Tom Perry hates it that the bass player gets ignored.
“Usually you can’t even remember the bass player’s name. But ladies love the bass. Can you imagine...when we play it’s three times the estrogen.”
Perry, the occasional bass player with Deadbolt and host of 91X’s Resurrection Sunday alternative oldies show, is happy to be part of SeaBase, the only known local band with three bass players.
“Mike Santos [Lucy’s Fur Coat] is lead bass, I play rhythm bass, and Mark Sgarbossa [the Shirleys, Rotator] handles utility bass,” Perry explains.
Drummer Marc Balanky (the Palominos) rounds out the all-rhythm-section band.
“We came up with this as a joke, but it was so much fun we kind of got serious about it,” Perry says. “We got together for a backyard birthday party and then we played at the Tiki Oasis. We actually practice now. Apart from ‘Big Bottom Girls’ by Spinal Tap, I don’t know if there is a song with lead bass. That’s all we do.”
The important thing (if there is one) about SeaBase is that it keeps alive the local tradition of being “goofy” onstage. “The Rugburns with Steve Poltz had a great sense of humor,” says Perry. “Carnivorous Lunar Activity from the ’90s were pretty funny guys. And while the Creepy Creeps aren’t necessarily funny, they have a fantastic time onstage. They wear great outfits and they aren’t afraid to make fun of themselves.”
Perry says he was a 91X DJ when the San Diego scene was too uptight.
“In the early ’90s, when San Diego was the next Seattle, bands were taking themselves way too serious. Bands nowadays seem more open to play ball with other bands, and you don’t have a lot of pissy attitude. I hate seeing videos of me in Deadbolt in ’93 — I was a dick onstage. I was a big baby.”
Perry says there is something primal about the bass that will never lose appeal. “When my son, who is 14, brings his friends over, they are drawn right to the bass. They want to feel the power of the wooly mammoth.”
Perry took over Resurrection Sunday this summer. This marks the 30th year of when Perry started as a 91X DJ. He says radio keeps pulling him back in.
- Thursday, November 3, 2016, 8 p.m.
2501 Kettner Boulevard,
“I’ve been under-employed for the past four years. When I find myself in times of trouble, mother [Mike] Halloran comforts me,” he says of the 91X program director.
“The cool thing about Resurrection Sunday is I get to play what I want. I might play that French punk song by Plastic Bertrand. Or I might play Television. You know, I never ever remember 91X playing Television back in the day. Yet they were one of the most influential bands ever. Let’s say I don’t play a lot of Wham! on Sunday mornings.”
SeaBase appears November 3 at the Casbah with Gram Rabbit and Lion Cut.