Neighborhood Watch was a 1980s rock band whose guitarist was Bob Bereley, who created the local record label Vinyl Communications in 1986 in order to press his own band’s first album. He thought it unlikely that Neighborhood Watch, could sell all of the 500 records the label pressed, but the demand was great enough to warrant six more pressings.
Over the next decade and a half, the label released more than 170 records. At his home in Chula Vista, Bereley built a recording studio as well as a stage for bands to play on, and his backyard parties were a staple of the late-’80s music scene. Not only did local bands — including the straight-edge group Amenity — play in his backyard, but also the occasional touring band, the biggest of which was Operation Ivy, whose members later formed Rancid.
Bereley describes his studio: “It was like our own little field of dreams. We built it and they came.” Vinyl Communications has always been wary of hype and has never been out to exploit a band or pressure one into recording anything they wouldn’t want to.
From 1988 to 1989, Bereley had a Vinyl Communications store in Chula Vista, where patrons could buy independent music and hear local bands perform. “My main focus,” Bereley remarks, “has always been keeping the control within the community that was creating the art.”