Brandon Hernández 9:22 a.m., May 24
Secret Rooftop Concerts Debut October 15 Somewhere in La Jolla
The exact locale is still a secret, but Scott West's local rooftop concert series will debut October 15 at a "La Jolla ocean view rooftop" with the Scott West Band, Roni Lee, and Rich McGee.
"We're going to have a BBQ and watch for the Green Flash at sunset from three stories up," West tells the Reader. "Roni Lee [Steppenwolf, the Runaways, Joan Jett] is going to be joining me with local singer songwriter Rich McGee. We're going to be covering 'Get Back,' which the Beatles played at their famous January 30, 1969 rooftop concert from atop the Apple Building in London. We will be doing 'Get Back' in its original key."
"This is going to be the first of many rooftop concert events that we will be having," says West. You'll need to message West via Facebook to get info as to where you need to be on October 15 to see the show. The sky-high fun begins at 5pm.
In 2008, Scott West’s band was ranked number one on MTV's Best Music On Campus for 36 straight weeks, enabling Sex On Sunday to sell 36,000 CDs and over 110,000 downloads.
In 2010, West’s music video “Keep It Clean” was one of only ten music shorts (among thousands submitted) selected to the London Independent Film Festival in April 2010. The video was directed by 17-year-old Phillip Stucker.
“Phillip’s mother noticed his love of art and drawing,” says West, “and saved up the money for a computer he could use to do his own animation. He made a homemade video to the Shiny Toy Guns song ‘Don’t Cry Out,’ and it blew up on YouTube, with over 300,000 views. I was amazed when I first saw it, especially when I found out how young he was.”
However, the DIY video wasn’t authorized by the band or their management at Universal Music Group. “They made him take it down, even though he was using this video to raise money for his mother’s cancer treatments...I ended up asking him to do my ‘Keep It Clean’ video.” To their eventual credit, Universal decided to adopt the STG clip as “official,” reposting it on YouTube and racking up an additional 150,000 views.
“Keep It Clean” is West’s follow-up to his single and music video “Standing On the Moon,” which distributed over 100,000 downloads and catapulted West’s band to the top spot on MTV’s Best Music On Campus poll for 36 straight weeks in 2008. West recorded “Keep It Clean” with London singer/songwriter Anton Barbeau and bassist Gabe Nelson from the band Cake.
West, who studied audio engineering at Mesa Community College, performs regularly with his own Scott West Band as well as with Happy Ron Hill, Tara Nichol, and others. “I’m living near I-5, between La Jolla and P.B., which is handy access for getting around town several nights a week to gigs. I probably play out 15 or 20 times a month.”
West’s album Austin includes guest players Mick Fleetwood, Daniel de los Reyes (the Killers), James Baker (War), and Frank Hannon and Brian Wheat of Tesla. That summer, the Sacramento International Film & Music Festival chose West’s “Keep It Clean” music video as an official selection of the 2010 Festival.
His Xmas 2010 album California Christmas was recorded with Tesla members Brian Wheat and Frank Hannon, at the band’s Sacramento studio.
“I remember sitting on Brian’s couch in his studio with a trash can in my hands, in case I were to lose my cookies,” recalls West. “I had just come down with a stomach flu that afternoon, and I was so sick that I wasn’t able to stand up sometimes. I was throwing up between takes.”
West didn’t have the option of rescheduling. “It was the only day they were available. They had to be on the road early the next day to record the new Tesla album in El Paso. Brian said their wives were probably going to kill them, but we’d have one day — 24 hours — to do the entire album. I told him that if they were willing to pull an all-nighter, then I’d be on board too.... I actually wrote the title track, ‘California Christmas,’ on my way to their studio.”
Shortly after the session came news of a three-alarm fire at the facility. “The apartments next door caught fire, and it jumped across to the roof of the studio. I’m fortunate to have recorded there before it burned down. Many of the items lost were irreplaceable. The Neve board that we recorded on is the same console used by Fleetwood Mac to record their Tusk album. Brian had a lot of memorabilia from his tours and gigs over the years, including mementos from friends such as Paul McCartney and Queen. I just hope the insurance helps him get it back up and running.”
The Tesla duo had previously played on West’s Sex on Sunday album. During its first month on sale, California Christmas saw one tune score over 34,000 downloads on Myxer.com. “Frank Hannon and I tracked a live version of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ with just piano, MIDI-ed keyboard strings, and electric guitar. We only made one pass, then Frank laid down some harmony electric-guitar lines and we were done with the track.”
On New Year’s Eve 2010/2011, West's “Auld Lang Syne” ringtone hit over 127,000 ringtone downloads. It hit number two among all ringtone categories on Myxer, one of the most popular download sites.
“I’m signing my first record deal today,” West told the Reader on March 17, 2011. This past summer, he opened for touring acts such as John Waite (the Babys), the Motels, the Fixx, and Yes.