Twenty years ago Rolling Stone magazine suggested San Diego was about to host the next breakout local music scene. Rocket From the Crypt, Lucy’s Fur Coat, and Rust were looked at as the SD bands that may fuel a Seattle-like scene driven by Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
It didn’t happen. Although not on the front burner, Dark Globe (1988–1994) was in the soup, swimming around with bands such as aMiniature, Granfaloon Bus, and Gloom Cookies.
“We just felt like we couldn’t get anywhere,” says Dark Globe singer/songwriter/guitarist Jon Gire about the group’s decision to break up after six years. He estimates Dark Globe played over 80 shows at the Spirit Club [now Brick by Brick] and were regulars at the now-closed Megalopolis at Fairmount and El Cajon.
“We had released three cassettes and one vinyl [album]. And we were one of the first San Diego bands to release a CD. It cost us $3000 to release 500 CDs. That’s what it cost back then.”
Named after a Syd Barrett song, Dark Globe fused psychedelia, speed-metal, punk, country, and mellow songs. “[Local label] Cargo said, ‘We just don’t know what to do with you.’ They wanted us to just play the harder-edged stuff. This one guy in New York shopped us to Atlantic Records, which said they would be interested in talking with us more if we only played the harder-edged stuff. It seemed like everyone wanted Pearl Jam–sounding stuff.”
But Dark Globe was not just about one groove. “We weren’t interested in playing just one style. We’re not like a reggae band. It was very frustrating.
“We were nominated at the San Diego Music Awards one year along with Asphalt Waltz [actually Asphalt Ballet]. They got up on stage all dressed up like like rock stars with their hair blown dry. We didn’t dress up. We always looked like average Joes onstage. We just wanted to play.”
Gire has since been marketing organic foods, drummer Conway Bowman became a wetlands manager at Lake Hodges and started hosting Fly Fishing the World for the Sportsman Channel, guitarist Scott Evans played with other bands such as Frank the Baptist and Miles from Nowhere, and bassist Mike Jones jams with local blues bands.
“We lost touch with each other.” But the tug to play music drew Dark Globe back together in 2008.
“Now we play, like, two or three times a year. It’s a special event when we do. When we realized that we weren’t trying to reach some kind of a goal, music became fun again.... We draw heavily on our old catalog.”
Dark Globe appears August 28 at the Void with Night Owl Massacre and Strangely Strange.