Jensen Rufe of Guided By Voices tribute band Tigerbomb was a 1991 graduate of rock and roll high.
“The guys in blink-182 were a little younger than us,” says Rufe about Poway High. “But we were pretty much the same age as most of the guys in Louie XIV. I know (singers/guitarists) Jason Hill and Brian Karsig were in our class. I didn’t personally know anyone from Unwritten Law, but I knew they were around.”
A few years after high school, Rufe and three fellow PHS grads launched Puddletown Tom, a “psychedelic, experimental, weird-rock” band that he guesses played 30 shows at the Casbah over its ’93–’96 lifespan.
“A few times we got to open for bigger bands like Red House Painters, but usually we’d play with other locals, like Heavy Vegetable, fLUF, and Uncle Joe’s Big Ol’ Driver.” Puddletown continued even after Rufe left for UCLA.
“I first saw Guided by Voices at the Casbah because I heard this story about this bunch of old guys who had day jobs and families but still ended up getting signed to Matador Records in their late 30s. It was the American dream. I saw them at the Casbah in 1995 and fell in love with them.”
Rufe started in video by producing documentaries, including one award-winning feature that chronicled the Humboldt music scene. After moving to L.A. in 2001, he started editing reality shows such as Project Runway, The Kardashians, Bad Girls Club, and Real World.