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The Electric Waste Band

Sound description

Psychedelic jam band.

RIYL

Fish & the Seaweeds, Travel Agents, Psydecar, the Loons, Brain Police, Spirit, Grateful Dead, String Cheese Incident, Ratdog, Jazz is Dead, Phish, Umphreys Magee, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Kingfish, Allman Brothers, Dave Mason, Robin Trower, Little Feat, Dixie Dregs

Influences

The Grateful Dead, String Cheese Incident, Phish, Spirit, Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Spin Doctors, Kingfish, Vegitation, Travel Agents
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The MySpace page for the Electric Waste Band features images of anthropomorphic M&Ms surrounded by marijuana, Homer Simpson jamming on guitar with Phish beneath a pot banner, and a bleary-eyed Yoda taking a bong hit. A logo with their motto informs that they “rock the shit out of the Dead.”

The band began playing Monday nights at Winstons in OB on February 3, 1992. As of February 2011, “We figure that’s roughly 950 shows, 1900 sets, and 2850 hours of music,” said singer-guitarist Robert Harvey. By all estimates, the Electric Waste Band, a classic-rock group that features the music of the Grateful Dead, may hold the record for San Diego’s longest-running nightclub residency.

Winstons soundman Teddy Wigler has an opinion about how they have lasted so many years. “They have a following, more than any other band. People know they can come here and connect with people who are on the same wavelength.” It’s ground zero for Deadheads. But Harvey says EWB is not a tribute act. “We don’t bother ourselves with copying the Dead. We have a good time and make them our own songs to a degree.”

Has Harvey, who is an attorney by day, ever called in sick after any of those Monday nights? “I’ll call in sick.” He laughs. “We all call in sick.” Still dressed in slacks and a long-sleeve dress shirt from his day job, he says he played a part in starting the band but that he does not run it. “It’s band by committee.” He pauses to contemplate the communal aspect of his band’s membership roster. “There is no leader.” The Electric Waste Band bench, he says, runs about four deep for backup on any of the instruments. He agrees that this may be a factor that has kept them together over the years.

Harvey talks about the family feel at their shows, about all the regulars who, by his estimate, attend 80 percent of the band’s Monday gigs. “I don’t remember all their names,” he says. “A lot of them, I know them when I see them.” The names Harvey does remember include former NBA star Bill Walton and Peter Isler, a pro sailor. “He won the America’s Cup with Dennis Conner.”

Harvey admits he’s been to the least number of Dead concerts (75) among the EWB membership. He says he shifts from daytime attorney mode to Grateful Dead head prior to a show by not thinking too much. He says the goal is to “be of one mind” with the rest of the band.

That's not always easy for the other bandmembers, given the frequent audience hijinks at gigs, as noted by Paul Bell. “I once had a girl put a six-foot iguana on my keys right in the middle of my solo. She tried to drunkenly whisper in my ear about how 'nice" he was, and it took every ounce of restraint not to hurl the poor thing across the stage! After a few choice words by me, she took her scaly boyfriend back and slithered away.”

A limited release Electric Waste Beer Red IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company debuted in January 2019.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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