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“We played down in Cabo Wabo during Sammy Hagar’s birthday week in October [2007] and have met the whole [Van Halen] band at various times, so they know what we’re doing and dig it,” says Osmon.

OU812 guitarist Angel Llanos attended a party thrown at Eddie Van Halen’s house for the X-rated film The Sacred Sin (which includes two Van Halen songs).

“There were adult film industry folks all over the place and strippers and a bevy of naked women,” according to Osmon. “Eddie was the host, playing with a band he had hired and walking around pouring wine and giving tours and bragging about his son. Meanwhile, naked women are hanging from acrobat things from the ceiling and in the pool.… His house was really nice but had the appearance of having been gutted by the divorce and never really put back together, sort of beat up, as if a drunk hermit was living there by himself.”

The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash are a country-rock band that plays Cash music, as well as releasing several CDs of their own original songs. The band first earned notice when they opened for Merle Haggard at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, after which they recorded their own six-song EP.

In 1998, the Bastards received an invitation to perform for over 20,000 attendees at Willie Nelson’s annual Fourth of July Picnic in Luckenbach, Texas, the first San Diego band ever invited to the three-decade-old institution showcasing cutting-edge artists in country music.

“We aren’t really a tribute band,” says front man Marc Stuart. “We’re more an ‘inspired-by’ band.” The group was officially endorsed several years ago by the Man in Black himself, Mr. Middle Finger, the late Johnny Cash.

“We were playing a club called the Exit-Inn in Nashville,” explains Stuart. “The people at the bar came up to me, all serious, and said, ‘Johnny Cash’s son, John Carter Cash, he’s here and he’s waiting to talk to you backstage.’ I’m sure some people thought he was there to try and intimidate me or something, because he’s Johnny’s real son and here we are, the Bastard Sons. I didn’t think he was there to beat me up or anything. At least I hoped not!

“So I went out back, and he couldn’t have been nicer. He told me how he and his dad had defended our band against a lot of people who had negative things to say about the name, and he said, ‘I really love the group. I’d love to record you guys the next time you’re in the area.’

“Well, a couple of months later…we were out on tour in Memphis, Tennessee, and we had a few days off. I called him up and said, ‘We’re in Memphis, we’re within trucking distance, so how’re you looking at the studio?’ He said, ‘Great, my dad’s working in there in the morning, so you guys can come in about noon and have the studio for the rest of the day.“ ‘

At a recording studio on the Cash property called the Cash Cabin, Stuart says, “We spent three days recording ‘Spanish Eyes’ and ‘Nowhere Town.’ Being right there in Johnny’s back yard was amazing. It’s about 20 miles outside of Nashville, in the middle of the woods. The studio is a little wood cabin on 50 acres. There’s wild animals all over, deer and goats and pigs, and peacocks just wandering around. They’ve even got their own fully stocked bass lake within walking distance, so John Carter and I would go out with fishing rods and catch a few big-mouth bass between takes.

“The studio itself is like a history museum, full of Cash and Carter memorabilia, but it’s also fully modern and functional for recording. I was singing into the same microphone Johnny Cash was using just a half hour before! The lyric sheets for his new songs were spread around the studio, and I got to look at those. We even got to hear some of his new tracks.

“He [Johnny Cash] called the studio from the house, but he wasn’t feeling well enough to come out, so we didn’t get the chance to meet him there. But he said the same thing as his son, that he likes our music and doesn’t mind that we’re called the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash. ’Cause he made fun of that kind of thing way back when…he’s the guy who sang about ‘A Boy Named Sue,’ after all.”

The Band in Black is a more traditional Cash tribute, formed in 2003 and fronted by “Cowboy Jack” Johnson. “We dress in black and play vintage gear,” says Johnson, “like an upright bass. The lead guitarist uses a Telecaster, and I have my Martin guitar [Cash owned several Martins]. We cover the late ’50s through early ’60s, all presented based on research and authentic down to the last detail.”

The longtime San Diegan (since 1968) is also the originator and lead performer of the Hank Show, which he founded in 1999. “It’s a re-creation, not a tribute, of the music of Hank Williams Sr. We’ve been doing hits from the breadth of his career. He recorded from ’47 to ’53, and we play the songs in chronological order. The band wears vintage smile-pocket Western shirts with hats and ties, and we all play instruments accurate to that era.”

Johnson’s guitars are identical to those favored by Williams, while his bandmates use the same style hollow-body electric guitar, steel guitar, fiddle, and upright bass used by their Sr. inspirations. “My Hank suit was made for me by one of the same guys who tailored Hank’s clothes,” Johnson says. “He was one of the guys at Nudies Rodeo Tailors [who dressed ZZ Top, among others], and he made me a replica of Hank’s suit…the white suit with black musical notes.”

Fleetwood Max was formed in 2006 by Todd Hidden (as Lindsay Buckingham) and Annie Heller (ersatz Christine McVie). “Everyone seems to love Fleetwood Mac,” says Heller. “Visually, we try to emulate the look of The Dance years, which is mostly black and white. Our Stevie, Kim Enering, buys special clothing custom-made to look like Stevie Nicks’ best-known outfits, and she does a great job with the Stevie-isms.”

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sugarrock March 18, 2009 @ 9:21 p.m.

tribute bands are a trip. steely damned completely blew me away. they really know their songs and the vibe was awesome. it was amazing. don't waste your money on metal skool. they claim they are a cover band but they used an ipod when i saw them, it was like bad karaoke.. "hey, where's the second guitar coming from?" it was horrible. when i called them out on it they tried to deny it but then they later admitted that they used backing tracks. weak...


SpliffAdamz_ March 19, 2009 @ 12:13 p.m.

Marky Mark was a rapper I find that real hard to belive.


SurfPuppy619 March 19, 2009 @ 2:02 p.m.

Marky Mark was a rapper I find that real hard to belive.

By SpliffAdamz

Good Vibrations was one of the biggest rap songs ever.



GuitarFan March 20, 2009 @ 9:35 a.m.

Interesting to see a Van Halen cover band that focuses on the Sammy years...usually it's all about David Lee Roth period. Not sure Eddie's new wife would be excited about his porn parties. Here's a pretty cool video of Eddie shredding on the "Frankenstein" guitar mentioned in this article:



SurfPuppy619 March 20, 2009 @ 11 a.m.

Sammy was/is a far better singer/vocalist than Dave could ever dream of.


daviddiamond56 March 20, 2009 @ 9:10 p.m.

Re: DIAMOND IS FOREVER! the NEIL DIAMOND EXPERIENCE ..."Sherry works on the side as a video editor"

That's true, but I do (the video editing) for the band. It is not my part-time job.

The band - music - is my life and my full-time job too. I don't do anything else. It is a full-time job requiring 40-60 hours a week from me and my good friend the band's manager/promoter Ce Ce Taylor.

I think that some bands might not realize that there is a lot more to do than rehearse (and if you are lucky) perform. There is a lot of the job, heck, most of the job, that is not done on stage in the spotlight with an audience.

There is always work in the PR and Promo Department, first in creating and then maintaining a pro-quality promotional package that contains photos, press, band info and contact data. Ours also includes a 3-camera pro-shot DVD edit which we shoot and re-edit with new footage every year to keep it fresh, new and exciting. our promo package also includes a live CD. . Then there are the daily duties: sales, promotions and plain old "nine-to-five" type of office duties such as developing and maintaining a fan base, CD and merchandise sales, updating and maintaining web sites and the constant search for bookers, agents, promoters and venues in which to perform! When venues are booked there are print ads, promotional posters. postcards and the like to create and distribute. The biggest part of the job is getting the word out and getting people in the seats!

Some gigs don't require a lot of advance work. For example, when we performed last at the House of Blues for Rick Ortiz' BEST OF TRIBUTES night in the Summer of 2008, other than normal rehearsals and contacting the fan list about the date, we just walked on stage for what felt like a momentary sound check and then we rocked the House for 80 minutes!

On gigs that we produce and promote ourselves like our annual performance at the Moonlight Amphitheater in Vista (holds 2,200) we spend 2 to 3 months to put together a concert-event of that size and do all that is involved to produce, promote and pull off a successful event...but of it is of course worth it to get that time in the spotlight in front of the audience making the music we love and the audiences - feel the Neil

Lot's of great tributes in San Diego and Diamond Is Forever! is proud to be a part of it.

David the Diamondhearted

David J. Sherry Diamond Is Forever! Band

click below for our current video:


birgittaw March 21, 2009 @ 4:40 p.m.

I was at the Neil Diamond tribute show show in that decrepit theater in Encinitas. Yes, it was freezing cold, the sound disappeared, a dog was running rampant in and out of the pews,BUT, David J Sherry didn't let all the distractions bother him and sang his heart out, much to the delight of the audience who gave him standing ovations! Bravo David, keep on singing you're the best!


concernedmom March 21, 2009 @ 6:41 p.m.

With all this chatter about everything and anything I just thought i'd slip a thought or two in the mix. After reading last weeks article (Escorts and Engagments) my 18yr old daughter,apparently downloaded the Story of an American Escort. The real shocker was at breakfast when I asked her what she planned to do for the summer. To my total amazment she replyed "I was thinking of checking out an escort service" Coffee literally spewed out of my mouth as I almost chocked to death. I could not for the life of me figure out just what the hell she was talking about. quizzing her a little more closely she informed me that after reading this novel she thought it would fun to check it out. I thought for sure she was just kidding me, i mean we go the church on sundays and live in LaJolla, but I soon realized she was dead serious when she turned to me and said "I bet you I will be rich in just two or three months and have enough money to breeze through my first year at collage with out having to work at all...Im cencerned to say the least and any advice would be greatfully appreciated.........


SurfPuppy619 March 21, 2009 @ 7:53 p.m.

I thought for sure she was just kidding me, i mean we go the church on sundays and live in LaJolla, but I soon realized she was dead serious when she turned to me and said "I bet you I will be rich in just two or three months and have enough money to breeze through my first year at collage with out having to work at all...Im cencerned to say the least and any advice would be greatfully appreciated......... ============================

Here, just in case you missed it, have her follow in the steps of this raving beauty (should clear out her crazy thoughts of "easy money");

Yeah-and her name is Christina Shultz (now Warthen), and she no longer has the cool quarter million in the safe deposit box-the IRS took it and handed her a felony conviction for income tax evasion with three years of supervised probation to go along with taking her cash.

There is always a big downside to illegal activity-no matter who says otherwise.



Josh Board March 23, 2009 @ 2:04 p.m.

Back to the tribute band story:

The band METAL SKOOL, put on a great show the time I saw them. It was like a heavy metal tribute act, that does Spinal Tap style jokes. I have friends that see them all the time, and I can't figure out why you'd want to more than once. I didn't care for those hair band songs in the 80s, and seeing them performed note for note, well...it's fun for the humor, but little else.

That singer, Ralph, is also the same guy that sings for Atomic Punks. By the way, Atomic Punks lost their former lead guitarist to the real VH singer, David Lee Roth, and he's still with him. They put on a great show, by the way.

I saw OU812, and didn't care as much for them, as I'm not a big Sammy fan (great in Montrose, with VH, not so much).

Two other bands worth noting: Cash'd Out, our local Johnny Cash tribute band, is one of the best in the land. Cash's estate endorses them, too. Catch them if you can, they'll blow you away.

And, from LA, Wild Child, a Doors tribute. They've been doing this now for 20 plus years. The singer played Morrison in a Meryl Streep movie (death becomes her), and almost got the part of Morrison in Stone's movie.


SpliffAdamz_ March 24, 2009 @ 9:34 a.m.

Surfpuppy619 are you serious!? Marky Mark a rapper please , don't make me throw-up on this computer. Good Vibrations was not even close to a great rap song , i can name ten thousands rap songs better then that crap you trying to sell. Yo surfpuppy619 don't disresespect hip hop by saying this one rap song wonder had a hit rap song. Do you really know anything about rap music? Just because Marky Mark had a song that white america like don't mean he is a rap artist. He never had a rap album so i still find it hard to belive that he is even thought of as a rapper. Saying he is a rapper that's like saying the chargers will win a super bowl one of these years.


SurfPuppy619 March 24, 2009 @ 12:17 p.m.

^^^^LOL @ SA^^^^^

Marky Mark was the sh*t man!

BTW, MM was rapping, just in case you do not know what rap is and GV was a major MAJOR rap hit.


trestles March 24, 2009 @ 1:14 p.m.

surfpuppy, I hope the dripping sarcasm coming thru is intentional. Because unless you were a teen who liked new kids on the block, marky mark was a joke. Rap at that time, 90-94, was NWA, Public Enemy, Dre, Ice Cube, Ice T etc. You really comparing markyboy to them?? By the way one of the few topics off limmits in interviews, besides the "alleged" affair with Madonna, is his rap "career. he refuses to talk about it and is said to have walked out of interviews over it.


Josh Board March 25, 2009 @ 9:42 a.m.

The problem rap fans have, the ones that actually know the genre, is when they try to say Marky Mark or Vanilla Ice, isn't rap. It is. It may suck, but that doesn't matter.

It's just like when a person that loves heavy metal tries to say that the hair bands of the 80s weren't metal. And then they come up with all these sub-categories: speed metal, death metal, blah blah blah.

In every genre of music, there are artists that suck and doing that. Even if they have a hit.

In country, maybe that's Billy Ray Cyrus and his Achy Breaky Heart. I don't know.

But to try to say "He isn't country" or "he wasn't rap," is a lame argument. Or to say that "the Chargers will never win a Super Bowl," when I'm guessing, he's a Raiders fan! All silly statements.


trestles March 25, 2009 @ 10:29 a.m.

Josh, Maybe you put it more succinctly than I did. I said he was a joke, which compared to the people I mentioned, he was. Or to use your words, he sucked.


SpliffAdamz_ March 26, 2009 @ 8:07 a.m.

So are you saying that if a person has ONE rap song they are a rapper? If you go around the country and ask people if Marky Mark was a rapper and did rap music do you really think anyone would remember the one rap song he did? Or even consider him a rapper? If he really is a rapper name some of his other rap songs besides the one you claim is a hit!! Marky Mark the shyt , yeah a shyt on the ground. Marky Mark will never be known as a rapper just face the facts people. Yo Joshb you damm right i'm in the Raider Nation and the chargers do suck.


SpliffAdamz_ March 26, 2009 @ 8:57 a.m.

Yo fred thanks for ridding my nutz you got all these words a comments about me but what dose that say about you. Did i ruffle your demon feathers. I'm pretty sure your at home sittin in your tighty whiteys with satan saying i hate this SpliffAdamz guy he's stupid he's this his that. But yet you still keep on riddin my nutz. To bad we don't consider you a writer just and idiot with access to a computer!!!!! Fred , you need to shut up when grown folks is talkin'. The only loser is the one that gave you birth don't ever forget it.


Fred Williams March 27, 2009 @ 12:57 a.m.

Yo, Spliffy, I'ze all rightin and shytt 'cuz Satan he done took ova my keybode an be makin me do it. Ain't no thang...


Fred Williams March 26, 2009 @ 8:28 a.m.

SpliffAdamz writes a lot of stupid annoying bulls***, but that still makes him a writer.

Case closed.

Mark W. WAS a rapper, just an annoying and stupid rapper, like SpliffAdamz is an annoying and stupid writer.

The difference is that Mark W. parleyed that annoyingly lightweight rap song ("Feel it, feel it!") into a highly successful acting career, while SpliffAdamz is just a loser with a loose keyboard who would rather pick pointless fights over minutia than write something interesting.

Spliff, please go roll yourself a fatty and calm the f*** down, or go to your Pentecostal congregation and roll on the floor while rapping in tongues.


RoRo April 1, 2009 @ 10:14 a.m.

I simply cannot believe, Electric Waste Band, of Ocean Beach, was not interviewed for this article. Horrible Journalism to omit them, sorry. They are one of the COUNTRIES premier Grateful Dead cover bands, probably Top 3 [ Dark Star Orchestra is considered #1). They have been performing at Winstons for almost 20 years and have a more dedicated fan base then any band interviewed.

The omission is so glaring for one reason, Grateful Dead cover bands essentially are part of the FOUNDATION of the cover band as we know it....They are one of the only bands people found worthy of covering full-time and hence are practically the first big band covered to such an extreme.

Also of note, I have seen Stepping Feet over 10 times, they are great, as is the Iron Maidens and I cannot wait to see the Steely Dammned, but EWB is simply the best and you not interviewing them for this article was shameful !


Josh Board April 8, 2009 @ 4:40 p.m.

Good point, RoRo. They've been playing Winstons forever. Although, with space limitations on stories, I'm sure there are a lot of bands that didn't get a mention, that their fans would've liked to have seen get some press.


goofygal April 12, 2009 @ 9:52 a.m.

Yeah Brother Loves has not gigged in almost 3 years and has been defunct and broken up for at least 2 - waste of space that could have been given to a band that is actually out there gigging...


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