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Ducks and mannikins

Gary Wilson, gifted musician

Gary Wilson, in Hillcrest, where he's lived since 1978. - Image by Andy Boyd
Gary Wilson, in Hillcrest, where he's lived since 1978.

Since the late 1970s, the freaky lounge music made by occasional duck owner and mannikin enthusiast Gary Wilson has been championed by everybody from Beck to Jimmy Fallon and the Roots.

Favorite locals to share a bill?

“I recently had fun doing some shows with Botanica Chango.”

Where do you buy your performance props?

“Most of the things I use on stage come to me by gift. Once, someone sent eight mannikin heads to my apartment.”

Best thing about your neighborhood?

“My girlfriend and I have lived in Hillcrest since 1978. I like that I can walk to everything I need.”

Where do you go after a gig?

“Perhaps if it’s late, I’ll head to Rudford’s for a serving of french fries and gravy. If early, I’ll go to Filippi’s in Little Italy for a pizza.”

What ’70s venue do you miss playing?

“The Roxy Theater in P.B., Straighta Head Sound [La Mesa], and My Rich Uncle’s on El Cajon Boulevard.”

Where have you performed the longest?

“Since the early 1980s at the Belly Up, when I was playing bass with Roy Brown, who was big in the late 1940s into the ’50s. One of his hits was ‘Good Rocking Tonight.’ I recently played there with the band Foxygen... I like the Belly Up for sound and backline.”

If the city named a beach after you, what would it be like?

“‘The Gary Wilson Beach,’ where my ducks and mannikins can roam free...I like that.”

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Gary Wilson, in Hillcrest, where he's lived since 1978. - Image by Andy Boyd
Gary Wilson, in Hillcrest, where he's lived since 1978.

Since the late 1970s, the freaky lounge music made by occasional duck owner and mannikin enthusiast Gary Wilson has been championed by everybody from Beck to Jimmy Fallon and the Roots.

Favorite locals to share a bill?

“I recently had fun doing some shows with Botanica Chango.”

Where do you buy your performance props?

“Most of the things I use on stage come to me by gift. Once, someone sent eight mannikin heads to my apartment.”

Best thing about your neighborhood?

“My girlfriend and I have lived in Hillcrest since 1978. I like that I can walk to everything I need.”

Where do you go after a gig?

“Perhaps if it’s late, I’ll head to Rudford’s for a serving of french fries and gravy. If early, I’ll go to Filippi’s in Little Italy for a pizza.”

What ’70s venue do you miss playing?

“The Roxy Theater in P.B., Straighta Head Sound [La Mesa], and My Rich Uncle’s on El Cajon Boulevard.”

Where have you performed the longest?

“Since the early 1980s at the Belly Up, when I was playing bass with Roy Brown, who was big in the late 1940s into the ’50s. One of his hits was ‘Good Rocking Tonight.’ I recently played there with the band Foxygen... I like the Belly Up for sound and backline.”

If the city named a beach after you, what would it be like?

“‘The Gary Wilson Beach,’ where my ducks and mannikins can roam free...I like that.”

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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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