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Manual plan

Bart Mendoza on the longevity of San Diego's super mods Manual Scan

Mendoza (left): “In no way did I think [Manual Scan] would last five years, let alone still be gigging decades later with the same crew.”
Mendoza (left): “In no way did I think [Manual Scan] would last five years, let alone still be gigging decades later with the same crew.”

“This is the one that officially makes me feel old,” Bart Mendoza says. Manual Scan, the band he started right out of high school with a few of his friends, will play their 40th anniversary show at this year’s Adams Avenue Street Fair. Originally a quartet, the current lineup includes Mendoza and founding members Kevin Ring on vocals/guitar and keyboardist David Fleminger, with Jarrod Lucas on drums and ex-Rust bassist Tim Blankenship. Otherwise, not much else has changed. “I’m still playing the same guitar and amp that I did at our first gig,” Mendoza says.

Video:

"All Night Stand"

...from <em>Plan of Action — The Best of Manual Scan</em>

...from Plan of Action — The Best of Manual Scan

Manual Scan was in the American mod and power-pop scene of the 1980s, a bunch of scooter-driving mods in suits. They began as Starjammer in the music room at La Jolla High School. Later, with a rotation in members, Starjammer became the Pedestrians. They recorded demos of original material, but by 1981 they were over. That’s when Mendoza and Ring got serious — sort of.

“Manual Scan was and is a bunch of school friends playing music for fun. In no way did I think it would last five years let alone still be gigging decades later with basically the same crew and a lengthy discography.”

Mendoza became the band’s chief songwriter. They gigged high-school dances and when they came of age, Hollywood and San Diego venues. In 1982, Manual Scan recorded their first EP, Plan of Action, at Circle Sound Recorders on El Cajon Boulevard in Kensington. The band’s music has been featured in such films as A Girl to Kill For and was included in the Cherry Red Records box set Millions Like Us.

Past Event

Adams Avenue Street Fair

  • Saturday, September 24, 2016, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Adams Avenue near 35th Street, Normal Heights
  • Free

They made friends here on their home turf and abroad: Manual Scan became something of a hit in Spain, an international connection that runs strong to this day. The band headlined the 2015 Purple Weekend Music and Arts Festival in León. Mendoza says the audience was a mix of old fans and new, younger fans that he says even knew the words: “There is no greater honor for a musician than to have an audience sing along to one of their original songs.”

In the decades since, Mendoza, also a pop-culture journalist and occasional Reader contributor, has become something of an elder spokesman. “For the local music community, it’s night and day. In the pre-MTV days, very few places had original music. Young whippersnappers today have no idea of how hard it was to play original music back in the day.” Mendoza indicates that there are more opportunities for bands than ever. “I see that as a good thing. It means things have indeed gotten a bit better for musicians.”

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Mendoza (left): “In no way did I think [Manual Scan] would last five years, let alone still be gigging decades later with the same crew.”
Mendoza (left): “In no way did I think [Manual Scan] would last five years, let alone still be gigging decades later with the same crew.”

“This is the one that officially makes me feel old,” Bart Mendoza says. Manual Scan, the band he started right out of high school with a few of his friends, will play their 40th anniversary show at this year’s Adams Avenue Street Fair. Originally a quartet, the current lineup includes Mendoza and founding members Kevin Ring on vocals/guitar and keyboardist David Fleminger, with Jarrod Lucas on drums and ex-Rust bassist Tim Blankenship. Otherwise, not much else has changed. “I’m still playing the same guitar and amp that I did at our first gig,” Mendoza says.

Video:

"All Night Stand"

...from <em>Plan of Action — The Best of Manual Scan</em>

...from Plan of Action — The Best of Manual Scan

Manual Scan was in the American mod and power-pop scene of the 1980s, a bunch of scooter-driving mods in suits. They began as Starjammer in the music room at La Jolla High School. Later, with a rotation in members, Starjammer became the Pedestrians. They recorded demos of original material, but by 1981 they were over. That’s when Mendoza and Ring got serious — sort of.

“Manual Scan was and is a bunch of school friends playing music for fun. In no way did I think it would last five years let alone still be gigging decades later with basically the same crew and a lengthy discography.”

Mendoza became the band’s chief songwriter. They gigged high-school dances and when they came of age, Hollywood and San Diego venues. In 1982, Manual Scan recorded their first EP, Plan of Action, at Circle Sound Recorders on El Cajon Boulevard in Kensington. The band’s music has been featured in such films as A Girl to Kill For and was included in the Cherry Red Records box set Millions Like Us.

Past Event

Adams Avenue Street Fair

  • Saturday, September 24, 2016, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Adams Avenue near 35th Street, Normal Heights
  • Free

They made friends here on their home turf and abroad: Manual Scan became something of a hit in Spain, an international connection that runs strong to this day. The band headlined the 2015 Purple Weekend Music and Arts Festival in León. Mendoza says the audience was a mix of old fans and new, younger fans that he says even knew the words: “There is no greater honor for a musician than to have an audience sing along to one of their original songs.”

In the decades since, Mendoza, also a pop-culture journalist and occasional Reader contributor, has become something of an elder spokesman. “For the local music community, it’s night and day. In the pre-MTV days, very few places had original music. Young whippersnappers today have no idea of how hard it was to play original music back in the day.” Mendoza indicates that there are more opportunities for bands than ever. “I see that as a good thing. It means things have indeed gotten a bit better for musicians.”

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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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