In March of this year, Revolt in Style called the Buzzbombs “San Diego’s Favorite Party Band.”
The rockabilly trio is all about having a good time. “Our crowds are always so much fun,” says Johnny Fuego.
“I guess the only downside is sometimes turning down drinks. Sometimes there will be 20 people holding up 20 shots they just bought for us, and we’re, like, ‘Uh-oh, we’re gonna die if we drink those.’ That’s how we lost our first two drummers.”
Johnny Magnum is currently on drums, with Johnny Fuego on guitar and Johnny Diablo on bass.
The Buzzbombs play RT’s Longboard Grill in Pacific Beach June 4, downtown at Hennessey’s on June 5, and again downtown at Patrick’s II on June 10.
Be sure to sing along with their most-requested tune, “The San Diego Drinking Song.”
HISTORY OF YOUR GUITAR?
Fuego: “My Gretsch is a 1961 series reissue I bought at Guitar Center. Nothing really special there. But I have this cool electric Kalamazoo back home that belonged to my father when he was growing up. It’s what I learned to play on. He played surf guitar when he was in the Navy in the ’60s, and in fact he taught me how to play ‘Pipeline,’ which we do now. That electric Kalamazoo is rare, and I need to get it out here to play some surf music with.”
Diablo: “My upright bass is the third King Doublebass I’ve owned. The first I bought from a friend of mine in Encinitas who was closing his gallery and needed to get rid of it. I’ve had one ever since. They’re made by a company up in Orange County called King Doublebass. They’re, like, fully custom basses with hot-rod paint finish on them. The one I currently have has a skull headstock and black flames over a sparkle red finish and a chrome tailpiece. It’s f**king awesome.”
WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
Fuego: “My iPod is hooked up, and Pharcyde is singing ‘Ya Mamma.’ I love hip-hop music; it’s a nice change from the rock ’n’ roll stuff we play on stage.”
Diablo: “I mainly listen to hip-hop, too. Right now it’s Kanye West. I’ve got all his albums loaded on my iPod and have been listening to them nonstop for the past week. Like Fuego said, it’s a nice change from playing rock ’n’ roll four nights a week. It’s also a great way to meet hoochie mamas.”
Magnum: “Metal, because it’s super hard to play on drums. Plus it’s a great workout. I’m being serious.”
IF YOU COULD HAVE LUNCH WITH ANYONE...
Fuego: “Jack Rebney — you know, the Winnebago Man. I’m just curious to see what he put in his fern.”
Diablo: “Satan. We could have a picnic lunch at the crossroads, and maybe Steve Vai would drop by and I could cut heads with him.”
TOP-THREE DESERT-ISLAND CDs?
1. London Calling, the Clash. “For me, the best album ever made. Every song is a knockout and full of energy and commentary, and it’s when they were at the top of their game.”
2. Paul’s Boutique, Beastie Boys. “This is a masterpiece of a rap album.”
3. Joshua Tree, U2. “I know, I know — everyone hates U2, but this album always inspired me when I was younger. There is a sweetness to it that makes me want to smoke cigarettes under a big moon out in the desert and get all reflective about life.”
1. Santana, self-titled debut. “Because I think the cover art of that album is awesome, because of the last song, ‘Soul Sacrifice,’ recorded at Woodstock, and because it’s my dad’s favorite band, and it’s always been something we could connect on musically.”
2. The Amazing Crowns, self-titled debut. “I think it’s one of the best rockabilly albums ever. It’s pretty much the band responsible for my musical career and the one band I strive to sound like.”
3. The Beastie Boys, License to Ill. “The Beastie Boys know their shit, and it’s a perfect melding of rock and rap.”
EARLIEST CHILDHOOD MEMORY?
Diablo: “Seriously, one of my earliest memories is from kindergarten. One of the female teachers kissed me on the cheek before nap time and left these perfect pair of lips in red lipstick right on my cheek. All the kids were giggling and wouldn’t fall asleep. I remember the other teacher made me wash it off so that the other kids would go to sleep — and, voila, Johnny Diablo was born.”
BRUSH WITH THE FAMOUS?
Fuego: “C.C. DeVille got into an argument with me in Hollywood. He wanted to get on stage and play with us at the Kat Klub, and I said ‘no,’ so we had a little spat. Hey, DeVille, I’m still coming for you!”