mouth,
Family Force Five, Beatin Path, Holiday & The Adventure Pop Collective, GRAND OLE PARTY, TRANSFER, RYAN FERGUSON, DIRTY SWEET

09.01.06 at O’CONNELLS, LOCAL ACTS COVER BOB DYLAN’S “HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED” ALBUM w/Kite Flying Society, Old Man Hands and the Modlins

08.13.06 The Casbah w/HARVEY DANGER, LET’S GO SAILING

07.11.06 Casbah w/The Lilys

07.09.06 Belly Up w/Soul Asylum

06.17.06 Dizzy’s Paul McCartney 64th birthday tribute show

06.03.06 North Park Vaudeville Candy Shoppe w/Joanie Mendenhall & Angela Correa

06.02.06 Lyceum Theatere, fundraiser for First Avenue Counseling Centre w/Ben Caldwell, Delta Blues Dogs, Joanie Mendenhall, Aimee Zakrewski & Jason Clark

05.26.06 Casbah “WHAT’S ON SECOND?” CD RELEASE SHOW w/
UNSTEADY, THE CANKLES and that one band. (report & photos)

05.18.06 House of Blues San Diego w/North Star Session, The Shambles, Blizzard

05.10.06 House of Blues San Diego, Rookie Card as The Cover Me Badd Alphabet Show w/ABC

04.23.06 Earth Fair in Balboa Park (first band to ever play with the Spreckles Organ!) accompanied by Spreckles organist Carol Williams. (photos), (a few short SUPER lo-fi cameraphone videos) SDcitybeat.com article

04.21.06 Porter’s Pub UCSD FREE show!

03.23.06 THE ROOKIE CARD TELETHON/BAKESALE/RUMMAGE SALE at the Casbah with
THE BLIND BOXERS, ALTA VOZ, BOBBY FANTASY, GREGORY PAGE, THE FREAK SHOW, Ophelia Handful from SULTRY SAVAGE BURLESQUE. THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS: The Casbah http://www.casbahmusic.com, Fox Rox, 94.9FM, Village Hat Shop, Mesa Reprographics See photos here

12.09.05 Whistle Stop w/Emery Byrd

10.01.05 Pete Bayard’s wedding (private)

09.23.05 “ADAM’S” AVENUE STREET TOUR Ken Club w/Fifty On Their Heels, Red Channel Revue, Le Piquant

09.23.05 “ADAM’S” AVENUE STREET TOUR Lestat’s w/The Satisfaction, Jason Turtle, Andrew Foshee

09.23.05 “ADAM’S” AVENUE STREET TOUR Ould Sod w/Frank Lee Drennen

09.16.05 Casbah w/DKT/MC5 , THE HEARTACHES

08.28.05 San Diego Music Awards’ PB & JAM at Thrusters w/The Evergreens, The Truckee Brothers, Rookie Card, Operatic, Goodbye Blue Monday

08.25.05 Scolari’s w/The View From Space, Starless Nights (Canada)

08.14.05 Hillcrest Cityfest 2005

08.12.05 Acoustic at North Park Vaudeville Candy Shoppe w/Billy Shaddox

08.12.05 Acoustic at North Park Vaudeville Candy Shoppe w/Plural

07.23.05 INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW FESTIVAL at Club Good Hurt (West LA) w/Spookey Ruben, Kristi Callan, The Flairs, The American Professionals , The Power Cords, Monogroove, RED37 (featuring Matthew Nelson from Nelson)

07.18.05 Casbah SD Music Matters and Tim Pyles show w/AM VIBE, ARABELLA HARRISON

06.11.05 Mira Mesa graduation party (photos soon)

05.28.05 Brick By Brick w/DRAMARAMA,
FONO

03.31.05 Tangier w/TOM BROSSEAU, ANGELA CORREA (LA CD release),
THE CORAL SEA, SHANE ALEXANDER

03.05.05 Hard Rock Cafe La Jolla w/PURE PRIEST (RC as Geezer)

02.26.05 Private South Park party. Neighbors called cops after we soundchecked.

02.17.05 <http://www.martiniranchencinitas.com>Martini Ranch Encinitas w/
NIK FREITAS & THE HEADGATES, THE STEREOTYPES

02.14.05 North Park Vaudeville & Candy Shoppe w/BART DAVENPORT,
THE EX-FRIENDS

02.06.05 The Casbah COVER ME BADD presents FOR THE RECORD: local bands covering entire albums. SCARLET SYMPHONY (Black Sabbath’s Paranoid), RC as “Geezer” (Weezer’s blue debut), BROTHER LOVE (The Jazz Singer soundtrack) Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center benefit. Why Weezer? (poster) (Geezer photos)

01.30.05 Dizzy’s SOUNDS LIKE SAN DIEGO/Folk Arts Records benefit with Joey Harris, the Shambles, Rookie Card, The Truckee Brothers, Mark Decerbo & Four Eyes, Jose Sinatra, The Coyote Problem, Berkley Hart, Lou & Virginia Curtiss, Derek Duplessie, Modern Rhythm, The Wild Truth, Billy Shaddox, AJ Croce

01.22.05 Ken Club w/Day & Age, Curse Carousel Pony

01.08.05 North Park Vaudeville & Candy Shoppe Tsunami Aid Benefit w/GREGORY PAGE

12.31.04 BIG NIGHT SAN DIEGO 2005 at Jack Murphy Stadium w/VIOLENT FEMMES, LOUIS XIV, FLOCK OF 80’S. How we got the gig: THE TOP 10 REASONS WE SHOULD OPEN FOR THE VIOLENT FEMMES (click).

12.27.04 the Casbah Tim Pyles benefit. Adamrookie, Dylanrookie & Jeremy Cooke (Billy Midnight) w/Transfer, Mike Flynn, Ryan Ferguson

12.22.04 the Casbah w/EL VEZ’S MERRY MEXMAS SHOW, HUMAN HANDS

12.05.04 Jack Murphy Stadium 91X/BUDWEISER POWER PARTY (mostly rained out) Chargers pre-game tailgate

12.04.04 Brick By Brick THE BUZZZ TV SHOW TAPING

12.03.04 North Park Vaudeville & Candy Shoppe w/MARIE HADDAD (B&W and color pics)

11.20.04 The Alibi w/THE VIEWMASTERS, DOWN WITH LEO

11.18.04 <http://www.martiniranchencinitas.com>Martini Ranch Encinitas w/
JOANIE MENDENHALL (cd release), SABA

11.12.04 Limbo Arts Gallery, private party with CHANNING COPE

11.10.04 Granite Hills High School, lunchtime quad show

10.22.04 Honey Bee Hive w/THE VERSO, SECRET APOLLO

10.21.04 The Independent (SF) w/CARBON LEAF, JOSH FIX

10.09.04 KCR REUNION Town & Country Hotel, Royal Palm Ballroom w/Free*Stars, Dee Ray

10.06.04 The Casbah PROGRESSIVE SAN DIEGO FUNDRAISER w/THE MORTALS, DAY & AGE, EX-MAQUINA

SHOW #100 09.28.04 Humphrey’s Backstage Lounge 2004 SAN DIEGO MUSIC AWARDS AFTERPARTY w/Los Able Minded Poets

09.27.04 Sea Level Records (LA) instore

09.26.04 Grant & Green (SF) w/TOWNE DANDIES’ “Football Town” (a one man musical), JON CROCKER & THE CONTINENTAL LIGHT BRIGADE

09.25.04 Hotel Utah (SF) w/THE MOORE BROTHERS, BART DAVENPORT

09.24.04 The Mainzer Theater (Merced) INDEPENDENT MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL w/with DUNCAN BOOTH, NADINE, ROOKIE CARD, IAN MARTINEZ, CROSS TOWN RIVALS, FORGET ABOUT YESTERDAY, THE IVERS

09.19.04 Whistle Stop’s Keep It Like A Secret

08.30.04 The Casbah w/TOMMY STINSON, ALIEN CRIME SYNDICATE

08.13.04 Cane’s w/BOW WOW WOW, THE GLOSSINES

08.10.04 The Casbah w/THE WAXWINGS, THE FEVER

08.08.04 HILLCREST CITYFEST 2004 ((photos)

07.26.04 Knitting Factory (Hollywood) w/LOWCLOUDCOVER, THE VESTALS, TRAP2

07.25.04 M-Theory Music instore

07.22.04 RECORD RELEASE SHOW! The Casbah w/ANYA MARINA, LES SHELLEYS, THE VESTALS(photos)(photos and 2 videos)

07.18.04 Acoustic on THE LOCAL 94/9

07.03.04 San Diego Sports Arena’s Arena Club, San Diego Riptide arena football game

06.19.04 Manchester Grand Hyatt, Mighty 1090 post Padres game radio show

06.16.04 Blarney Stone w/BAD CREDIT(photos)

05.10.04 The Casbah w/THE CONSTANTINES, Campaign For Quiet

05.08.04 2004 PB BLOCK PARTY w/Agave, General Public & more

04.27.04 The Casbah w/TRAINWRECK (featuring Kyle Gass from TD),
SUPAFLOSS

04.25.04 EARTH FAIR 2004
91X’s Organ Pavillion stage in Balboa Park (
pictures)

03.27.04 Kensington Club ROOKIE REUNION SHOW w/THE FEW and someone rather forgettable

03.24.04 Casbah w/PLASTIC EXPLOSIVE &
ALASKA!

03.17.04 ST PATRICK’S DAY SHOW at The Belly Up w/ZOO-2, “ROOKIE O’CARD” & SKELPIN

03.13.04 Cane’s w/CALEXICO

03.06.04 3 YEAR ANNIVERSARY SHOW Honey Bee Hive w/
BUSTLE IN THE HEDGEROW, HIGH SPEED SCENE

02.29.04 Whistle Stop/Keep It Like A Secret2/29 Leap Day party

02.07.04 Honey Bee Hive FINDING DANE: THE JONES SODA MOVIE PREMIERE w/PLURAL (filmed for DVD)

01.18.04 California Club SIDE PROJECT FESTIVAL w/THE BUZZKILL ROMANTICS, STATIC HALO, THE BLIND BOXERS

12.23.03 The Casbah w/THE STEREOTYPES, CAUTION CHILDREN, & DREAMING OF TANKS

12.21.03 Loudspeaker radio set (91X studios)

12.13.03 Nasr’s private party

12.10.03 Fox Rox taping (Fox 6 studios) w/Reeve Oliver and Bad Credit

12.06.03 California Club w/Billy Midnight and Bart Davenport

11.15.03 Private party(photos)

11.01.03 WOOKIE CARD at Ken Club w/Sensations & Towne Dandies, (photos)

10.16.03 at The Casbah w/Clem Snide & Califone

10.08.03 at The Casbah
SAN DIEGO MUSIC AWARDS WEEK BENEFIT SHOWCASE. LIVE RAWKARAOKE w/THE NARDS, BAD CREDIT & the cast of CYGNET THEATER’S HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH! Pictures & video of us doing “Rock The Casbah” and Jenn Grinels singing “Mazzy Starship” with us.

09.27.03 2003 ADAMS AVENUE STREET FAIR

09.26.03 Jack Murphy Stadium (91X & Budweiser‘s TRUE MUSIC LIVE) w/THE PADRES & THE ROCKIES (from Denver), fireworks, San Diego Chicken

09.17.03 The Casbah w/CENTRO-MATIC,
THE LONG WINTERS Pictures & video

09.13.03 Miriya’s 2nd birthday party (private party) (photos)

09.13.03 The Belly Up w/FLOCK OF 80’s Pictures & video

08.09.03 The Casbah w/The Rugburns, Trophy Wife pictures/videos, more fotos by Steve Covault

07.26.03(day) Guitar Center (San Marcos) w/The Buzzkill Romantics, F.O.N.

07.26.03(nite) The Leucadian w/BILLY MIDNIGHT, Plastic Supermodel

07.20.03 Fahrenheit‘s Comicon booth (acoustic set) (video clip!)

07.14.03 Spaceland (Los Angeles) w/ALASKA, ON THE SPEAKERS, UNIVAC (read tour diary & see photos)

07.13.03 Club Smile (Hush Hush Lounge in San Francisco) w/THE MEEK and TRANSCENDER photos (read tour diary & see photos)

07.12.03 The Stork (Oakland) w/ THE MIRRORS, JOHN WILKES BOOZE and THE SPINNING JENNIES (read tour diary & see photos)

07.11.03 The Cannibal Bar (Catamaran Hotel) w/ANYA MARINA (read tour diary & see photos)

07.10.03 The Casbah w/BILLY MIDNIGHT and PLURAL

07.02.03 San Diego County Fair (photos)

06.29.03 Cannibal Bar w/Jenn Grinels (photos)

06.27.03 Dizzy’s w/THE SHAMBLES, DEREK DUPLESSIE, MARIE HADDAD, RACHEL GORDON, THE TRUCKEE BROTHERS, BERKLEY HART, THE BAD APPLES, JOSE SINATRA & other bands doing songs by San Diego artists (photos)

06.13.03 The Ken Club with PLURAL and Old Man Apple (photos)

06.04.03 Ould Sod w/the Hatchet Brothers

05.17.03 Semiprivate Mira Mesa house party

05.07.03 The Casbah with
Essex Green and The Oranges Band

04.27.03 Organ Pavillion in Balboa Park for the Earth Day Fair with Plural and the Windsor Hill Steppers and the Organ. (photo)

04.25.03 Sports Arena’s Arena Club with the San Diego Gulls vs. the Fresno Falcons in the Taylor Cup Finals (Gulls win!)

04.18.03 The Kensington Club with AM Vibe and Sweetness

04.09.03 M-Theory Music acoustic instore with The Shambles and Derek Duplessie (photos)

03.23.03 CD Re-release show @ The Casbah with Bad Credit and Cover Me American Idol (flyer by Gimetzco) (photos)

03.05.03 The Honey Bee Hive with Agave and Riboflavin’

03.01.03 SD Humane Society Telethon ($230K raised!)

02.27.03 ‘Canes with Rochelle Rochelle, Lualta and The Displaced (SDAM.com’s Review) (photos)

02.21.03 The California Club with The Baja Bugs and The Stereotypes

02.10.03 91X Loudspeaker showcase @ The Casbah w/ Caution Children, Plural and The Softe.Lightes (Rookie Card & Jianda backing Ron Fountenberry from The Incredible Moses Leroy!)

01.22.03 Lestat’s with Spirit of 76 (movie) and Marie Haddad. (Rookies in red, white & blue)

01.18.03 The Iceoplex ice skating rink band battle (Escondido) vs Bunky, Sought Out and Life For Christ(?). Victory!

01.09.03 The Honey Bee Hive with The Pinwheels and The Displaced

12.31.02 Tiki House with Agave

12.16.02 The Whistlestop with The Stereotypes and Billy Midnight (flyer)

12.14.02 House Party in a secret undisclosed Mira Mesa cul de sac (photos)

11.08.02 The Casbah w/CONvoy, CONgress of the Cow (photos)

10.23.02 San Diego Hard Rock Cafe w/Adam Marsland

10.18.02 Club Kensington w/The Banana Seeds?, Electrocrypt

10.18.02 Ken Cinema acoustic sets before SD premiere of Wilco movie “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”

10.02.02 The Casbah w/The Apples In Stereo, The Loons (CD release show). WATCH WEBCAST!

09.17.02 Juke Joint‘s Tuesday Night Beat Club w/San Diego Beat Organization (all covers for Adam’s birthday)

09.15.02 Rockefeller Lodge (Richmond) Pat & Dana Secor’s wedding

09.08.02 Friendship Festival at Swiss Park (Chula Vista)

08.07.02 Ould Sod w/the Hatchet Brothers

07.18.02 The Casbah w/The Prids, Science of Yabra, Evilado WATCH WEBCAST!

06.06.02 The Casbah w/Elf Power,
Masters of the Hemisphere WATCH WEBCAST!

05.10.02 Scolari’s w/Pure Milk, Ambush

05.09.02 CANCEL CANCER JAM at Blind Melons (Pacific Beach) w/Jianda, West of Memphis, Suckerface, Mad Hatters (benefit for
San Diego Professionals Against Cancer) flyer

04.30.02 The Casbah w/Beulah, Mazarin (controversial show flyer) WATCH WEBCAST!

04.22.02 Museum of Contemporary Art Surfrider Foundation/Cardiff Reef Benefit (Adam & Jason acoustic)

04.10.02 M-Theory Music w/The Dragons, Stickfigure (acoustic show)

03.16.02 Etta’s Place w/Release The Hounds (show flyer)

01.31.02 Blind Melons w/Dirtnap

08.05.01 The Casbah w/The Pernice Brothers, Slink (show flyer) WATCH WEBCAST!

06.13.01 The Casbah w/Jon Auer, SushiRobo, (show flyer), WATCH WEBCAST!

05.09.01 The Casbah w/Brothers Creeggan, Mabel Blaster, (show flyer), WATCH WEBCAST!

03.28.01 The Casbah w/El Destroyo, Bug Guts, (show flyer) HEAR TWO SONGS FROM THIS SHOW!

03.05.01 Brick By Brick (San Diego) w/The Rosenbergs

02.23.01 The Casbah w/David J, Ron Foutenberry (Incredible Moses Leroy) (Adam & John acoustic)

(all shows are San Diego and/or California unless we say so!)