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Stories by Bart Mendoza

Checking in at Morrison Hotel

High-end music photography shop Morrison Hotel Gallery shuttered its five-year-old La Jolla location at the end of August, shifting its business to a storefront at Flower Hill Promenade in Del Mar. Though both galleries ran ...

No Joke

On July 7, 31-year-old Nick Pizana, aka Big Yikes, of South Bay hip-hop crew South Psycho Cide, passed away from cardiac arrest following a bout with pneumonia. Pizana’s enjoyment of practical jokes had his bandmates ...

French Fries and Gravy

On May 29 and 30, the Casbah will host the Ché Underground Reunion, a gathering of bands and fans who frequented UCSD’s student-run co-op Ché Café in the early ’80s. Organized by the online community ...

Raising the Red Flag

Eighties electronic duo Red Flag performed for the first time in San Diego since 2002 on April 22 at the House of Blues. Originally a project of siblings Chris and Mark Reynolds, the show marked ...

Fooled Around and Felt Surreal

On May 14, 1976, Bay Area blues group the Elvin Bishop Band, with 25-year-old Johnny Vernazza on guitar, recorded their concert at downtown’s Civic Theatre. Two tracks recorded at the show were included on the ...

Crawdaddy's Plight

A website, paulwilliams.com, has been set up to help raise money for the care of author Paul Williams, who in 1995 suffered a brain injury from a bicycle accident. Riding near his home in Encinitas, ...

More Acoustic Coffee

The fifth incarnation of Java Joe’s, a music venue known as a launching pad for the careers of Jason Mraz, Jewel, and Steve Poltz, will open downtown in early April. Located in a former day ...

Heard It All Before

Katy Perry’s new single, “Broken,” sounds familiar, it’s not your imagination. The same song, with minor lyrical revisions, was released as a single in 2003 by San Diego’s sister-fronted pop group the Troys under the ...

Not So Quiet on the Set

While much is being made of pop stars Beyoncé and Mos Def portraying music icons Etta James and Chuck Berry in the movie Cadillac Records, several San Diego artists have also had stints impersonating hit-makers ...

Goodbye Again

William “Doc” Hunter, 70, jazz pianist, Chicago Six, South Market Street Jazz Band. d. 1/8/08. Bob Finch, 82, jazz bassist and bandleader for the Chicago Six. d. 1/12/08. John Stewart, 68, member of the Kingston ...

Strange Stage Moments

Randy Seol/Strawberry Alarm Clock: “We got to play the big music festival, Cal Jam II [in 1978], on a side stage. It was a big production, with modern dancers and backing singers. For some reason, ...

Overdue

It’s a long way from swinging 1969 London, but over the past few months at Earthling studios in El Cajon, publisher/musician Mike Stax and producer Mike Kamoo have been working on an album of 12 ...

Oh, Doctors

Marc Intravaia: “Eve Selis and I played a private show back in 1994 or ’95 for about 1000 doctors at the Hotel Del. A doctor dropped dead at the side of the stage of a ...

Strange Stage Moments

James Brady/New Day Mile: “During my teens in New Jersey, I attended a Sunday Bible study every week. The woman running it asked if my band would like to play at the youth-group meeting at ...

Impalin’ the Candidate

The Flimz, featuring singer-songwriters Annie Dru and Amy Mayer, may be the first San Diegans to impersonate a vice-presidential candidate in a video. On October 10, the pair posted their third scripted video, “Palin’s VPilf ...

Page to Quit Recording

The music of Brad Paisley, Roy Orbison, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and local troubadour Gregory Page is included on the soundtrack of the new Billy Graham biopic Billy: The Early Years, released on October ...

Tough Blow

“If anyone tries to sell it, I will certainly know about it,” says uilleann-pipe player Tim Foley, whose instrument was stolen on September 6. “There’s a lot of eyes and ears on the lookout there.” ...

Strange Stage Moments

Robin Henkel: “I remember that I [fell] asleep onstage one time. Before a show with Big Rig Deluxe, I’d eaten a huge Mexican meal and was sitting in this comfy chair playing steel guitar. It ...

The Other Man

On August 10, Sherman Oaks—based 43-year-old character actor Shelley Malil, best known for a role in 2005’s 40-Year-Old Virgin, allegedly stabbed former girlfriend Kendra Beebe 20 times at her San Marcos home. With her two ...

Define Combat Zone

After performing in over 100 countries, San Diego-based Liquid Blue thought they might have a world record. The band spent months researching the possibility of getting their accomplishment certified. After checking combos known for their ...

Sweetness

The events of September 11, 2001, precipitated a career change for Carla Sweet, who was at the time a Navy doctor. Outraged, and “disgusted with the resultant Iraq War,” Sweet became a novice filmmaker. In ...

Cool as Veggie Chili

Founded in 1980 as an all-age vegetarian eatery and gathering place for those interested in radical politics, the Ché Café at UCSD quickly became a haven for San Diego’s underground music scene. Though touring bands ...

The Last Farmer

On June 6, bassist Rolle Love left the (Beat) Farmers after 25 years. Love helped found the band in 1983 alongside Buddy Blue, Jerry Raney, and Dan “Country Dick Montana” McLain. Following Blue’s departure from ...

Far Out, Man

While the music industry waits for something that will lift the business out of the doldrums, San Diego—based Passmore Lab has found the new in something old: 3-D. Started in 2003, the company has taken ...

Divine Dough

Because money from both major and indie labels is drying up, bands have had to get creative to raise funds. Eve Selis offered six “levels of participation” to help fund the recording of her new ...

Freakin' Neighbors

Although music on local television has not had much staying power, KNSD-TV resumed its weekly “Concerts on the Square” last month. Taped outdoors at Horton Square (225 Broadway, next to the station’s studios), the music ...

Who Charted?

Though overall music sales have been in a death spiral for several years, San Diego artists have been having their best year ever on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. But does it mean as much as ...

Band Bar

Last month, Disco Pimps front man Eric Alexander opened the Stage Saloon downtown. Formerly the Heat Supper Club, the 300-seat room at 762 Fifth Avenue becomes one more county nightspot at least partially owned by ...

The Songsmith and the Tennis Star

Tennis star Anna Kournikova may have met her match in songwriter Black Swann, a.k.a. Christopher Swann. On March 3, Swann filed a copyright infringement suit in Los Angeles California Central District Court, against multiple defendants, ...

The Uke Renaissance Begins Now

For 30 years Owen Burke has been trying to make a living by handcrafting stringed musical instruments. Best known in San Diego music circles for his decade-long stint as drummer with lounge singer Jose Sinatra, ...

We’re Talkin’ the Cat’s Pajamas, Baby

Many songs have been written about San Diego, including such forgotten gems as “San Diego, My Lovely Lady by the Sea,” by Frankie Laine, and “They Go to San Diego,” by Mel Tormé. From 1973 ...

Bad Big C

Brassy blues diva Candye Kane has been diagnosed with a rare neuroendocrine tumor, a form of pancreatic cancer. On February 22, Kane was admitted to the Scripps Encinitas emergency room with abdominal pain. The symptoms ...

Society's Demise

Late last month, Kite Flying Society, the indie-pop band that took home the 2006 San Diego Music Award for “Best New Band,” split, leaving the recording of their second album, The Aviary, unfinished. The quintet, ...

The Business of Rock

La Jolla—based music-photography retailers Morrison Hotel Galleries signed a lease on February 29, taking over the Manhattan space previously occupied by legendary New York punk club CBGB. In addition to galleries in La Jolla and ...

Strange Stage Moments

Greg Friedman (Truckee Brothers): “In my old punk band, we played a charity Christmas show at a school for the mentally disabled. We started off too loud, and the entire audience was crying in agony. ...

Uprooted

The 35th annual Adams Avenue Roots Fair will take place this May 3 and 4, but founder Lou Curtiss is on his way out. Curtiss started the event on the SDSU campus in 1967 and ...

Sloppy Seconds

Last month, the online "Pacific Songwriting Competition" named local Michael Tiernan "2007 Songwriter of the Year" after he briefly was recognized as runner-up in the contest. Privately sponsored by New Zealand opera singer Deborah Wai ...

In a Better Place

They passed on in 2007: January 12: Jimmy Cheatham, 82/Jazz trombonist, UCSD educator, recording artist. January 27: Glenna Hazleton, 91/Founder of La Jolla Athenaeum noon mini-concerts, 1970. February 6: Frankie Laine, 93/1950s--1990s crooner, TV and ...

Strange Stage Moments

Chet Cannon (the Committee): "Well, the strangest thing that has happened to me while onstage is when one night this tequila-swilling female went Vampirella on me. I mean, she actually jumped up onstage, over my ...

Outside Help

The Stereotypes are down to a trio, but the loss of three members hasn't slowed them down. Built around singer John Finkbiner, multi-instrumentalist/producer Mike Kamoo, and bassist Tim Hines, the group recently lost guitarist Dante ...

Zeroed In

Less than a year old, Zeros tribute band Wild Weekend has signed a deal for two singles with Spanish indie Munster Records. (In the '90s, when the Zeros reunited, the label released an album and ...

The Pompous Plant

Rumors are flying that Led Zeppelin may be preparing to tour again. A November 26 London date has been booked to honor the late Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. With 25 million ticket requests for ...

Cooked Jazz

Downtown's all-age jazz club at 344 Seventh Avenue, Dizzy's, was shut down in June for a city-mandated earthquake retrofit. Owner Chuck Perrin says the planned November reopening has been delayed until mid-2008. In the interim, ...

Star-Child Art

Kiss front man Paul Stanley has begun a career as an artist. La Jolla's Wentworth Gallery will present an exhibition of his work beginning September 7 and 8. Consisting of a series of abstracts with ...

A Lot of Rock, Not Enough Roll

When drummer Morgan Young played his last gig with Silverbird on August 3 -- just shy of a year after forming the group -- few local music fans were surprised. Young has played in area ...

Tale to Be Told

News of the upcoming Tell-Tale Hearts reunion caught many fans off guard. Since the garage-rockers split up in 1986, there have been several attempts to reunite the group that was originally composed of Ray Brandes ...

In a Barby World

Singer-songwriter Victoria Robertson, a former Miss USO and Miss San Diego with three albums to her credit, says she "...was at a wedding when a little girl came up and invited me to come and ...

Jazz Is Not a Bodily Fluid

Although San Diego is not known as much of a jazz town, Anthology, a restaurant/music venue opening June 6, could change that. Located in Little Italy between A and Ash streets, Anthology is a stylistic ...

Metalheads Open to Slagging

"The fact that some people view us as knuckle-dragging metalheads is unfortunate," says Mower front man Brian Sheerin. While "harder and faster" is the general rule with most rock groups, Mower is heading in the ...

&#@%ing Internet

It's the end of an era for San Diego's folk scene on May 15 with the closing of the Double Eagle guitar shop in Normal Heights. With his lease up on June 4 and the ...

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