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

The Shambles

Sound description

'60s pop, garage, folk, and '70s AM radio, mixed with the sounds of pre-1970 Disney movies, soundtracks, R&B, rock, late-'70s punk, and Spanish ballads.

RIYL

Jonathan Richman, the Rembrandts, Superdrag, the Records, OK Go, Brian Wilson, the Wondermints, Sugarplastic, Rusty Anderson, the Alarm, Robyn Hitchcock, Graham Parker, Rockola, Get Back Loretta, Silver Sunshine, the Mockers

Inception

San Diego , 1980

Influences

The Beatles, Badfinger, Oasis, the Pretty Things, the Zombies, Nick Lowe and Rockpile, Jellyfish, Manual Scan, the Crawdaddys, the Mystery Machine, the Tell-Tale Hearts, the Brain Police, Elliott Smith, Squire

Discography

Sponsored

In 1968, the sound that would forever be called “mod” was distilled by the Who, the Kinks, the Small Faces, and their foppish, finely dressed ilk. By disguising itself unconvincingly as Power Pop in the late ‘70s, it all came back to be reinterpreted -- right down to the go-go dancers -- by Nick Lowe, Greg Kihn, and Squeeze.

Then the film Quadrophenia attempted to immortalize the original mod scene -- instead managing to trivialize it -- while anyone who sounded remotely like Paul McCartney became as hard to sell as, well, Paul McCartney.

At least in San Diego, the ‘80s were friendly to mod-leaning rockers with thin ties and a bright-pop sound to match the polish on their shiny shoes. Managing to be both stylish and retro (no easy feat), Manual Scan thrilled not only the metal Vespa crowd but amassed a European following as well with several popular single and EP releases.

Bart Mendoza and Kevin Donaker-Ring have been musical partners since 1980, when they paired up to form the mod-inspired Manual Scan.

“You had to own a metal scooter to be mod,” Mendoza says, referencing local scenesters who used to hang out at Vespa Super Shop and Gelato Vera in Mission Hills, checking out the Tell-Tale Hearts at the old downtown Soma, or rallying to see Quadrophenia at the Ken.

After a string of overseas hits (with little attention paid in the States), the duo reformed in the early ‘90s as the Shambles, with a rotating roster of new players (including bassist Mark Z of the Crawdaddys and a succession of drummers rivaling Spinal Tap’s). Their songs still maintain that ‘60s sound -- albeit more powered-up, à la Nick Lowe or Oasis -- plus they have a vast repertoire of eclectic covers (Badfinger, the Zombies, unreleased bootleg Beatles cuts, and more).

Mendoza is currently cowriting a book covering “every record released from every San Diego performer” from the turn of the 20th Century through the ‘90s. He also collects local vinyl, with the most rare piece in his collection being the Scottsville Squirrel Barker album with Chris Hillman (later of the Byrds) from around 1962. “Copies have sold in excess of $200 in mint condition. I got mine at a thrift store, although that was 25 years ago.” He still rides a metal scooter and has never owned or driven a car.

The locally published comic book Vampyrates features a character named Doctor Kevin Ring, a scientist who battles a demonic race of vampire pirates; the character is based on Donaker-Ring. “He isn’t a rocker -- he’s educated, refined. The last thing he wants to do is leave behind his true love Anne Marie [based on Donaker-Ring’s real-world wife] and chase down horrific apparitions in the deep Atlantic. He only does it because he’s broke and it’s the only way to save the family estate from anxious creditors.” Broke, and with anxious creditors: sounds pretty rock and roll.

The Shambles have toured extensively and performed in Mexico, Spain, England, and throughout the U.S., appearing in concert as well as on TV and radio. They’ve also contributed to over three dozen compilation albums and have released four of their own albums to date. There’s been a fair bit of press, from Billboard to Creem, and they’ve gigged with Jonathan Richman, the Rembrandts, Superdrag, the Records, OK Go, the Wondermints, Sugarplastic, Rusty Anderson (Paul McCartney, guitarist), the Alarm, Robyn Hitchcock, 20/20, Graham Parker, and the Stereophonics.

In summer 2010, bassist/guitarist Kenny Howes moved to Dallas, also leaving his job as Sales director at Rickenbacker International. Later that year, the band landed their track “Warm This Winter” on the British Christmas album Power Chords, Harmonies and Mistletoe, from UK label Twist Records.

In 2011, their version of the Mary Tyler Moore TV theme “Love is All Around” was included in the benefit compliation Hearts on Fire: Sweet Relief II, from Michigan’s JAM Records. The following year, Mendoza and Donaker-Ring revived their 1980s band Manual Scan.

An unreleased version of their song “All Sorts” appears on the early 2014 compilation, Sweet Relief 3, from Michigan-based JAM Records. Built around a backing track produced in 2002 by Gregory Page, players include Bart Mendoza (vocals, rhythm guitar), Jeff Berkley (lead guitar, production), Cathryn Beeks (vocals), Derek Duplessie (12-string guitar), Danny Cress (drums), and Dylan Martinez (bass).

Their version of “Might As Well,” originally by the Raspberries, appears on an Australian Zero Hour Records re-issue of the Rasberries tribute album Preserved . “One of our best,” says Mendoza of the track, “with stellar drum work from John Chilson.” Their song "Wouldn't You Like to Be A Bear?" appeared on the bear-themed 4-disc 40th Anniversary Box Set from German label Bear Family Records, alongside tracks from Ry Cooder, Chip Taylor, Swamp Dogg, the Fuzztones, and around 60 others.

2015 saw the release of a new EP, Radio Daze: The Pyles Sessions, which dropped October 15 from Bickerton Records, available only in vinyl and digital formats. The following year, their Clouds All Day album was reissued on vinyl with a bonus DVD featuring an 11-song set on Spanish TV.

Also on TV in Spain, a 2016 show Cachitos de Hierro y Cromo, a series exploring music, aired an edition called "Yeah, Yeah!" chronicling Spanish rock and pop bands that included footage of the Shambles performing Los Brincos' "Nadie Te Quiere Ya" live on the Spanish television show Los Conciertos de Radio 3 in 1999.

The 2017 compilation Sweet Relief 4, issued by Michigan label JAM Records to help raise funds for cancer research, includes a Shambles remake of a song originally by Jeremy Morris, "It's Getting Better," with Morris providing keyboards, additional harmonies, and lead guitar alongside Kevin Ring.

Sponsored

Upcoming Local Shows

No shows scheduled

Post a show View show history
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close