The Reaganomics are an '80s cover band, churning out the pop tunes that bring back glorious high school memories for many middle-aged clubgoers.
"Our very first show was about two and a half years ago," says drummer Jonny Basher, "and the only same members from then are Nero and myself. We had set up in this East County bar that was tiny...the stage was barely big enough to even put the drums on, let alone the whole band. Nero actually stood on the bar and played his guitar most of the show -- something he often does. We didn't even have a PA at the time.
"In the beginning we went through several male vocalists and a couple female ones, but no one was as committed as we wanted them to be. We play out every weekend somewhere; it can be a little grueling. We got Marky C [vocals] in January 2005, and ToddtheMod [bass] and Madana in September of 2005 -- they used to be in Eighties and Gentlemen."
The Reaganomics play Friday, July 21, and Saturday, July 22, at Jimmy Love's.
WHY THE '80s?
Jonny "We saw the need for a new kind of '80s experience...costumes, choreography, a video show... It's the most memorable of eras. It's fun, not only because of the music but because of the style: clothes, hair. We're amazed every time we play an all-ages show and kids who were born in the '90s know all the words to these songs, including Tawny Kitaen in Whitesnake's 'Here I Go Again' video."
Jonny "Jimmy Love's, Coaster, and Beachcomber are great places, but the best show we've had is opening for Super Diamond at Belly Up a few months ago. Just an amazing night -- from the moment we hit the stage, the crowd was into it. We even had stage-diving at this gig. The worst: I can remember playing a couple times at a bar in Chula Vista where everyone just stared at us. Then when we took a break and the DJ started playing hip-hop, and everyone started dancing. That was a slap to the face and a little embarrassing."
BEST CONCERT YOU'VE EVER SEEN?
Jonny "I hate to admit it: Bon Jovi. The stage show is usually incredible, [and it was] the first time I saw indoor fireworks. The number of hotties was insane. You had to hold your ears between songs because of the piercing screams."
Madana "Rick Springfield, 1983. I was just a young girl, but I swear he winked at me."
ToddtheMod "The Smiths, 1986. Hands down the best concert I ever saw."
BRUSH WITH THE FAMOUS?
Jonny "Does Steve West from 91X count? Most of our brushes with the famous end up in restraining orders."
ToddtheMod "I remember I always had a guitar in my hand, since I was five. Either that or drumsticks. My mom used to dress me funny, which explains the outfits."
Jonny "I remember ripping the sleeves off all my shirts and breaking all my toy drums and drooling."
IS GORE GOING TO RUN AGAIN?
Madana "He might want to take an 'Adding Inflection to Your Voice' class before he does that again. Personally, I'd love to see Ross Perot go for it again. Now there's a man with charisma!"
LAST BOOK READ?
Jonny "I just read the manual to my Yamaha MO8 keyboard. Good stuff."
Madana "The Power of Now and Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. Yes, I'm on a self-help kick this week. But check back with me next week and I'm sure I'll be reading something like How to Lay on Your Couch, Eat Oreos, and Ignore the Phone Without Any Guilt."
ToddtheMod "Monster, by Frank Peretti."
ALL-TIME WORST FASHION FAUX PAS?
Jonny "Bell-bottoms. The '70s suck."