"Not only am I banned from Winstons in Ocean Beach, but recently I've been banned from playing Lestat's," says Clifford M. Jomuad, who -- performing solo as "Clifford" -- sometimes lights himself on fire. "Depending on my mood, I either light my guitar on fire or my crotch or my butt area. For special occasions, such as a bar mitzvah, maybe all three."
He says he's lit himself up at Rebecca's Coffeehouse, Dublin Square, the Tiki House, and elsewhere, with only a few complaints about the pyrotechnics he insists are "totally safe. I use the tiny flame from the Bic lighter to ignite flash material -- a magician's tool -- propped up on either my guitar or somewhere onstage. No explosives are used; this ain't no Great White show. No fuel, lighter fluid, or any other accelerants are used at all; that could lead to arson."
The Bic comes out for end-of-setlist numbers such as "Burning Love" (Elvis Presley), "Light My Fire" (the Doors), and "(I Wanna Incite a) Riot" by his old local '80s band Radical Molesters. Asked "why," the Philippine-born singer-songwriter says, "I'm just into really elaborate finales. All great acts throughout rock-and-roll history have had some sort of neat finale."
Clifford appears June 12 at Portugalia in Ocean Beach.