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

Post-Covid serendipity in East San Diego

Rapper across from D.Z. Akins, Pete Loague sends SoundCloud, at College-Rolando Library, Sam Lopez explains his Troma Films shirt

Pete Loague and the author. “A casual remark on my T-shirt has turned into a lengthy chinwag about music.”
Pete Loague and the author. “A casual remark on my T-shirt has turned into a lengthy chinwag about music.”

As I loiter in the smoking section across the street from D.Z. Akin's, I am sometimes privy to the one-sided conversations, held by people (usually on their phones) who are talking to someone I can’t see while they smoke the cigarette I have given them. But this guy? This guy is different. I pick up repeated lines, and then a rhythm, complete with emotion, providing a melody. When I approach him, he looks ready to run or fight, but he pauses for a split second when I ask him if he is rapping. He is. His name is David, and he is honing his spontaneous words into something razor sharp. I’m not into rap any more than he’s into rock, but our shared passion for music fuels the banter.

Another day: Pete Loague and I block the aisles at our local grocery store, oblivious to the annoyed shoppers around us. A casual remark on my T-shirt has turned into a lengthy chinwag about writing music, influences, artists we have seen and those we wish we had. The conversation reignites whenever we run into each other around the neighborhood. He shoots me his SoundCloud, which boasts enough music to keep me listening for several hours.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Place

D.Z. Akin's

6930 Alvarado Road, San Diego

These are the sorts of connections I missed most during the Covid restrictions that forced the closures of venues and the cancellation of tours, and spawned a general feeling of caution when out in public. Now, with every new conversation held and bond formed, I can’t help but think of the permanent losses. Mark Goffeney, the man who helped me learn “Deuce” by KISS and got me through my self-induced blocks playing Sabbath bass lines, is gone forever. More haunting still is the absence of Legend, a man with a habit and a guitar who compensated for his missing strings with a focused passion. I haven’t seen him at his usual spot in El Cajon since the beginning of the pandemic, and I fear the worst.

But the world is moving again, leaving me little time for reflection on what was or what might be. At the College-Rolando Branch Library, I strike up a conversation with Sam Lopez over his Troma Films shirt. After we mutually fail to find any redeeming value in the film Mother’s Day, he tells me his company Stay Strange is hosting a thing in the community room in a few weeks. The experimental voice show features Stacey Barnett and Circle/Temple and reminds me of Brian Eno producing the band James. Outside, my interaction with accompanist Drona Ra about music and film makes the day complete. Three high school students are curious about the donation awards: vintage bubble gum cards from the garish cocaine fueled film that was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band from 1978. After I provide an animated, caffeine-fueled explanation, one of them returns the favor with an education in jazz.

“Opening back up” means something different to me now. Now, I associate the term with people, connection, and a shared love of music. I’m happy to see lines outside of places that seemed like ghost towns not long enough ago, and excited to see shows again — even if it seems that Live Nation has spent its off time creating new ways to fuck us.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Wagner, Liszt, and Brahms in Escondido

Payare levitates for the victory
Next Article

San Diego in books - PSA crash, WWII doubles the town, Oak Tree Canyon, Led Zeppelin

The Secrets of Harry Bright, Mirror at the End of the Road, Brown Hills, Hammer of the Gods, "Port of Navy Wives"
Pete Loague and the author. “A casual remark on my T-shirt has turned into a lengthy chinwag about music.”
Pete Loague and the author. “A casual remark on my T-shirt has turned into a lengthy chinwag about music.”

As I loiter in the smoking section across the street from D.Z. Akin's, I am sometimes privy to the one-sided conversations, held by people (usually on their phones) who are talking to someone I can’t see while they smoke the cigarette I have given them. But this guy? This guy is different. I pick up repeated lines, and then a rhythm, complete with emotion, providing a melody. When I approach him, he looks ready to run or fight, but he pauses for a split second when I ask him if he is rapping. He is. His name is David, and he is honing his spontaneous words into something razor sharp. I’m not into rap any more than he’s into rock, but our shared passion for music fuels the banter.

Another day: Pete Loague and I block the aisles at our local grocery store, oblivious to the annoyed shoppers around us. A casual remark on my T-shirt has turned into a lengthy chinwag about writing music, influences, artists we have seen and those we wish we had. The conversation reignites whenever we run into each other around the neighborhood. He shoots me his SoundCloud, which boasts enough music to keep me listening for several hours.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Place

D.Z. Akin's

6930 Alvarado Road, San Diego

These are the sorts of connections I missed most during the Covid restrictions that forced the closures of venues and the cancellation of tours, and spawned a general feeling of caution when out in public. Now, with every new conversation held and bond formed, I can’t help but think of the permanent losses. Mark Goffeney, the man who helped me learn “Deuce” by KISS and got me through my self-induced blocks playing Sabbath bass lines, is gone forever. More haunting still is the absence of Legend, a man with a habit and a guitar who compensated for his missing strings with a focused passion. I haven’t seen him at his usual spot in El Cajon since the beginning of the pandemic, and I fear the worst.

But the world is moving again, leaving me little time for reflection on what was or what might be. At the College-Rolando Branch Library, I strike up a conversation with Sam Lopez over his Troma Films shirt. After we mutually fail to find any redeeming value in the film Mother’s Day, he tells me his company Stay Strange is hosting a thing in the community room in a few weeks. The experimental voice show features Stacey Barnett and Circle/Temple and reminds me of Brian Eno producing the band James. Outside, my interaction with accompanist Drona Ra about music and film makes the day complete. Three high school students are curious about the donation awards: vintage bubble gum cards from the garish cocaine fueled film that was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band from 1978. After I provide an animated, caffeine-fueled explanation, one of them returns the favor with an education in jazz.

“Opening back up” means something different to me now. Now, I associate the term with people, connection, and a shared love of music. I’m happy to see lines outside of places that seemed like ghost towns not long enough ago, and excited to see shows again — even if it seems that Live Nation has spent its off time creating new ways to fuck us.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Mexico fire comes up canyon to Campo

Buckman Springs Road jammed, the diner at Cameron Corners, Minutemen scan border near the 94, who rides TJ-Campo train, University of Healing, the sand trucks
Next Article

Wagner, Liszt, and Brahms in Escondido

Payare levitates for the victory
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close