“It seems to me, Ocean Beach has long been a place for songwriters to feel creative and free,” says drummer and bandleader Chris Giorgio, whose upcoming album as Jackslacks, Earthling Sessions, includes an ode to O.B. called “The 92107.”
“Down by the cliffs, that’s where the fun begins/ rollin’ a number watching the waves roll in/ tippin’ back an ice-cold brew, diggin’ on that sunset view/ havin’ some fun in Ocean Beach last night.”
A founding member of Forbidden Pigs and Hot Rod Lincoln, Giorgio recorded the album (due in January) at Mike Kamoo’s Earthling Studios in East County with Billy Joel guitarist Tommy Byrnes.
“I grew up on Long Island and met Tommy in elementary school,” says Giorgio. “We both kind of had affections for the same little schoolgirl and, although neither one of us saw that come to fruition, we did strike up a lifelong friendship. He lent an ear as executive producer, at first as a personal favor, but later because he really dug the songs. Tommy will be a guest player at a number of shows during our upcoming East Coast tour this winter.”
The album also includes a reunion with his former Forbidden Pigs bandmate Billy Bacon. “He accompanied me to Earthling this past summer to lend his sweet vocals on ‘Your Time Has Come’ and ‘Back in the Mix,’ and also recorded a cool mandolin part remotely from his digs in Austin, Texas.”
Giorgio has been part of the local blues, roots, and rockabilly scene for years. “I played on many bills with Beat Farmers, Paladins, Mojo [Nixon] and Skid [Roper], Big Sandy, Russell Scott, Mystery Train, Lee Rocker, the Blasters, X....”
Some of his fondest memories include the late Beat Farmers drummer-singer, Country Dick Montana, who died 22 years ago last week (November 8, 1995). “I loved that guy. I’ll never forget walking up to Dick after opening a show for them and asking, ‘So, what did you think of our band?’ Looking down, his large and imposing frame towering high above me, he half grinned, half smirked, and then said, in his deep baritone voice and with all seriousness, ‘Keep on practicin’, son.’”