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Baja Bugs rock the Beatles right

Long-time tribute adds management and a milestone show

BajaBugs recently took on management because the high-energy Beatles cover band “needs to take things more seriously.”
BajaBugs recently took on management because the high-energy Beatles cover band “needs to take things more seriously.”

What local band is led by one of San Diego’s first punk rockers, has been inhabited by a who’s who of local rock/pop/punk players, and has a drummer — Nick “Nico” Peters — who says he’s regularly mistaken for Ringo Starr?

Video:

"Ticket to Ride"

BajaBugs covering a Beatles classic

BajaBugs covering a Beatles classic

That local band is BajaBugs. Led by bassist/former Zero Hector Penalosa, with consistent support from guitarist Xavier Anaya, the band’s been kept alive over 16 years by members of the Phantoms, Shambles, and Zeros. Set lists consist mostly of songs by the Beatles and artists whose work inspired the Beatles. But Penalosa says the Bugs aren’t a cover band, per se.

“We are not a tribute band — wearing wigs and calling ourselves Ringo, Paul, etc. We don’t talk in Scouse accents. The BajaBugs started when a friend wanted Beatles music at his wedding reception. Also, around 1997, I went to my first Beatles convention. The bands were not rocking the tunes — lukewarm at best. Not on fire. And why weren’t they infusing the energy of Beatles’ influences — Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Little Richard — into their performances? With that in mind, I figured, let’s rock the shit out of these tunes.”

Past Event

Baja Bugs

Anaya recently told me that new Bugs manager, Mike Cates, adopted the foursome because “we need to take things more seriously.” A pretty serious performance highlights the band’s fall calendar. Penalosa’s tone in our email chat rises a visible step as he types, “A most significant gig will be in September — it celebrates the 50th anniversary of The BEATLES playing the Balboa Stadium in San Diego. We’ll play the same songs the Beatles did. Chuck Gunderson will talk about his book, Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of How the Beatles Rocked America/The Historic Tours of 1964–1966.”

BajaBugs take the stage at the Saville Theatre at City College with Some Fun Tonight! author Chuck Gunderson on September 1.

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BajaBugs recently took on management because the high-energy Beatles cover band “needs to take things more seriously.”
BajaBugs recently took on management because the high-energy Beatles cover band “needs to take things more seriously.”

What local band is led by one of San Diego’s first punk rockers, has been inhabited by a who’s who of local rock/pop/punk players, and has a drummer — Nick “Nico” Peters — who says he’s regularly mistaken for Ringo Starr?

Video:

"Ticket to Ride"

BajaBugs covering a Beatles classic

BajaBugs covering a Beatles classic

That local band is BajaBugs. Led by bassist/former Zero Hector Penalosa, with consistent support from guitarist Xavier Anaya, the band’s been kept alive over 16 years by members of the Phantoms, Shambles, and Zeros. Set lists consist mostly of songs by the Beatles and artists whose work inspired the Beatles. But Penalosa says the Bugs aren’t a cover band, per se.

“We are not a tribute band — wearing wigs and calling ourselves Ringo, Paul, etc. We don’t talk in Scouse accents. The BajaBugs started when a friend wanted Beatles music at his wedding reception. Also, around 1997, I went to my first Beatles convention. The bands were not rocking the tunes — lukewarm at best. Not on fire. And why weren’t they infusing the energy of Beatles’ influences — Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Little Richard — into their performances? With that in mind, I figured, let’s rock the shit out of these tunes.”

Past Event

Baja Bugs

Anaya recently told me that new Bugs manager, Mike Cates, adopted the foursome because “we need to take things more seriously.” A pretty serious performance highlights the band’s fall calendar. Penalosa’s tone in our email chat rises a visible step as he types, “A most significant gig will be in September — it celebrates the 50th anniversary of The BEATLES playing the Balboa Stadium in San Diego. We’ll play the same songs the Beatles did. Chuck Gunderson will talk about his book, Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of How the Beatles Rocked America/The Historic Tours of 1964–1966.”

BajaBugs take the stage at the Saville Theatre at City College with Some Fun Tonight! author Chuck Gunderson on September 1.

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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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