Walter Mencken 2 p.m., May 28
Snotley Crue Comix & Stories
Plus Kyle XY’s local music connection, Gaslamp gadflys, San Diego’s first rock stars, a phone call from Bob Dylan(?)
MOTLEY CRUE SPOOF – SNOTLEY CRUE
Here’s a rarity from the Rock ‘N’Roll Comics archives – this mini-comic created in Hillcrest was commissioned to be included with Motley Crue’s official box CD set “Music To Crash Your Car To II” ---------
KAMOO ON KYLE XY
The music of the Stereotypes is being featured on episodes of ABC’s “Kyle XY” this month and next, thanks to artist reps at Sugaroo. “They shop your music to different licensing avenues,” says guitarist Mike Kamoo. “They find placement in TV, movies, commercials, and even video games. We get paid up front, and will continue to see residuals as the shows get repeated.”
The songs being used on the series are "The Lines" (February 11 episode), "Came To Say Hello" and "Did You Know" (February 18), and "Our Time" (March 17). “I'm not sure how the songs will be used in the scenes,” says Kamoo. “To be honest, I don't watch much TV, so I'm out of the loop when it comes to current shows…I've heard that the music for Kyle XY has a good reputation, so I'm sure they will use our songs in a tasteful way. It is out of our hands at this point, though.”
The Stereotypes aren’t new to licensing songs. “Our first licensing deal was and still is with Coleman, the outdoors company,” according to Kamoo. “They used our song ‘Outside’ in their national ad campaign, which kicked off last year.” The commercials will continue to air through 2008 in San Diego, which is one of Coleman’s target markets for the ad campaign, and the song also plays on the Coleman website.
HARD ROCK HOTEL HATERS
I haven’t been to downtown’s new Hard Rock Hotel yet, so I’ve refrained (so far) from mocking it. Tho it’s hard to resist after getting a press release from them announcing “Cindy Crawford Spotted At The Hard Rock San Diego.” THIS is news worthy of a press release?!? She’s dating one of the restaurant owners there, for gawd’s sake – are they that desperate for press, that a visiting girlfriend merits an all-points bulletin to local media????
And bragging about a room designed by the Black Eyes Peas in gonna seem, in two years, akin to bragging about wearing pants designed by MC Hammer.
The Website TripAdvisor.com is THE make-or-break source of hotel customer reviews - a recent gag on the TV show the Office was about how a bad review on TripAdvisor can destroy a hotel. And the Hard Rock SD is getting some bad customer reviews! Here are some excerpts:
1) The towels were those strange cotton towels that feel nice to the touch, but just seem to move the water around. The bathroom and halls smelled of rotten eggs---seems to be a ventilation problem. One elevator was out of service and there was no lighting in the spa/workout room one morning. Be aware that there is a $15 "activity fee" charged --- not sure what for.
2) I could not get my iPod to work with the stereo though and did not have the normal jack lead to plug my iPod into the AV system...There is an extra daily fee for "free internet" which is a bit odd and should just be included in the price. I had a meal at their "posh" restaurant "Nobu"one evening and found the food to be expensive and not very good, also the portions were extremely small. The lack of coffee making facilities in the room is very odd and I found myself cursing this whilst waiting for the coffee shop to open at 7:00 a.m. I was not prepared to pay room service for something that should already be in the room.
3) There is an "IN Charge" on your bill for $15.00. They do not inform you of this until you ask at checkout (if you even do ask). This charge includes all the VOSS water in the room, the copy of Rolling Stone Magazine, some CD I never could find, use of the gym, long distance and local calling, and turndown service at night, which we did ask for, but never got... It would have been nice to know this stuff at check-in, but I guess if they don't tell you, you probably won't use the items, but they can still get their $15 from you.
4) No coffee making facilities in the room. Strange decision as, presumably lots of people who stay here will be from the East Coast and up early. Certainly the guy I met in the gym at 5:30am felt the same.
SAN DIEGO’S FIRST ROCK STARS
Who was the first famous rock band out of San Diego? Hint - it wasn't blink 182.
47 years ago, in mid-December 1960, “Angel Baby” by National City-based Rosie and the Originals hit number five on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the charts for twelve weeks. Singer Rosie Hamlin wrote the lyrics while a 14 year-old student at Mission Bay High School. Hamlin was 15 when the band self-recorded the song at a San Marcos facility. “It was actually an old airplane hangar,” recalls Hamlin on her website. “The owner has airplane parts all over the place…he had a corner set up with recording equipment.”
“We took one of our '45s to Kresge’s Department Store in San Diego,” Hamlin recalls. “They had listening booths in their music section where you could preview records…we asked the manager to play our record, and see if he could sell it in his store.”
A rep from Highland Records was in the store that day and the label soon signed the group and released the single in late 1960. However, Highland insisted that bandmember David Ponci get songwriting credit, since he was the oldest member. “I do not own the rights to the song,” says Hamlin, “but I did obtain the copyright in 1961. Now, I do get the B.M.I. [payouts] and part of the publishing.”
This concession took over 20 years of lawsuits to obtain. “[I] got burned, like so many of our peers in those days,” says Hamlin.
John Lennon cited Hamlin as one of his favorite singers in a 1969 Life Magazine interview. He recorded “Angel Baby” in 1973 for an aborted album of classic cover tunes, although the track didn’t appear until his 1986 album Menlove Avenue (it also appeared on a posthumous Lennon box set). Today, 62 year-old Hamlin lives in New Mexico and occasionally still performs.
A PHONE CALL FROM BOB DYLAN (??)
This happened to me 2/12/01:
“Is this the number where ahh kin reach Mr. Jay Allen Sanford?” asked the man on the phone with the twangy voice.
Assuming the caller on my company's 800 line was ordering Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics back issues, I had pen in hand and an order form ready to fill out. "I'm Jay. Can I help you?"
“Well hahh," said the caller, "Ahh’m Bob Dylan, an’ I was hopin’ I’d be able to talk to ya.”
I smiled, admiring the passable impression and writing “Bob Dylan, ha ha” atop the order form. “Hey yourself, Mr. Dylan. To what do I owe this pleasure?”
“You kin call me Bobby,” he replied. Yeah, right, like Dylan would say that. And how hard can it be to drawl out words and end sentences in an upward register that emulates Dylan’s laconic voice?
But I wondered, of all pranks to play, why this one? And why on me? “Ahh just finished reading the comic books you did about me. Ahh hardly ever read stuff like that all the way through, ahh jes' skim over ‘em, but ahh gotta tell ya, ya got a lot of yer facts right on, lot more than I woulda thought. Y’know ahh’ve always liked comic books an’ all so what a great idea. Art wasn’t so great though. Didn’t look much like me.”
Still positive I was being clowned, and waiting for the punchline, I mentioned that he and I have – or rather had - a mutual friend. Rick Danko, former bassist and violin player for Dylan protégés the Band, had been married to the sister of my editor at Soundwaves magazine, an east coast entertainment rag I write for. Having met through Soundwaves, Danko and I occasionally got together and corresponded, plus he’d sometimes request feedback regarding audio tapes he’d send me with songs from projects of his which rarely seemed to go anywhere.
“Oh yeah, shame the way Ricky wore hisself out like that. His old lady [mentioning Danko’s wife by name] must feel purty shot down, having to deal with all that.” I think that’s what he said. Or maybe he said “partly shat on” or “party shut down” or something else that apparently concerned Danko’s 1999 death.
My attention was focused on the other part of his sentence, the part where he’d mentioned Danko’s wife by name. Pretty obscure trivia for even a dedicated Dylanolgist to cough up, especially without advance knowledge of my own connection to Danko.
“Ya’d think he woulda learned, after what happened to Ritchie,” he added, apparently referring to the 1986 suicide the Band’s keyboardist and singer Richard Manuel. “But [long pause] that’s how it goes when the party never ends.” Or maybe he said something about a “ghost” and “parting ever friends” or “partner at the end”...my caller was kinda hard to understand.
Kinda like Dylan on his satellite radio show.
We talked briefly about Danko. “Last time I saw him was in Berlin," said the caller, "few years back, when he an’ I were both doin’ some shows...he was kinda messed up and really heavy, y’know, bigger than I’d ever seen." I was just fixing up the tape recorder I use for phone interviews when he asked “Are you tapin’ this call or anythin'?”
“I’d like to start one up, if I have your permission,” I said. I was actually entertaining the actual notion that I was actually talking to the actual Bob - er, that is, Bobby - Dylan.
“Nah, yer a reporter. Kinda, anyways. Yer the media so, nah, don’t do that. I don’t care if ya use something I say but, really, I’m not sayin’ much.” Which was true, and I could tell he was ready to wrap up our conversation. I mentioned that one of my favorite Dylan albums was the live Budhokan set, rather than a typical fan pick like “Blood On The Tracks” or “Nashville Skyline.”
It almost sounded like he chuckled (does Dylan “chuckle”?!”) before he replied “Yeah, not many folks ever say that, man, but I always liked that one too. Hey, one last thing - you guys make a lot of bread doing these comics?”
“None of us are rich,” I said, “but it pays the rent, and sometimes we can afford a pizza at the end of the month.”
“How’d mine sell compared to the ones ya did on the Beatles?”
“Yours did about the same numbers as the Beatles,” I lied, caught by surprise. I was reluctant to lay a bummer on a guy who had just about convinced me, with his Beatles allusion and his naming of Danko’s wife, that he was indeed who he said he was.
“That’s pretty cool, then. Good luck, man,” and the line was dead. I never got the chance to ask for a contact number or email address in order to send information and updates about the comic line…and, of course, to assist in confirming my caller’s identity.
I quickly dialed the service provider for our 800 phone number and asked for the most recent origin number. As sometimes happens, the source information was blocked at the caller’s request, with the exception of an area code - 518. Upstate New York.
The caller mentioned being at home...and doesn’t Dylan still have a house up there in Woodstock?
Like this blog? Here are some related links:
OVERHEARD IN SAN DIEGO - Several years' worth of this comic strip, which debuted in the Reader in 1996: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/photos/galleries/overheard-san-diego/
FAMOUS FORMER NEIGHBORS - Over 100 comic strips online, with mini-bios of famous San Diegans: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/photos/galleries/famous-former-neighbors/
SAN DIEGO READER MUSIC MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/sandiegoreadermusic
JAY ALLEN SANFORD MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/jayallensanford
More like this:
- RIP Reader cover artist and underground comix legend Spain Rodriguez — Nov. 28, 2012
- Painting Rock Stars, plus Behind the Scenes: Overheard in San Diego & Famous Former Neighbors — May 8, 2008
- 25 Local Musicians Reveal “My Favorite Twilight Zone,” plus Local-Produced Zone Comic Books — April 3, 2008
- Secrets of Overheard in San Diego & Famous Former Neighbors, Mojo & Zappa Comix, [Paint]Brushes With Fame — April 2, 2008
- Frank Zappa Comics And Stories, plus Top 5 Lists, Fallen Pinoy Idol — Nov. 10, 2007