San Diego’s Crawdaddys are reforming for a pair of shows this year. On June 10, the band will headline the sixth annual “Go Sinner Go” festival in Spain. Then, on September 2, the band will top a bill at the Casbah, part of an ’80s weekender that will also see the Unknowns reunite for a performance on September 3.
The original Crawdaddys lineup formed in 1978, inspired by British rhythm-and-blues groups of the early 1960s, such as the Pretty Things and Rolling Stones. Comprised of singer Ron Silva, bassist Mark Zadarnowski, guitarist Steve Potterf, and drummer Dan McLain, the quartet signed to Voxx records in 1979, releasing an album the following year and a 45 and EP in 1980. They soon fractured with various Silva-fronted lineups taking the band through 1984.
McLain, later known as Country “Dick” Montana, passed away in 1995 while on tour with the Beat Farmers. Meanwhile, according to Silva, Potterf is no longer making music, so this time out the Crawdaddys will feature Silva and Zadarnowski alongside members from slightly later lineups — guitarist Peter Miesner, keyboard player Keith Fisher, and drummer Gordon Moss. The last time Zadarnowski, a South Park resident, and Silva, who currently resides in Los Angeles, performed together was in 1993, at the now-defunct venue Bodie’s downtown.
Silva says the reunion is due to the tenacity of Spanish promoter Edu Sinner. “The guy has been emailing me for a couple of years now, trying to get the band for his festival. I recently moved back to Southern California, [so] it makes more sense,” he said. “I just thought now’s as good a time as any.”
Though Sinner has brought numerous American bands to Spain for his events, he’s particularly excited to score the Crawdaddys. “They’re one of my favorite bands. I’ve always wanted to bring them here. After three years of talking, we got it,” he says, and explains Spain’s continued fascination with San Diego’s ’60s-influenced bands: “This is real music, from the gut.... I’m sure that even after another 50 years, Crawdaddy Express will still be considered a fantastic record by young R&B fans.”
Zadarnowski doesn’t find it unusual that his band’s reunion has been set in motion by music fans in Spain. “The Spaniards are certainly receptive to all the old San Diego stuff. Probably even more so than San Diego,” he joked.
While Silva wouldn’t mind seeing the Crawdaddys perform beyond these two shows, he says, “I want to see how these two shows go. We’ve rehearsed a handful of times. It’s just like the old days, except we’re all a little bit fatter.”