After spending time performing with Cape May and the Swedish Models, local bassist Mark Wiskowski joined the Jones Revival in the late 2000s. The cover band plays all over town, but perhaps most often at a joint in the Bird Rock neighborhood of La Jolla called Beaumont’s.
Jones Revival, "Can't You Hear me Knockin'" @ Beaumont's, 2009
Wiskowski estimates that the band has played New Year’s Eve gigs at Beaumont’s on about six occasions. The shows are par for the course, besides the obvious New Year’s countdown tweaks; also, instead of playing the traditional “Auld Lang Syne,” which Wiskowski refers to as “kind of played out,” the band opts for a more unique post-countdown number.
5662 La Jolla Boulevard, La Jolla
“We’ll play ‘Stand By Me,’ by Ben E. King,” Wiskowski says. “That just always seems to go over well. We’ll let the countdown go, let people make the noise, scream out ‘Happy New Year’ and then we’ll go into the song. Everyone sings along to it and everyone knows the words. It’s a nice little ballad to play before going back into the loud rock and roll.”
One wild card for the NYE gig is the attendees, most of whom are “rowdy and out of control,” according to Wiskowski.
“I think it’s the one night where everyone feels like they have a free pass, so they let off steam,” he says. “That’s just how it works. We just go through it. People fall down in front of us all the time. But, other than that, I’ve never had to take off the bass and swing it. People are pretty respectful of the band, they’re just not respectful of each other.”
Besides three times their regular pay, what other types of perks does the band get for the NYE gigs?
He laughs and says, “They’ll always feed us, and we get whatever we want to drink there for free, but I don’t drink and play anyway because I’ve gotta make it home. There’s always a checkpoint on Ingraham coming over the bridge going into Ocean Beach [Wiskowski’s neighborhood] right before you hit Sunset Cliffs [Boulevard]. So, my idea is that it’s not my party, it’s a job.”
As for Wiskowski’s personal New Year’s resolution, his goal is to release the third album by his solo project the High Gallery.