“Where’s Summer Brannin?”: the Ben Folds Five tale


Took me awhile to post the last of three videos I put together in the days after Summer passed away.  As long as it’s finally going up, might as well repost the tale about how much she loved BFF and how the song ended up on the Songs For Summer charity record. It hasn’t been online for close to two decades. The younger man that wrote this in 2000 definitely needed a little editing, so I gave it a little trim. Please enjoy.

I couldn’t be happier to have “Where’s Summer B?” as the first track on our record. I first heard about Ben Folds Five just after Summer and I started dating in 1995. Several people I knew told me that I HAD to check them out because they apparently sounded like the band Jellyfish. After receiving untold similar mediocre recommendations, I stayed away. Not long after, I heard “Where’s Summer B?” on the radio at work in LA and was instantly hooked. I nearly fainted when I heard the name of the song and called Summer in San Diego to tell her. I went to see them open up for Heather Nova at the Roxy in Hollywood a few weeks later. I’ve never seen an opening band blow someone offstage more before or since. I bought their first record when I moved in with Summer down in San Diego a few months later and it was instantly one of her favorite albums ever. I’d come home to find her jumping around and singing along to it. She’d apologize to our neighbors, but they loved listening to her too.

bff_bffsmallsWe couldn’t wait for the band to come to town but they’d stopped touring for the first album by that point. While we waited, I surprised Summer by getting a copy of Whatever And Ever Amen from our friend Satomi in Japan (who did some of the drawings on Songs for Summer) before it came out in America. Summer loved it and listed it among her favorites for 1997 in our printed year-end list we did for friends. The band finally came through town, opening for Counting Crows, whose management I was working for when I first heard them. We ran all over the arena, dancing around uninterested Crows fans and watching the band put on a great show (their last for that tour).

Thanks to my old bosses, we had backstage passes and set out looking for the band. We didn’t find them until after the Crows played. Ben looked completely exhausted but I still walked up and said, “I’ve been awaiting awhile to do this. Ben Folds, meet Summer Brannin.” He politely said hello but I was disappointed that her name didn’t register with him at all. While we talked about the tour and where they were heading, I brought up her name again. His eyes got wide and said “What did you say your name was?!” He was so surprised that there was another Summer B, besides his friend that he wrote it about, that he asked her to autograph the Counting Crows album he was holding. She obliged with a small drawing. That’s just how she was. Never turn away a fan.

We saw them later that year, just as “Brick” was becoming a huge hit. They skipped San Diego (as many bands do) on this tour so we went up to see them at a small club in Redondo Beach. Summer made sure she was right up front for when BFF played but I wasn’t feeling manly enough to brave a brutal BFF moshpit. It was fun to watch her loving it from afar. She was easy to spot, thanks to her 6’1″ frame.  We waited around afterwards to say hi to the band, who, despite looking exhausted, remembered her, if only for her name.

satmoinusWe wished they’d go home and rest but, no such luck. They were back through southern California just a few months later and we happened to be coming up to LA for the annual Poptopia festival. The best part of the weekend turned out to be meeting Satomi from Japan, who came all the way out to go to shows. We picked her up at a scary little Hollywood motel and when we opened the door to her room, Summer immediately fell in love with the bedspread and demanded I take a picture of them on it. We spent a whole day running around shopping, talking, and totally adoring “Small S” (Summer was almost a foot taller than little Satomi). Summer and her were both fans of each other’s artwork and bonded on their mutual love of the color orange.
satomibedUnfortunately, it was during this weekend that Summer first started showing signs of illness. We left a Friday night show early. She stayed home on Saturday night to rest and then we went to see BFF play a sold out show at the Palace in Hollywood. The show was great but beyond sold out We couldn’t get over how huge they’d become. They played great and stretched out a lot of the songs, ending the show with Ben climbing up on a huge speaker stack and throwing his stool at the piano on the other side of the stage. It was the last concert Summer ever went to. After the show, we handed out copies of our year end list, filled with my ramblings and her drawings, to strangers. We got some really nice e-mails from BFF fans who read them.

When Summer was diagnosed with cancer just a few weeks later, I planned on making sure that if any bands she loved were coming through town that they would come and visit her. Ben Folds Five was unbelievably STILL touring and doing their first headlining show in San Diego a few months later. I sent out a few e-mails to people on the Ben Folds Five mailing list trying to get in contact with the band. Sadly, Summer passed away shortly thereafter. Just a day or two after she died, I got a letter from Ben saying that they’d be happy to stop and see her when they came to town. Crumble.

I went to their San Diego concert just after my friend had suggested the idea of putting this album together. I knew I really wanted “Where’s Summer B?” to be on the record, so I typed out my first ideas on what the album would be about and gave it to the band after the show. They assured me we could use the song and their involvement helped us get other bands involved, like their friends and fellow Chapel Hillers the Squirrel Nut Zippers. At one point, we needed to get a hold of some of the Zippers but they were unavailable, playing horns for Ben Folds Five in Japan. The band returned to San Diego the following year and my sister and I got to talk awhile with Robert, who was excited about the record and nicer than just about anyone I’ve ever met.

For the Celebration of Life we had for Summer, I made a video of artwork, video clips and photographs to give to everyone there and used “Where’s Summer B?” on it, officially making it the official unofficial music video it never got. I haven’t seen this video of photographs of her in ages. It’s never been online.

Hey, Summer, where ya been?

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

More Summer tales here.

FIRST…SHOW…EVER: RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE at Cal State Northridge 10/23/91

91-rage-csun-cuOf all days to finally finish this piece I started writing FIVE years ago, last night was supposed to be the first Rage Against the Machine show in nine years.  After living in San Diego for 25 years, I recently moved back, just a few minutes from where this all happened. Hopefully this tale of their beginnings will give you some hope that we’ll still see those four together again someday. Stay safe and enjoy.

In the fall of 1991, I was starting my second year at Cal State University Northridge.  At 30,000+ students, it’s one of the largest universities in the state system but since it’s largely a commuter school, there wasn’t a huge amount of student involvement. They had sports and a Greek system but I barely remember either. Most people came to campus for classes and then left.

Since I was from San Diego and lived just a few blocks away, I was a little more aware and interested in events happening on campus.  Every Wednesday at noon in our student union, there were free concerts put on by Associated Students and Student Productions And Campus Entertainment, known as SPACE.  As a lifelong music obsessive, I rarely missed a show in the three and a half years that I was there.  There weren’t a lot of us regulars.  Most people who came throught the student union walked right past the bands to get to their cars in the parking lot on the opposite side of the building.

With a huge student body and a decent stage & sound set-up, the school got plenty of good acts, mostly in the alternative world.  Even for someone with a memory and scrapbook as good as mine, I can’t remember most of the bands I saw there. A lot of them were, literally, forgettable.  Still, I saw Southern Culture On The Skids, the Gin Blossoms, Robby Krieger from the Doors, Digable Planets, No Doubt and many others on that stage. Then there was the one time that the Leaving Trains’ singer got naked during the last song of their set.  After a few moments of shock, I turned around and enjoyed watching the horrified faces of unsuspecting people walking through the quad.  Apparently, he calmly walked into the campus pub a few feet away after their set, eluding security completely.

RATM's first demo tape, released December 1991

RATM’s first demo tape, released December 1991

Undoubtedly, the most historic noontime show at CSUN happened on October 23, 1991 when Rage Against The Machine played their very first show. While touring major label acts from around the country regularly played the weekly shows, groups from the huge local scene around Los Angeles were often recruited to play.  Rage started recording their demo tape in August of that year but it wasn’t officially released until December.  Not having anything released, it seemed an unlikely place for a band to make their debut but the band was friends with Johnny Sabella, who booked the weekly shows, so they were in.

The group had only been together a few months at that point. Earlier that year, guitarist Tom Morello had left the band Lock Up, who’d released a major label album in 1989, and hooked up with Zack de La Rocha after seeing him freestyling at a Los Angeles club.  Drummer Brad Wilk had auditioned for Lock Up, so Morello brought him into the fold while De La Rocha brought in childhood friend Tim Commerford on bass.  Wilk had grown up in nearby Woodland Hills, attending Taft High School with one of my best friends at Northridge, Brian Levy, a fellow drummer who worked for Pork Pie Percussion, Wilk’s longtime drum supplier.  Rage began rehearsing in the San Fernando Valley, so it’s not completely surprising that Northridge was where they would make their debut.

91 tap auditionsI likely had a class or two in the morning that day but in my planner, I’d written nothing about seeing Rage at the Student Union.  I just went every Wednesday, no matter who was playing.   It looks like it was a busy week for me, having just seen England’s Wonder Stuff two nights before, then seeing School of Fish up in the Bay Area a few days later before coming back to watch Spinal Tap drummer auditions at an empty Los Angeles Coliseum on Halloween, where Rage Against The Machine would headline twenty years later.  Every week I would grab lunch and sit on a patch of grass on the stage right side. I had no idea what I was in for that day.  No one there did.

With little fanfare and zero applause Johnny Sabella announced the band and they went into a shortened, instrumental version of what would one day be their most well-known song, “Killing In The Name Of…”. The famous, squeaky guitar solo actually appeared a few songs later that day, in the unreleased track “Hit The Deck”.  Chances are, it was too new to have lyrics yet, so Zack just stood side stage, getting ready to “bring that shit in”.  It’s surprisingly not that engaging without it leading up to THOSE lyrics but once they broke into “Take The Power Back”, you could see that everything that made the band great was already there.  Dynamics, guitar tricks, great call and response between the three musicians plus De La Rocha railing, rallying and doing a funny little side dance, trying to find his b-boy stance after years of fronting punk bands.

I was intrigued, though I was hardly a raprock enthusiast. I was an early Chili Peppers fan and they were huge in LA, so clones were everywhere. I was pretty much over it by the time they blew up that year with Blood Sugar Sex Magic.  For me, those bands were rarely my cup of tea, other than the criminally underrated Urban Dance Squad, who RATM adored.  Quite a few funk/rap/rock bands had come across that stage in the two years I’d been going to school there and they were all the same to me. This was different.  The rhythm section was tight but not quite yet the force they would become. Morello’s guitar magic really set the music apart.  You couldn’t wait to see what he did next.  But it was De La Rocha’s anger that was the most unforgettable thing that day.rage

There are some bands that are hard to imagine not playing in front of thousands of crazed, adoring fans and Rage Against The Machine is one of them.  They blew up so quickly that this is one of the only times that they ever played to completely unprepared ears. Their set was already crammed with angry, controversial lyrics but, despite college campuses being the center of youth rebellion in the 60’s, De La Rocha’s mini-sermons felt totally out of place at Northridge in 1991. To say it was uncomfortable is an understatement. It was amazing to watch and almost impossible to not want to rally behind them, though dozens watching were rolling their eyes and could be heard making sarcastic remarks. HUNDREDS of people walked right by without stopping that day.

They were great, especially for a first gig, but I probably only heard their name once or twice that day, so I might not have remembered it if I’d never heard them again. I was devouring new music at the time, working at Wherehouse Records near CSUN and going to see shows almost every week.  The band were signed by Epic Records after their second show and were recording their major label debut within six months of playing Northridge.  In July of 1992, there was a buzz about an unsigned band that was opening up Porno For Pyros’ first big show up at Castaic Lake called Rage Against The Machine and I didn’t recognize their name.  The record was released in November of that year and was being promoted by the folks at Hits Magazine, where I worked for a few months.  Someone had it on at the office and after a few songs, I realized who it was.  It’s kinda hard to forget a guy screaming that you have a bullet in your head that many times in a row.


Randomly looked up Big Audio Dynamite’s “Contact” video earlier tonight and damn if Mick isn’t looking a la Rocha with that fro! Who knew?

Years later, I was obsessed with trading rare tapes online. When online filesharing came along, I was fairly clueless but eventually had someone show me how to type in a few things I’d been looking for into Napster or Shareaza.  Sure enough, a bunch of songs I’d been searching for came up and one of them was Rage covering the Clash’s “Clampdown“.  The way they broke down the verses that day was so distinctive, I could remember it over a decade later, after only hearing it once. They stopped playing it almost immediately, not including it on their 2000 covers album, though they did play it twice at reunion shows in 2008. In 2014, Tom Morello sang it on tour as Bruce Springsteen’s guitarist.  The band was so politicized, I wasn’t surprised at all that they loved Strummer & Company (they also covered “White Riot” in 2010). The “Clampdown” file I found said that it was recorded “Live At The Quad”.  It seemed unlikely that it was from the show that I saw, not realizing that it came from a well-circulated bootleg from that day.rage quadA few years later, Youtube came along and video of their entire set that day was uploaded, listing it as the band’s debut performance. Well, I’ll be. I knew their CSUN show had to be one of their earliest but had no idea it was their very first. Apparently, the band had played the same six songs twice at a friend’s house party in Huntington Beach a couple of months before the CSUN show but their very first public performance was in our quad.  When their first album was re-released for its 20th anniversary, it included a DVD of the grainy, one-camera video shot that day.  Tom Morello remembered the gig in an interview with Consequence of Sound:

“There was actually a friend of the band in 1991, 1992, a 17-year-old kid who was an aspiring piercing artist, who happened to have a camera, a video camera, and was around for a lot of those early performances, you know, when we were playing in front of 15 people. I think we got the very first ever live performance of the song “Wake Up” on there. That Cal State Northridge is literally the first public performance that the band played. And some of those early ones are pretty priceless.”

“Looking back, I can remember that day clearly. It was an outdoor lunchtime concert where another friend of the band who booked us that gig and I remember that we were playing while people were walking back and forth with their lunches. You can see in the video that midway through the concert, a couple of these hesher dudes stopped to check it out. You can tell that they’re not impressed, but maybe it’s better than going off to geometry class or wherever. And then the end of “Bullet In The End” happens and one dude looks at the other and gives the “Not so bad, bro” look. By the end of “Freedom,” they’re banging their heads like they’re at an Iron Maiden concert, which was pretty awesome.(LA Weekly interview)

It was definitely a kick to see the performance after all of those years. The weekly shows were usually attended by no more than a dozen or two people but you can see a crowd slowly gather and, by the end, the area in front of the stage is FULL.  There’s a ton of great comments overheard in between songs, the best being “These guys any good?!” I watched the entire set and waited for them to pan over to me quietly enjoying my lunch with an IBC Creme Soda but no dice.  I did post it on Facebook once and a friend of mine noticed someone yelling my name (“ADAM!“) as clear as day.


For me, the best part comes just four and a half minutes in, when a tall long-haired dude in a black Mack Truck hat and t-shirt walks in, stands right up front and starts nodding his head, instantly into it.  That’s my friend Allen Neece.  As a fellow regular at the weekly concerts, I recognized him long before we ever met.  He was kinda hard to miss. Tall and good looking with perfect Anthony Kiedis hair that hid a barcode tattoo on the back of his neck, one female friend of mine referred to him simply as “beautiful man”. There are dozens of Youtube comments proclaiming Allen as the very first Rage Against The Machine fan but, by far, the best one is “The one guy with dreads in front = Only one who can hear evidently”. He got two things wrong.  His long hair wasn’t in dreds, which is an understandable mistake with the quality of the video, but more importantly, Allen is legally deaf.hat-guy

CSUN has one of the largest huge deaf communities of any Ameican campus.  I met Allen’s roommate, Kevin, in a Spanish class and we became friends.  He told me about how he and Allen would pull hilarious pranks on each other, like writing things in invisible paint on their walls that they wouldn’t see until the lights went out.  Allen once took all of Kevin’s belongings and stuffed ALL of it into his bathroom.  Kevin recruited my girlfriend and I to be in on a Scare Tactics-style prank at a Halloween party where we were the only ones who could hear. Good times terrifying the costumed deaf.

That's me and my girlfriend as the Pope and Sinead O'Connor, a timely reference in 1991, I assure you.

That’s me and my girlfriend as the Pope and Sinead O’Connor, a timely reference in 1991, I assure you.

Kevin was always telling me I had to meet Allen and when we finally did, we instantly bonded on our love of music.  He, Kevin and two other deaf friends actually won a lip sync contest on the same stage that Rage played on. The deaf crew did the Chili Peppers’ “Sex Rap”.  Completely off, completely awesome.  When it came time to decide a winner by applause, they all cupped their ears and yelled, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!”  You could tell the guy who’d dressed up as the Phantom of the Opera and made us endure “Music Of The Night” was a little bummed to lose to four guys who couldn’t even hear. Hilarious.

Allen was ripe to be a Rage fan.  He was already a fan of politically minded music and encouraged activism, working for Rock The Vote and even recruiting me to work the booth at Lollapalooza in the Bay Area in 1994.  While most of us who have all of our senses barely help our fellow man, Allen worked for the Peace Corps, stationed in Kenya for years.  Still my hero.  When I finally started to write this piece, I knew that I had to tap the memory of the band’s unofficial first fan. It only took five years and a worldwide virus scare to get him to find the time so we could finally post it.
allen kenya

What do you remember from that day?

My friend, Johnny Sabella, was director of the noontime shows that CSUN hosted in the quad during the semesters. We first met a few years earlier as members of the Loyal Order, a punk rock student group. CSUN at the time was a mostly white-bread hotbed of Valley frats, sororities, and jocks. Punk had yet to break through, or more importantly, yet to be commodified. Anyway, Johnny was doing an amazing job of booking bands to come through (Helmet, No Doubt, Mary’s Danish, Digable Planets, The Last Poets, Flatten Manhattan, I can’t remember the rest) as well as booking Jello Biafra and Henry Rollins on other occasions. She had received a cassette of Rage’s first demo and urged me to show up. I think I may have left class early to get there and arrived in the middle of “Take the Power Back”. I realized immediately that I was seeing something that was incredibly fresh and new. Tom’s riffs were mesmerizing and Zach’s passion was scorching. He was crying at the conclusion of “Freedom”. I had grown up with punk in D.C. and seen plenty of bands before this but I definitely got the chills at the end of their set.

Did you usually stand up front at shows to feel more?

Always. Why the fuck people sit at shows, I’ll never understand.

Do you remember first seeing the video or hearing it was their first show?

I can’t remember when I first saw it but it was a trip. My hair was cut by then and now when I see the video, I’m reminded just how much hair I used to have, ha. This was definitely their first public show but I was told their first actual show was a “private” show somewhere. Anyway, it’s fascinating to watch this now, in the time of the CORVID-19 pandemic, and reflect on how far we’ve come, and how far we still have to go.

How does it feel to be referred to as the very first RATM fan?

It’s an honor but as you can see from the video, I wasn’t the only one. The guy in red who busts a move in the end gets credit too. I just wanna recognize Johnny Sabella, if she hadn’t booked them, this wouldn’t have happened.

Did you ever see them again?

Many times. Brad, the drummer, lived for a time with Johnny, so I would see him around. I think it was the following year they played Lollapalooza at Irvine Meadows. I had attended the MTV Video Awards at UCLA and still had my red VIP wristband on from my work with Rock The Vote. The wristband for access to the pit floor in front of the stage was red and I flashed it to the security guy and walked right pass him and enjoyed the rest of the show from there. Brad was there and we hung out. A few years later, I was working the night shift in Burbank and was driving home to my apartment in the Fairfax district at like 1 or 2 in the morning. I’m at a red light, I look over, and it’s Brad! We rolled windows and chatted for a bit. He was a real nice guy. I remember seeing them at the Whisky, Palladium, and other joints. I remember seeing them at CSU Fullerton where they headlined a benefit for Leonard Peltier with Cypress Hill, Beastie Boys, and Stanford Prison Experiment. Again I had backstage access so it was fascinating to see all these band members hanging out. Sen Dog had the biggest blunt I still to this day have ever seen. At one point I used the tunnel under the velodrome to use the portapotty and coming back I saw at the end of the tunnel, which was near the steps to the state, three guys whom I recognized immediately to be the Beastie Boys. They were dressed in brown UPS uniforms and were obviously getting ready to go on. I walked as slow as I could, pretending to stop and tie my shoes, stalling to the best of my ability but it wasn’t easy when I’m a 6’4 hair farmer and the only other person in the tunnel. They kept looking at me so I smiled, waved, and walked on. I think they were touring Check Your Head at the time. I can’t remember when was the last time I saw them. I still have their first cassette and 7-inches somewhere in a box.

I never did get to see another proper Rage show.  Two years later, I saw them kill acoustically at KROQ’s annual Christamas show, even with a mock rape/poetry ending.  A few years after that, we watched from afar at the first Tibetan Freedom Festival in Golden Gate Park as their throng of followers lost their minds.  When the band reunited at Coachella in 2007, I was obsessed with finding clips from their set and got chills watching them walk out to sirens to a mass of people in the darkness.  To this day, I never get tired of watching footage them play to a sea of fans.  Hopefully we’ll be watching them again very soon.

Strange times. Rage safely from home, folks.


Huge thanks to Lita Van Houten from the CSUN Daily Sundial. She was nice enough to dig up an issue of the campus newspaper from the day before the show, supplying us with the only known listing for Rage Against The Machine’s very first show, for the first time ever online.

More serious than what yer used to seeing here?  Oh fine…..




stadFinally watched Stadium Anthems, a clever, tongue-in-cheek look at the state of the music industry. The film touches on endless facets of the record business from clubs to downloads to groupies with non-stop sarcastic dialogue from the mind of writer/director Scott Brown. For an indie release, it looks like a million bucks and while there’s no well-known music, there’s a lot of undiscovered talent and references to heroes like Lou and Iggy. It’s presented ridiculously at times to great effect but the film has a lot of heart and soul for a movie meant to remind us how little heart and soul is left in “the biz”. It’s available on most online platforms, including Amazon Prime, where it’s free.


cmb debutCover Me Badd is the greatest band name of all-time.  I can say so modestly because it wasn’t my idea. My roommate Sam O’Daniel came up with it for a Bay Area house party we hosted in 1994 just three years after Color Me Badd sex’d up the world. The pun was still vaguely topical back then. We played everything from the Brady Bunch and Neil Diamond to James and Nirvana that night for our one-off roommates set (pictured).

Since then, I’ve kept the CMB torch burning for two decades in San Diego. It became the umbrella not-so-corporate name I attached to over a dozen mashup, medley, one-offs and comedy acts, everything from all-midget Smiths tribute Morrissette to old man comedy act Geezer to the all-John tribute Oates and Oates and Oates and Oates and Oates. We’ve been nominated for San Diego Music Awards, appeared in Kia ads, been an answer on NPR’s Ask Me Another and toured all over the sunshine state, not to mention a recent trip across the pond to England and Scotland.

cmb sign25 years later(!), acts all over the world are still paying homage to Sam’s genius by starting bands of the same name. They’ve been seen rocking up northeastern America, southern US regions and have even crossed the border into Toronto and New Zealand. There’s even a Cover Me Bad (sic) Festival in Germany! It’s a flattering tribute, to be sure.

All of these musical copycats had the same brilliant idea that Sam did.  But, unlike Sam in 1994, they have access to the world wide web. They searched to see if someone else had the name and found us. You see, we’ve had the .com since 2001 and our legend is…legendary. They saw how amazing we are and thought, “Fuck em. They’re in San Diego.  What are they gonna do?”  Not much. Caring isn’t cool. Still, I’ve always wanted to rate our followers….

(ranked from baddest to best for our 25th anniversary)

We’ve managed to outlive quite a few CMBs but it seems rather Trumpy to make fun of something dead. We’ll let the inactives off the hook and quietly dance on the Facebook graves of Cover Me Badd Canada, Connecticut, Oklahoma, (birthplace of Color Me Badd), Virginia1, Virginia2(!) and New Zealand, who sadly deleted their page recently.

Although they haven’t posted anything on Facebook or Instagram in seven months, they claim to still have a pulse. We watched a few of their videos and other than a Sloan medley(!), we couldn’t find anything amazing or horrible to report.  “Awesome covers from awesome decades”. They cover two Strokes songs AND “Sweet Home Chicago”. Effort noted.

GOOD: “Peace Love & Understanding” credited to Costello AND Nick Lowe,  “Yer So Badd” AND Baddfinger (I see what you did there)
BADD: Sublime, Coldplay, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
COLOR ME: Vague. Not much on their Facebook page except for a songlist. “Plays your favorite music from the 60’s to today”. Lack of evidence alone puts them at the bottom of our list.

GOOD: “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”, Ramones
BADD: The worst of 90’s “alternative” from Lit to Three Doors Down.
COLOR ME: Beards.  “The more you drink, the better we sound.”  I feel drunk watching their videos and I don’t even drink.

GOOD: “Groove is in the Heart”, “Easy”, Full House themesong
BADD: Bon Jovi, “Ballroom Blitz”…” by Tia Carrere”
COLOR ME: Stolen. “the best thing to come along since slap bracelets.” The single female-fronted bar band, a long-time favorite. Far be it from us to be ahead of any trends, but we actually got myspace.com/CoverMeBadd first. These guys smartly nabbed facebook.com/CoverMeBadd , forcing us to be “THECoverMeBadd” on FB.  It appears karma killed them four years later.

GOOD: Not badd.
BADD: Singer wearing baseball hat and cargo shorts for fancy pub gig. Blink 182 cover obviously highlighted to court our favor. Sorry, they screwed our friend out of half a million dollars.
COLOR ME: Green….as in matching outfits. Assume that was for a St Patty’s Day show. I mean, they are a Boston band.  “The musicianship is high, but keeping the crowd happy and moving is the ultimate goal!”

GOOD: “Mama Said Knock You Out” over “Immigrant Song”? Nice.
BADD: Band history explained before playing the first song.
COLOR ME: Alright. “Five rock dudes playing 90s R&B”  Effort noted.  Looks like they haven’t done anything since 2016.  Someone poke them to see if they’re dead.

GOOD: They’re good playas, have an ACTUAL website (CoverMeBaddRock.com) and are good at math (“voted as one of the top two best Louisville cover bands for three out of the last five years”)
BADD: Huge setlist with zero eyebrow raisers. Just the hits, ma’am.
COLOR ME: Effort noted. They’re definitely “going for it” with videos thanking their fans and descriptions like “specializes in high-energy pop/rock music perfect for all ages and events!”

GOOD: old school rap, harmonies, Footloose WITH CHOREOGRAPHY
BADD: beyond earnest, professional promo video
DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’: Duh. It’s their sizzle reel closer. Singer even fist bumps her own heart twice on “believin'”.
COLOR ME: Wed! “Our youthful members, flashy costumes, rehearsed choreography, and extensive collection of popular dance hits make us one of the most in demand bands in Northern California.” We wait for Coachella to call and make stupid lists like this. They hustle, play constantly and make money……in our state. How DARE they!? The fact that they have CoverMeBadd.net makes them the most obviously aware of us. Totally perfect for your wedding or corporate event and totally not our cup of tea.

Butch_Walker-Cover_Me_Badd#4 BUTCH WALKER, 2005 EP
GOOD: Yeah Yeah Yeahs mashed into Kelly Clarkson a la Ted Leo, iconic red yellow and blue logo, “Bohemian Rhapsody” before everyone and their mom covered it
BADD:  More search engine presence than us during our busiest era. Jerk.
DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ SINGALONG VIDEO: No but he does really get the crowd going during the Queen medley.
COLOR ME: ROCK’D!  Definitely captures the energy of his live shows. On a few tracks he’s hilariously egged on by screaming teen Avril Lavigne fans. Full disclosure: he rides motorcycles with Grandpa Zach from Geezer, who probably doesn’t appreciate all that cursing in the Vanilla Ice rant.

GOOD: Color Me Badd projection, “Career Opportunities” by the Clash, “Waiting Room” by Fugazi, “KKK Took My Baby Away” by the Ramones, “Susanne” by Weezer, “Sucked Out” by Superdrag, Op Ivy, MC5, GBV, band member named “Teenage” Hicks, played Lebowski Fest NY
BADD: They live too far away
COLOR ME: Impressed (they even cover the ‘Mats)! “Classic punk and indie played baddly”  This is one of the best list of coversongs I’ve ever seen. APPROVED!

GOOD: Besides being hilarious? Missing Persons’ “Walking in LA” & the Damned’s “Jet Boy, Jet Girl”?!  “Ziggy Stardust” listed being by “Bowie/Bauhaus” and “La Bamba” by “Richieeeeeee!!!!!! Valens”.
BADD: “Margaritaville”, Social D, STP and other hits you have to know to be a coverband in southern California.
COLOR ME: GIGGLING. “Cover Me Badd is quite possibly the handsomest, most talented live karaoke band/coverband in the cosmos.” The most audacious of the CMB copycats, they practically started playing in our backyard. However, unlike most coverbands who think they’re funny, they actually are, so we didn’t stay madd long. Sent them a sarcastic letter and they sent back snark, as they should’ve. We’d often get messages intended for them. Looks like they haven’t played since 2012. Too badd.

GOOD: When I went to get CoverMeBadd.com back in 1999, I was incensed to find that it was already taken. Yeahbut-  Who the-!? Once I calmed down, I saw that they had a trombone player instead of a singer. Never mind. Genius.
BADD: They broke up shortly after and I never got to see them play.  They left behind little evidence.  Only a few reunion videos on Youtube remain.
COLOR ME: WORSHIPPIN’. “ROCK – POP – TROMBONES”  What an idea. The 45 seconds of them playing “Black Dog” at a 2007 reunion gig with the backing band trying not to laugh is one of my favorite things on the internet. Click those links. Search those Youtube channels for more brilliance. They do a “Miserlou/Hava Nagila” medley for Chrissakes…..and “Sister Christian” for that matter.


Funny enough, the only act of ours to ever perform that Journey song was the short-lived Rookie Ricardo.  Both of the weddings we played ended in divorce. Coincidence? Honestly, we stopped believin’ in the Cover Me Badd moniker years ago. Aside from 2010 feature articles on our 10th anniversary of playing in San Diego, our acts rarely bother mentioning the CMB corporate name. Take it. You have our blessing but only if you ALL promise to start opening AND closing with “I Wanna Sex You Up”. No? How ’bout a few “tick tock ya don’t stop“s over the intro to that one Journey song? See what I did there? You’ve never come up with anything that good.  That’s why we’re the baddest.


Jellyfish with Steven Bellamy and the Chronicles
UCLA Ackerman Grand Ballroom
Tuesday, March 5, 1991

I went to my first Jellyfish show in San Diego in February of 1991 and was high on seeing them for days afterwards. I figured I’d probably have to wait awhile before they came through southern California again, but, my good highschool friend Dan Buczaczer called me shortly afterwards to tell me that the band would be playing UCLA in less than three weeks as part of an anti-drug awareness week of some kind. The snag was that the show was only open to UCLA students. We’d need ID cards to get in, so Dan spent the next weeks deciding which of his friends looked like me and the other four or five non-Bruins who wanted to go. He must’ve had 10 or 15 ID cards for us to choose from when we showed up.
On March 5th, 1991, I drove over the hill from Northridge and arrived early to UCLA’s Ackerman Grand Ballroom where everyone from the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Guns n’ Roses to Peter Gabriel and the B-52’s had played. I’d recently watched the first two Godfather movies there to celebrate the release of the final film in the trilogy.  It was just a short walk across campus from the Wadsworth Theater, where Jellyfish made their LA debut on the first night of their tour with World Party just a few months before. I was supposed to see a Valentine’s Day show at Ackerman with the Charlatans there a few weeks before but when my girlfriend and I split up, I didn’t feel like going.  Funny enough, School of Fish opened that show. Ah, 1991.


Coolest signature ever?

I walked in to find a celebrity panel talk underway about the dangers of drugs. David Crosby was surprisingly articulate but frail, hobbling on and offstage with the help of a cane.  Bob Timmins (“Dr. Detox as seen in GQ”) joined him with Anthony Kiedis, who also discussed addiction very intelligently, though I’d heard from a co-worker that he wasn’t as clean as he claimed. He detailed his difficulties staying sober in his autobiography years later. This was still seven months before Bloodsugarsexmagic, so having to endlessly explain what “Under The Bridge” was about was still awhile away.  I was still a pretty big RHCP fan, so I went up to chat afterwards.  He was only marginally amused hearing about a friend’s cousin who bought Kenny Rogers’ Greatest Hits on cassette but when she pressed play, she got RHCP’s Freaky Stylee instead. He said through mixups at the pressing plant, they’d had opera on a few of their albums.

Jellyfish-Live-At-Bogarts-Product-ShotTwas quite the San Diego highschool reunion that night. Dan and Deron Cohen fellow Jew-Crew alumni were both going to UCLA. My buddy Jim, who introduced me to JF, came down from Santa Barbara with a posse, including his future wife, Sonya. Lisa Pondrom was there and told us about how she’d just seen the band at Bogart’s in Long Beach. That show had been taped for radio syndication by Westwood One and I ended up with an unedited copy working at Hits Magazine two years later that I circulated into the tape-trading nerd world. 20 years later, it was given an official release by Omnivore Recordings.

It would be hours before Jellyfish played, so we endured an unfunny host and an opening band called Steven Bellamy and the Chronicles, a midwest styled Mellencampesque rock act.  I could barely recall them but, strangely enough, this video of Bellamy playing exactly one week after the UCLA show is on Youtube.

Later that year, I got dragged to the same Natural Fudge Cafe to watch my neighbor’s brother’s band play and be interviewed for a painfully awkward TV show. Sure enough, the Youtube channel is full of those videos. I might be in the audience of one of them, trying to stay awake. Afterwards, one of the club guys was bragging that School of Fish got their start there.

I trim these concert reports I wrote 20 years ago in half when I edit them for YDG. They’re embarrassingly full of mediocre writing, inside jokes and details that wouldn’t interest anyone, like the fact that the Chronicles set closed with a song that copped the ending of an Elvis Costello song that I spent the whole evening not being able to recall.  Sure enough, there they are doing it in this video. It was “Radio Radio”, which my own band covered years later. Bellamy went on to be a sports network figurehead, starting channels devoted to skiing and tennis.

After some giveaways and a set change, it was finally time for an intimate show for maybe 150 people in a hall that holds over 2000.  Gotta love college gigs. Band gets paid a fortune to play to almost no one. With everyone else sitting in their seats, we walked up and stood right in front of the stage, just as the lights went out.  “Look who’s here,” I said to Jim as Jason came walking onstage.  We’d unknowingly seen the band with a substitute guitarist just a few weeks before with Jason out of commission after shoulder surgery.  We were standing right in front of him and though I’d never met him, I quietly said, “How’s the arm?” He smiled and said, “Great!” “Is this your first show back?” “Yeah.” “Excited?” “Yeah!” and they were off into it.

As the band’s Fanclub explained,,,,
BAM_cover“Well, the biggest news of the month is that Jason is back! Some of you may remember that Mr. Faulkner (sic) was recovering from surgery on a dislocated shoulder during December-February. During his absence, Jason was replaced by Niko Wenner, who one fan in Los Angeles dubbed “stone cold foxed.” Well, this boosted Niko’s ego so much that he hijacked all Jellyshows on the west coast in February and March, refusing to let Jason play. The rest of the band finally succeeded in buying him off with a couple of Donnie Wahlberg action figures and the BAMMIE which they recently won.
Yes, that’s right. Although Jellyfish did not win “Outstanding Group” at the Bay Area Music Awards on March 2nd, they did take home a nifty gold statuette for “Outstanding Debut Album”. (just as Beatnik Beatch had done several years earlier -ed.) Of course Roger is quick to point out that the real treat of the evening was that their dressing room was right next to that of Neil Schon and Jonathon Cain (of Journey, all you nimnuls). Andy was more impressed with the fact that Jellyfish performed that night on the same stage where he once saw KISS.

They mentioned the Bammie award at UCLA, since it had only happened two days prior. They played live at the awards show, too, that being Jason’s actual first time back playing with the band. At Ackerman, Andy & Roger both simultaneously said how lucky Jason was that he got to play with Night Ranger. Somehow it came up in an interview I did with Jason a few years later….

Jason: ….I like arranging everything. I play drums, so, there was a lot of overlapping and-
Adam: (laughing)
JF: What?
AG: Here’s how I remember you play drums: You were playing with Jellyfish at UCLA and you’d just played the Bammies and you were like, “I just played drums with Night Ranger!”
JF: (laughing) Yeah!
AG: …and no one knew it. You were like, “No one knows Night Ranger?” and I said, “Sister Christian” and you were like “Yeah!”. 
JF: That was awesome because those guys were so….I don’t know what kind of drugs those guys were taking, but, they were in the back and there was this poor guy trying to organize it. He ran up to me and said, “Do you play something?” And I was like, “Yeah.” And he goes, “You play guitar, right?” and I go, “Well, I’ll only play if I can play drums” ’cause I never get to play drums with anybody. So, he’s like OK, we’ve got, you know, whatever those guys names are, Brad Gillis or whatever, “We’ve got these dudes from Night Ranger and they’re gonna play. They’re gonna jam with you and the bass player from Faith No More wants to play.”
So, the Night Ranger guys were back in this little room, just hanging out with some, like, metal chicks, y’know and this poor guy was running around trying to find guitars for them and they were like, “I have to have an 80’s Les Paul with a locking tremelo, Floyd Rhodes. I’ve gotta have that,” and this guy goes and finds a classic, like a ’62 Les Paul, and brings it and opens the case. “Will this do?” One of the guys says, “Get that piece of shit out of here, man! I only play locking tremelo, man.” It was like, come on! It’s just a little jam session, y’know….at the Hyatt! Get over it! (laughing). So that was entertaining….
AG: What’d you guys do?
JF: We did “Highway To Hell” and, um, what’s the other song we did? (thinks a second) Oh my God, we did “Freebird” and “Highway To Hell” and I didn’t even really know how to play “Freebird” on drums. So, I think I played “Do You Feel Like I Do” over “Freebird”, kinda like that Will To Power thing. (both laugh) I pulled one of those.

Years later, I saw Jason and he said, “Did I ever tell you about the time I was rockin’ with Dokken?!” He started to tell me about this time he was wearing this furry shirt and they were at this awards banquet and I stopped him and asked, “Did a writer ask you about this recently?” He stopped and said, “Yeah! How’d you know?” I said, “He read about it on my site! It was Night Ranger, not Dokken!” Nerd alert.

With Jason away for months, he was obviously itching to rock. This was one of the best shows I ever saw them play, if not THE best.  After the solo in “She Still Loves Him”, the song stopped and Andy yelled some kind of astonished “Welcome back!”  There was some kind of technical problem at one point and they were looking for ideas to fill time. I yelled out “Chris Isaak!” because Roger had done a great impression a few weeks before. Andy looked all excited, “Yeah! Do it!” and Roger complied with a bit of “Wicked Game”. The only other thing I remember from the set was Chris throwing out a stack of JF stickers rapid fire before his bass part started in “Baby’s Coming Back”.

ucla setlistAfter their main set ended, the band exited and a girl that our friend Stan brought ran onstage and grabbed Andy’s sticks right off of his drumset before security could stop her. She hand’t even heard them before, so props to her. They came back on and went into “The Man I Used To Be”. When it came time for Jason’s first crunchy guitar part, he made an appropriate rock face, but, somehow, his guitar had been unplugged, so it looked pretty damn funny when no sound came out. Everyone in front of him was laughing, as was Jason. When it started working again and we all cheered, Andy and Roger were looking at each other wondering what the hell was going on. They closed with “Go Your Own Way” with Andy screaming, “Ladies and gentlemen, Stevie Nicks!” while Chris kinda danced around like a gypsy. Great show.

We sat at the front of the stage waiting to say hi to the band and could see people breaking down the gear underneath the bottom of the curtain. I noticed a setlist within reach, so I reached back and grabbed it. There is a piece of tape over the word “TODD” and their unreleased original “MR. LATE” is written over it.  I didn’t know what it meant for years, assuming it was a Todd Rundgren cover.  I eventually found an article mentioning them covering “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” but I never saw or heard them do it. Last year I finally found a recording of them doing it at an SF show on the Jellyfish Media Archive and put it on Youtube.

jfthanksoberWhile we waited, the show’s host gave me some of the band’s 8×10 promo photos since he’d earlier put a Bellybutton poster in my hand during a contest and then changed his mind.  With the band being MTV darlings and pop-culture-centric, I wasn’t too surprised when Ken Ober from Remote Control walked by. I got his autograph, not knowing that he hosted a cringe-worthy MTV Spring Break show that the band played around this time.  I finally met and talked to Jason for awhile and he was the nicest of the bunch, signing a sticker for me that none of us could decipher (“Adam, Thanks for ????????? Jason”) so I showed it to him a few months later and he couldn’t figure it out either, laughing and saying, “I was probably drunk or stoned.” Did I mention the earlier seminar was called “Drugs in the Entertainment Industry”?

groeningI ended up having to drop my television production class at California State Northridge to go to the show. Missing one night wouldn’t have been too much of a problem but I also ditched two nights later to go to a special salute to the Simpsons at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Sure, I met Matt Groening, but attendance was such a big part of the grade that I wouldn’t have passed the class. Pop culture before education, right?

I saw them a few more times on the Bellybutton tour but this was the last full headlining set I saw them do until Spilt Milk a couple of years later. Once again, I walked away wanting to see them again, ASAP. Exactly one month later, they returned….

It might be awhile before the next tale gets updated, so get tapped on the shoulder when something gets added here by “liking” Yer Doin’ Great on Facebook.




Part 2 of 3: THE ITALIAN YEARS, only THREE YEARS LATER! At this rate….

pat drawingOf course, found some missing goodies from my first report after I posted it.  Read part one HERE. In addition to finding a fun video of the Schizophonics doing “Put Your Weight On It” in Madrid and this amazing drawing of Pat by Pieded Ortiz from our first night in Bilbao, I just came across a reminder that in the first part of our trip in Spain, the Schizophonics won a San Diego Music Award for Best Live Act on our day off in Burgos. We’d talked about different things we could do if they won, including filming a video but, in the end, they got the news the morning after the ceremony.  Longtime friend and 91X DJ Mike Halloran accepted on their behalf.  It was definitely a kick to be halfway across the world, showing people why they are the best band in San Diego.
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Photo by Dan Chusid

Photo by Dan Chusid


When we left off, I went to sleep in Figueres, the city of Dali’s birth, around 4am, determined to get up early and visit his museum. For once, my brain and alarm didn’t let me down. Luckily, it was just a few blocks away so I had a couple of hours to tear through the place. Since I didn’t want to risk waking up bandmates, I just went solo and took a ton of pictures.
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It’s a multi-level affair with tons of surrealist architectural touches and some his well known works realized in 3d. There are all kinds of staircases, windows and outdoor areas that offer their own unique views. Attached with a separate entrance is a museum just for his incredible jewelry. Lots of tourists and families. The kids’ reactions were priceless.

Headed back barely awake and slept most of the way to Italy. We stopped in France a time or two and drove into the Italian darkness. Down below, a beautiful coastline hid in the black but all I could see were a few lights. Here we are in another town with narrow streets and adorable buildings on all sides.

We finally ended up in tiny club Vigognia, decorated in Communist flags and Che posters, facing out onto the docks. Our first Italian meal was a stunner. Unbelievable pasta, fried onion balls, thin pizza-like pie, the best focaccia bread on earth and a crunchy coffee ice cream that was better than any gelato I’ve had so far. Lovely yet brief dinner conversation with the staff on the merits of Michael Sembello’s “Maniac”. Got loudly chastised for talking to the help during dinner, a new, highly creative nitpick.


The tour’s biggest Diana admirer.

For those who haven’t been following the tour, the night starts with Diana Death Y Sus Novios, which is Diana, Robert Lopez (El Vez/Zeros) and Justin Cota (Gloomsday). They do a mix of rock en espanol, obscurities by New Pornographers n Pavement plus a few classic rock tunes. Next up is the Schizophonics, a husband/wife fuzz rock dance machine that I play bass for and then we all get up at the end and become the Little Richards, singing Tutti classics with polka dots, choreography and mayhem.

Once we figured out how to stuff all of our gear into their band area, we were all set to rock a few dozen locals that were strong enough to brave a drizzle on a Monday night. What the locals lacked in triple digit attendance, they made up for with volume. Great, appreciative crowd. I especially dug the grizzled 60-something who serenaded me with “California Uberales”. They definitely got their three Euros worth.

Afterwards, we followed Alessandro, our kind host, through winding streets to a gated set of rooms and I fell asleep on the top bunk, ready to wake up and see what Italy actually looks like. CLICK TO SEE MORE IMPERIA PICS

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ITalian UCHS alumni meeting with Eric Sylvers who was happy to see that I recently unearthed our 1987 Detroit Tigers bet that they won't win the World Series in 50 years. As a financial writer for the Wall Street Journal, he's insisted that we adjust for inflation in 2033 when he collects.
ITalian UCHS alumni meeting with Eric Sylvers who was happy to see that I recently unearthed our 1987 Detroit Tigers bet that they won’t win the World Series in 50 years. As a financial writer for the Wall Street Journal, he’s insisted that we adjust for inflation in 2033 when he collects.

Woke up in our Imperia encampment and had some coffee and a bite, care of our host, Alessandro. The drive to Milan was a bit dreary, as it has been on and off throughout our trip. This time it made the city look like an industrial wasteland. It didn’t help that the club was in a desolate part of town. Once we found it, Lofi was a nice surprise. Huge inside with an elevated stage, nice staff and a great dinner for all of us, including Suz, who came all the way from Rome and my old high school friend Eric, who has lived in Milano for over 15 years. No more than a few dozen folks came out, which ain’t bad for a rainy Tuesday show in a hard to find area. Surprisingly, five different folks posted photos and videos of us to Instagramps (see below). Per usual, we had a blast playing and I snuck a tiny bit of “Personal Jesus” into one part for my old DMode-loving pal, which no one caught….including Eric. Checked into an odd hotel and crashed after gawking at an amazing Paramount Studios celebrity group photo in the lobby. CLICK FO’ MO’ MILAN PICS!
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@carol_motown :
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@monjasour/  :
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@corradoelli :
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milano flyer
“Ooga Booga”

“Jenny Jenny”
Keep a Knockin’ (“Dumb Guy Voice”)
“Ooh My Soul”  

Straight outta Milano’s hotel and into an unbelievably huge music store to replace a cracked cymbal and other odds and ends. Then we took a slight detour to the Armani outlet store where bargains were less plentiful than last time and we all left empty handed. Trying on ridiculously priced jackets was fun tho.
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We finally rolled into the small mountain town of Vogogna which looked out of another century. Adorable and quaint doesn’t begin to cover it, so after some coffee and sandwiches, four of us took a walk. Then it was three and then it was just Justin and I determined to get up a house-filled hillside to get a decent view. Well worth the hoofin’.

vogognaThe club was in a former casino conveniently right across the street from our hotel. Yes! Wait, what’s that staircase? Damnit. Luckily we had a lot of kind folks to help lug stuff up to the cool rooms decorated with all kinds of great rock stuff, including olde tape machines, broken basses and a collage of album covers shrunk down to 45 size.

An association of musicians have been doing shows there for a few years now and it was quite a revelation for a town that didn’t appear to have much population under 60.

A fantastic meal and a decent turnout for another drizzly weeknight show. Definitely the loudest small crowd we’ve seen with a line of folks rushing the stage with pumping fists every time Pat went into his guitar shakin’. They even insisted they take Justin onto their shoulders midsong which prompted Lil Robert to get up on Pat too.

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 2.48.16 PMGrazie, Vogogna! CLICK FOR MORE VOGOGNA FOTOS

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After descending back down Vogogna’s grand club staircase with our gear, we set out for Genova. We got more than our fair share of the usual green hillsides and endless tunnels along the way before arriving in yet another beautiful city facing the sea. Densely packed with tall, ancient, colorful buildings and narrow streets that had us holding our breath. Teatro della Maddalena is in the city centre and the cobblestone streets are so olde that they regulate driving heavy vehicles on them. The friendly staff came out to meet us, ready with rolling dollies to guide us past the working girls in doorways to the theatre, which dates back to the 14th century.GENOVA

After a quick city tour in the rain, we headed upstairs to a restaurant for yet another great Italian meal. Alessandro and a friend came all the way from Imperia to join us too. Coming up and down the staircases in the rafters made us feel like real theater folk and we had a good sized crowd who danced for almost the entire show. A real fun one!

Afterwards, we were guided to a nearby flat with courteous hosts, a friendly cat and ceiling paintings older than all of us put together.
Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 4.56.31 PMCLICK FOR MORE GENOVA PICS

Awoke in my usual bluriness in Genova, only to find that my contacts had gone missing. I knew I’d seen them on my bedside table that morning and after twenty frantic minutes, I found them under the kitchen table, where our hosts laid out a generous breakfast spread. Kike confirmed that he saw the cat playing with something there but thought nothing of it. Here kitty kitty….

Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 9.53.44 PMAfter lugging everything back past the hookers and the guy busking Chris Cross’ “Sailing”, the van wouldn’t start. I’d like to remark on the kindness of the Genovans who saved us with jumper cables upon seeing the hood up for several hours in the busy city centre but it never happened. Luckily, that gave us enough time for coffee, a great mod clothing shop, gelato, shoe shopping, a comic book store and an awesome vegan restaurant. Never did figure out why the town motto on billboards everywhere was “More Than This”, despite asking their tourism office, who had no idea. Bryan Ferry would approve. When the mechanic finally arrived, he had no tools but insisted on towing us to the shop to get it checked out. With the help of Alessandro’s translating, Kike balked, knowing it was just the battery and we were on our way with the guy’s tow ring still screwed into our bumper. Finders keepers, dude.

PERUGIA FLYERNow hours behind, we had a long, rainy drive ahead of us. I made some good headway on John Peel’s biography by cellphone light and we saw the first sunset I could recall on a show night. When I wondered aloud why, three people said “SOUNDCHECK!” in unison. Oh yeah. Despite the long drive and early sound check, the show wasn’t starting until ridiculously late so we had plenty of time.

It was long past dark when we arrived, so we didn’t really get to see Perugia. Like a couple of other places on the tour, Urban is a huge industrial warehouse in an out-of-the-way area. This one was, by far, the most high tech, with a recording studio and unreal light and sound system. The fog machine nearly killed us, though. The nearby restaurant AGAIN raised the bar with the best pasta and cake we’ve had. Just wow.

They were expecting 600 people, thanks to shuttle buses from the nearby university and, sure enough, the place was ram packed with young, wasted smokers. The DJs played a ton of great old music but you kind of got the feeling that the kids would’ve been just as happy dancing to techno. Still, they went crazy for us, even if they didn’t react too much when the songs finished or buy a single piece of merch. Had a lot of fun getting the frowniest folks up front to smile. We even got our first mosh pit during “Long Tall Sally”.

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After we cleared our gear, the dance party spilled onto the stage and even we couldn’t resist on our way out. However, when one girl decided to have a sit in the middle of us, a cry of “NO PARKING ON THE DANCE FLOOR!” went up and a bottle of water might’ve accidentally tipped over behind her. Several of us were hurting the next day, spurred on by great tunes, our host Michael’s Northern Soul moves and some ill-advised high stepping to Prince Buster’s “Madness”.

We rolled into our hostel at a ridiculous morning hour, thanks to a street closure. As nice as it was for the poor employee to let us in so late, it definitely made us appreciate our other great digs on the tour. One of the keys didn’t work and the only light inside was strobing like a rave. We got a cold room of unmade army bunk beds. Then we realized (post-shower) that there were no towels. Poor us.

With all of the reasons to dislike our Perugia hostel, they insisted on pressuring our exit, despite some illness delaying us. Hard to avoid getting a little sick with all the tight quarters and water coming from the sky. Still, we always feel fine come showtime and keep having a great time. We stopped off in a tiny town for coffee and bathrooming then headed out for another drive of breathtaking views and eyelids.

We pulled into drizzly Mantova to a huge supermarket attached to a large modern activity center named after my meal ticket, Tom. If he hadn’t decided to leave the band, I wouldn’t be here. I sign records he played on some nights and usually circle his head and write his name. Thanks again, Tom!

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They weren’t expecting a ton of people but we convinced them to let us use the bigger performance room, rather than have us clanging our guitars together in a smaller area. After soundcheck, we adjourned back to the huge room they gave us for backstage and hoped for food. They finally arrived with a little bit of bread and some plain gruel. They even brought a huge plate of more in case we wanted seconds. As we debated the odds of this being it, they brought delicious breaded chicken and other treats. Relieved band.

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 9.25.16 PMWe checked into our beautiful BnB in a huge old house with a dark gate entry that could’ve been the start of a Scooby Doo/Rocky Horror adventure. While the others napped, I had a sit down shower but skipped what appeared to be a plastic bidet stick on a metal hose next to the toilet. Every single shower on this trip has been different, which is always comedy for me without contact lenses. The kind old lady who runs the place spoke as much English as my Italian (zero, ciao) but showed me the photos of folks who’ve stayed there, her award winning car from 1936 and her beloved cat Charlie, who is no longer with us.

Back at Tom, as expected, it wasn’t enough people to fill up such a big room but it looked and sounded great in there. People danced, demanded an encore and talked to us lots after. There were the guys from the band that opened for El Vez n the Schizos in front of a castle last time they were here. Super nice and tall Tommy is in a grindcore band playing Tower Bar in San Diego on October 30! Plug. Russian fan Valeriy insisted Diana sign his cheek. Fun folks all.

Thanks to Geronimo Bruno Cico Casartelli for the show shots!


Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 9.33.12 PMOut of our beautiful BnB and off to beautiful Turin. The views are always spectacular on the long drives but I’ve started to read Geoff Emerick’s book on engineering the Beatles, so my head’s been down. Blah Blah is a cool 24 hour cafe/club on a busy street with tons of shops and buildings. Went on a quick sightseeing walk and came back to a great buffet.


Kike captures happiest soundcheck ever

turin stageQuiet, fun show with us waving and talking to people sitting and eating in the very back of the room. Dinner theater at its finest. Folks got up and danced for the Richards and Alessandro came out from Imperia AGAIN. He must REALLY like us. I had the least room to move of any night of the tour and had to stand on top of a hole in the stage being covered by duct tape while trying not to bump Diana’s keyboard, Robert’s guitar and a wall while wearing pants far too baggy for dancing. Easy.

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Between Pat declaring the new Schizos name to be Gimbeltron, Robert spending a whole song on the floor, humping and looking for a dislodged guitar piece and other ridiculousness, it was definitely our silliest show yet and someone filmed TEN songs and put them up on Youtube! Thanks, “Toschchilmaz”!

We got our exercise walking up to our fifth floor flat and dreamt that we played 12 nights in a row. Oh wait, we just did that. Phew. Two travel days off to return to Spain….

screen-shot-2018-03-21-at-10-53-11-pm-e1521698822756.pngWith our last Italy show done, I woke up fairly early the next morning and saw more of Turin, including a walk around and in the nearby historic Palazzo Madama. We had a long day of driving, French rest stop ridiculousness and an accidental double stop at a supermarket. Kike’s been doing an amazing job of getting us where we need to go while we slumber. I can’t imagine how often touring musicians got lost before GPS but it ain’t always perfect. We all had a good laugh when after driving 30 minutes or so, we ended up back in the same spot. Eventually we rolled into the familiar Hotel Los Angeles near the French/Spanish border.
Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 10.52.40 PM

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 10.54.01 PMAnother travel day to get to southern Spain. Driving, castles, sleeping, hills, peeing, adorable towns, eating, endless trees, giggling and stopping at the chic Hotel Bag in Castellon de la Plana, which didn’t look like much from the outside. We met Alejandro, an old friend of Kike’s, who named his old club after the Zeros song Rico Amor. He met us for amazing tapas before taking us next door to his new bar, Spoonful. To say that it was amazingly decorated and designed would be a huge understatement. These pictures definitely don’t do it justice. It was closed on this night but he opened it up for a tour and some drinks…and a few more.




NearMintcoverRecently came across this thing from our olde website. I was asked to write track by track commentary for a SDMusicMatters.com article back in 2004. I didn’t want to say TOO much about what’s behind the lyrics but I’ve always liked reading these things and I LOVE to type so….. Unfortunately, there was an inbox mishap and the writer didn’t notice the untold hours I’d spent on this until AFTER his deadline. Oh well. We love Dryw anyways. In fact, we love him so much that I’m adding this link.  Clicking on some of these text links to long dead websites is quite a memory rush.

I wrote this trying to emulate an Elliott Smith song but didn’t do a very good job. It was more trying to write something really short after seeing San Diego band the and/ors. It features a cleared sample of Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of the Posies singing the National Anthem and an uncleared sample of me singing the opening beeps from Pole Position.

220px-GoGos-WeGotTheBeatTHE CLAP
We did this for goofs on a hand held recorder. One take! Now that 4th & B has changed bookers I can safely say that it was a CRIME that we didn’t get to open for the Gogos and a female solo acoustic singer did. That’s reverse sexism folks and I won’t stand for it.

rc with casbah signCONSTANTLY WAITING
This is a song by our old co-lead singer John Andrews and it was simply too good to not keep playing. We have his blessing, even though I changed “head” to “eyes”. Right, John? After singing it a hundred times, I could NOT remember one line when we recorded the vocals. Luckily, his demo was in my car. Isn’t old age great?

A tune about Leap Year that’s one of the first songs I ever wrote. We exploited the holiday aspect until we were tired of this song, so it was great that Jeremy Cooke from Billy Midnight could come in and play something on fiddle that Dylan improved on guitar once. I’ve written way too much about this song already.

press_your_luck_1984__2000_lose_a_whammy_b3_r2_by_designerboy7-d4w2s77YOUR LIFE IS A JOKE
No one takes us seriously, so I thought I’d write about it and pull out all the stops on pop culture references (I count 3 tv shows, a movie, a song, a band, a breakfast cereal and an awards show). I love ska and this gets dangerously close to it. We kept the ending as a funny reminder of how tense the studio can be sometimes. Lead uke by Jason Hee.

I was invited to be on a local holiday record and when Beastie Boys’ management wouldn’t allow Rabbi Gimbel’s Jews Explosion to be on it, I wrote this about the recent fires and election. A nice third harmony by Mr. Nasr Helewa.

motorheadme7th TRACK STRETCH
A real life answering machine message from a crazed Motorhead fan to the Garden of Speedin’. We got a few of these when we first went into business and got their olde fanclub phone number. This one was the most PG rated. We also wanted to use a recording of an idiot savant who once called spouting rapid fire Beach Boys trivia but thought it would be a bit too cruel.

The first time I heard the Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights”, I thought Ben Gibbard was about to sing about how he tried to leave the song on someone’s answering machine but it would hang up on him or, worse yet, it accidentally beeped the code and played back the messages. He didn’t so I wrote a song about it using a strangely familiar melody I’d wanted to sing for a VERY long time. Yes, that’s a Poison reference on the end. Who do you think you’re dealing with?!

Our producer, Mike Kamoo, thought it sounded like Pavement’s stabs at country or Uncle Tupelo. This is the only song we brought Jeremy in to play fiddle on and what he improvized was so good that we cued up a few more songs for him.

Who’s less funny: the person who yells out for “Freebird” or the person that laughs at it? NO girl will sleep with you if you yell this out. Girls, spread the word and unite! Rather than write a song of the same name that would encourage more wannabe comedians, I wrote this instead. Ended up kinda Everlys which is fine by me.

220px-Sloan_The_Good_In_EveryoneGIMME CLOSURE
The first real rock riff I ever wrote. It’s a wannabe glamrock stomper that is dangerously close to a Sloan song but they rarely play here. I actually called a friend to see if it sounded familiar to him but it didn’t, so I knew I was safe. One day after school at University City High School, my friend Dan Buczaczer said “Shoot”. Our friend Jenne Leo replied “Bang” without missing a beat and Dan immediately clutched his chest and said “Got me.” I thought it was so genius that I vowed to start a band and put it in a song. It only took me 10 years to start the song and then another 5 to finish and record it. We recorded us yelling “bang” really high and then really low with a bunch of friends and when we played it back together, it sounded so much like the Muppets that we didn’t stop laughing for a good five minutes. Coaching Marie Haddad on how to moan and sigh was pretty embarassing but she’s a professional and helped me get through it. The chorus is supposed to be the most overdramatic Nine Inch Nails line I could stomach but it doesn’t come off that way. I don’t hate anyone named Penny. It just rhymed and I know too many Jennys.


For awhile, I had no lyrics for the verses and would rattle off the fast parts of “Turning Japanese” and the Femmes’ “Kiss Off”. I just wanted to write a rocker about driving and it ended up being about traffic. I thought it would be doubly ironic to borrow an Oasis melody for the chorus. As a kid, I alphabetized my baseball cards alphabetically by team and never had an excuse to demonstrate how I’d memorized them. After we finished the album, my friend Kimberly uttered the brilliant phrase “Festival of Brake Lights” which I wish I could’ve used.

A friend of mine asked me to make my studio debut on a Bay Area compilation after I moved back to San Diego, so I recorded the first song I ever wrote for it. When I went up to SF to play the record release, I wrote a title track for the comp that was full of references to where we lived in El Cerrito and all of our East Bay music friends. I tried to write something dumb, simple and classic rock like BTO since I knew I’d never have to play it again. Oops. Great pedal steel solo by Mocha Joe Camacho.

Another of my first songs, written at the absolute lowest point in my life. I thought it was WAY too Ren’ Fair and pretty which helped the lyrics write themselves. Poor Brad Paye from Agave had to try to get a tricky piano part down with a studio full of people watching. We deleted it later, just to be cruel. At least we left in his great mandolin playing. Jeremy and Joe’s different takes sounded amazing all at once, so, with very little editing, we left in all of those incredible accidental harmonies. I read later that Jellyfish got the same accidentally results when recording the pedal steel on “Russian Hill”. We wanted one five second section to be over the top, so John Meeks and Scott Kennerly from Plural came in to sing a few of the 12 vocal parts and Jeremy did three violin parts for good measure. It doesn’t sound so over the top.

mazzy-starshipMAZZY STARSHIP
How do you keep an idiot in suspense? I’ll tell you later. It’s hard to write something slower and rocking without coming off emo. It was originally supposed to be about rollerskating and ended up accidentally being about how I’m a little bit Mazzy Star and she was a little bit “We Built This City”. Actually, the chorus isn’t supposed to mean anything but that sounds believable. Someone did an article on us and said that the song was about Eve Selis. It’s not. I’ve never even met her. Makes me wonder how many songwriting stories I’ve heard that aren’t true. I’m not so sure we did the right thing by doing the obvious “Fade Into You” homage at the end but it was fun to do.

rcstudioBonus tracks? What bonus tracks?! Thanks to Nana, Grandma, Doug Camphuis and Angela Correa for helping and Nasr for having a sense of humor about the end. Jason thought we shouldn’t thank anyone at the end because Sublime had already done that. They used guitars too, didn’t they? You’ll miss something but, for your convenience, you can skip one part instead of having to sit there with your finger on the scan button for forever. You’re welcome.

seaver“We hope you’ve enjoyed listening to the records as much as we enjoyed melting them- no, no, no, that’s wrong – making them.”
-Paul McCartney on the Beatles 1964 Christmas Record


mayhem#1 FAVE

El Vez, the Event, Echo and the Bunnymen, English Beat, Electric Mayhem

Earthling.80, the Earlybirds, Echo and the Bunnymen, Eels, the 88, El Destroyo, El Guapo, El Vez, Elastica, Electric Light Orchestra, Elf Power, Elgin Park, Ella Fitzgerald*, Duke Ellington, Emery. Bird, English Beat, Jeremy Enigk, Brian Eno, enormous, the Essex Green, the Event, Every Brothers, Everything But The Girl, Evilado
*rare exception to alphabetical policy as decreed by Summer Brannin



Earthling.80-I Love You More Than You Love The 80’s
Elastica-Nothing Stays The Same
ELO-Sweet Talkin’ Woman
Emery Byrd-Emily

Enigk, Jeremy-Shade And The Black Hat
Eno, Brian-Needle of a Camel’s Eye
Event, The-You’re On My Mind
Evilado-Her Pieces
Electric Mayhem-Can You Picture That?
Elfman, Danny-The Last Time

Elliott, Missy-Get Yer Freak On
En Vogue-My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)
Exciters, The-Tell Him
Emotions-The Best Of My Love
English Beat-Ranking Full Stop
Everly Brothers-Bye Bye Love
Ernie-Rubber Duckie
Echo & The Bunnymen-The Cutter
88, The-Coming Home
Essex Green-The Late Great Cassiopia
El Vez-Chicanisma
Earlybirds, The-Little Red Book.


9 Electric Light Orchestra
4 English Beat, The Everly Brothers
3 A Man Called E, Earth Wind & Fire, ENO, Erasure
2 Eagles, Earthless, Eazy-Muthafuckin-E, Echo & the Bunnymen, Einstürzende Neubauten, Elbow,  Electric Wizard, Elvis Perkins, Eminem, Esquivel,  David Essex, Everything But The Girl


Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue Sky (2)
Easybeats – Women (Make You Feel Alright)
Everything But The Girl – Driving (Acoustic version)
Eisley – Telescope Eyes
Everly Brothers – Cathy’s Clown
Steve Earle – Hard-core Troubadour
Emerson, Donnie & Joe – Baby
Everett, Betty-Chained To Your Love
Eric B. & Rakim – Follow The Leader
Electric Light Orchestra – Ocean Breakup/King Of The Universe
Escovedo, Alejandro – Always a Friend
Eels – Flower
Extreme – More Than Words
Eels – Novocaine For The Soul (2)
E – Hello Cruel World
Echo and the Bunnymen – The Killing Moon
Echo and the Bunnymen – My Kingdom
Earth, Wind & Fire – September
Everything But the Girl – Each and Every One
Echo & The Bunnymen – Do It Clean (2)
Eleventh Dream Day- Tenth Leaving Train
Eggstone – The Dog
Eddie and the Hot Rods-Do Anything You Want to Do
Enemymine-Day One
Eagles of Death Metal-I Only Want You
ELO- Telephone Line (2)
Erasure – Oh L´amour (2)
The Equals – Police On My Back
Evil Blizzard – Slimy Creatures
Ernie – Rubber Duckie
Electronic – Disappointed
Etheridge, Melissa – I’m The Only One
Everclear – Father Of Mine
Ellington, Duke – It Don’t Mean a Thing
EXO – Ko Ko Bop
EBN-OZN – AEIOU Sometimes Y
Ed O.G & Da Bulldogs – I Got To Have It
Emerson Lake & Palmer – Karn Evil 9 1st Impression, Pt. 2
Earth, Wind, & Fire – Shining Star
Eno, Brian – Here Come The Warm Jets
Eels – Mr E’s Beautiful Blues
England Dan & John Ford Coley – I’d Really Love To See You Tonight, Hey Now Eels – You’re Really Livin’
Electric Prunes- I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
ELO – Bluebird
Everly Brothers – When Will I Be Loved
Easybeats: Friday on My Mind
E Zee Possee – Everything Starts With An E
EMF- Unbelievable
Editors – Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors
Earth Opera – The Red Sox Are Winning
Electronic – Idiot Country
Exodus – Bonded By Blood
Echo & The Bunnymen – It’s All Over Now Baby Blue
Exploding Hearts – I’m A Pretender
Exploited – I Believe in Anarchy.

Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem – Ophelia
Eagulls – I Wanna Be Adored
Echobelly – Dark Therapy
Exbats – Fortune Cookie
Eugenius – I’m The Sun


What’re YOUR favorite E things?!  Leave a comment with your five favorite E acts and your favorite song by a E!


ABOUT SUMMER (the most important part)

I wrote this for the Songs For Summer website around 2000 and thought it should be online somewhere….

ABOUT SUMMER (the most important part)

m_singer (1)Summer Lynn Brannin was born on June 23, 1976 at Tri-City Hospital in Oceanside, California about a half hour north of San Diego. She grew up in Cardiff, a beautiful little beach town in the North County of San Diego. She was instantly beautiful and towered over everyone in her classes (finishing a respectable 6’1″). For most of her childhood, she and her brother were brought up by her mother. Summer developed her creativity early on, making up games for her and her brother to play, drawing, painting and starting on the path to becoming a gifted artist. They eventually moved to a nearby country style house in Leucadia, where she attended San Dieguito High School.

From a very young age, Summer loved music. Her mom would play classical music, quiz the kids on the pieces, and even left the stereo on for the family cat to enjoy when no one was home. As a young teen, she was lucky enough to have a few friends who recommended all kinds of music to her. More than anything, she loved old jazz and “swooshy” British rock. Her music collection was mostly full of old thrift store records (sometimes purchased only for the cover art) and import albums by bands that are still unheard of on these shores. Because most of her favorite groups either skipped San Diego altogether or played 21 and up clubs, she was always going to Los Angeles for concerts. She really knew her stuff. This was all when she was just 16.

It was around this time that she sent a letter and a mixtape to a local zine called 360. One of the writers, Sam O’Daniel, was blown away that they liked so much of the same music and they struck up a friendship. Eventually, Sam, myself, and my friend Pat moved up to the Bay Area together. Summer would occasionally call and whenever Sam wasn’t home, we’d talk a little. We became phone friends. I liked talking to her and neither of us had made many new friends in awhile. It turned out we liked lots of the same music and had been to lots of the same concerts, including one two years earlier where she actually remembered seeing me simply because I was wearing a Bjork shirt.

Just before Sam moved out, I suggested Summer & I meet when I came down to San Diego. We hit it off but no sparks flew. I invited her up for a party that we were having and when she hit the Bay Area, she came alive in a way that I hadn’t seen before. We fell in love and were talking about moving in together by the end of her stay. She always felt a huge connection with that part of California and we were actually planning to move there from San Diego until she became sick. We decided to wait and I was promptly offered a job in Los Angeles that I took. Summer continued working, taking night classes to finish up high school and working full-time at a nearby health food store. She would take the train up to Los Angeles and, to pass the time, would write me wonderful, hilarious accounts of her trips, filled with drawings.

My job didn’t work out and after living at home in San Diego for a short month, we decided to move in together. We found a nice, cheap place in Kearny Mesa, an uninteresting part of town that was within walking distance of a health food store and a junior college. Summer was excited to move into her own place but even more excited to have an entire apartment to decorate and fill with her stuff. She filled it alright. She once put monster eyes, nose and mouth on a huge avalanche of laundry spilling from the closet. There was a corner for “lounge” stuff, sleepytime things hung over the bed, and the kitchen had all kinds of food related things on the walls.

One of the best parts about living with Summer was being around her artwork so much. When we started dating, I would get brilliant, endless letters full of drawings, magazine clippings, stickers and anything else she could fit in an envelope. Now that we lived together, I’d sometimes come home to find her asleep with the floor covered in drawings she’d left for me to see. Maybe she’d leave arrows pointing to the bed. I saved every single note she ever left for me. Then she started taking art classes and I got to see her attempt new styles of art. Of course, she was the best in whatever she tried. I always thought she was the greatest artist ever but I’m pretty biased. I was so proud to see how many fellow artists agreed with me. One of her teachers leaned over her shoulder once and said, “I wish I was making lines like that when I was your age.”

Just before the market she worked for went out of business, Summer heard word that a Whole Foods Market opening in San Diego. An old boss of hers was setting up the deli department and was thrilled to have Summer help. She loved working there and her customers and co-workers all clearly adored her. Sometimes we’d go grocery shopping and it would take forever because everyone knew her and wanted to talk. Along with my family, she now had another extended family that she felt close to. She continued to go to school full-time while she worked there. I don’t know how she did it.

The fact that she was so incredibly healthy made her illness all the more unfair. You don’t need the whole story. The point of this project is to do some good. The short version is that she’d been having back pains for some time. In February of 1998, a high fever took her to the emergency room. When they ran some tests, they found a high sed rate, which can usually mean other things. Hospital tests showed nothing but a few days later, they found something on her kidney. We were so naive that we both started laughing when they told us we had to go back to the hospital for more tests because it just seemed like a huge inconvenience to us. What they found was a extremely rare type of kidney cancer that wasn’t treatable by chemotherapy. There was nothing they could trace it to. No one will ever know how or why this happened to such a healthy young girl.

As soon as she was diagnosed, the love she’d given came back in a big way. She had more people wanting to help and visit her than the hospital had ever seen. People donated their time, their money, their words, and their love. Her co-workers and employees from other Whole Foods stores donated their bonus money. Regular prayer sessions were organized in the hospital chapel. Her uncle flew out from Iowa for several weeks to help care for her. Her entire family completely redid a room in her mom’s house for her to stay in. She was never alone. I could go on forever about all of the good deeds that were done during that time. She couldn’t have left feeling more loved but she couldn’t have lived with the amount of spreading the cancer did in just seven weeks. Doctors said it was more like seven MONTHS worth. She was never well enough to start any treatment or undergo any surgery. Most people would’ve given up long before her but she fought incredibly hard. Everyone was in disbelief at how strong she was and how she still managed to care for the people around her. She passed away on April 19th, 1998, less than seven weeks after first being admitted to the hospital.

After she passed away, people continued to show how much they cared about her. Her funeral, candlelight vigil and celebration of life were all filled with dozens of people expressing how much she’d meant to them. People gave thousands of dollars to help pay for funeral and hospital costs. Her friends and I put together an art show of her work. Several thousand people have come through this website and many have left notes about how touched they were without even knowing her.

You might have heard the phrase “she doesn’t have a bad bone in her body” but it was all too true for Summer. Her name couldn’t have described her positive disposition more perfectly. She brought joy anywhere she went. She made everyone (myself included) feel short, fat, and ugly when she walked into a room and then completely at ease the moment she spoke to you. Everything she wore looked amazing, even if it was a dress and jeans (her favorite fashion statement). Some of her best friends were over 80 years old. Kids loved her. She adored animals of all kinds. She was funnier than any comedian. Her artwork was pure genius. Everyone she ever met remembers her fondly.

I can only hope that all of the great things she left behind continue to bring people happiness. She would want me to end this with something to leave you with a smile, so here’s some silly stuff she wrote……

Now, it’s late. Mr. Sandman and I are playing hide and go seek, only it’s not as fun when you’re so tired that you begin to spell “stired” instead of “so tired”. I’ve got visions of cocoa beans dancing in my head to the beat of mariachi madness….

if only sleep grew on trees…..

I love black and white newsprint on pink paper. I once thought about marrying it. In fact I even asked it…I’ve yet to receive a reply.

I found the sandman. Guess where he was? in my fuzzy hay sweater. I just put it on and I’m suddenly very sleepy.


More about Summer at SUMMER BRANNIN, ANGEL 1998-PRESENT

91X, 1988 & ME


A few goodies but I usually think of 1988 as an off-year in between big albums when the airwaves were ruled by forgettable tunes by Information Society, Edie Brickell and Timbuk 3 but, DAMN, that first Primitives album. This might’ve been the only year I ever listened to the whole countdown, so that’s my very own dot matrix typing action there.

1988. Ending eleventh grade at University City High School and starting my senior year. More of the same. School became more interesting as a few friends took over production of the school’s television program and we were suddenly the most visible comedians on campus. After helping fix up our family’s apartments while cataloging every song I heard on 91X, I landed a job at the nearby Baskin Robbins and suddenly all of my friends were eating free ice cream. Other than that, the year was mostly spent watching my friends drink, doing a little homework (despite going to a San Luis Obispo camp to encourage study skills) and getting caught by the fuzz in a park with a pot-smoking friend. On New Years Eve, I listened to the 91X top 91 countdown in a borrowed van instead of being inside with my drunk friends. Priorities.