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Crawdaddys & Unknowns Reunion Shows: Casbah Sept. 2 and 3

The Che Underground presents two classic local garage bands reuniting on two consecutive nights at the Casbah: The Crawdaddys (September 2 with off-Beatles tribute the Baja Bugs and the Amandas) and The Unknowns (September 3 with the Sidewalk Scene and the Comeuppance).

Image The original Crawdaddys lineup formed in 1978, inspired by British rhythm-and-blues groups of the early 1960s, such as the Pretty Things and Rolling Stones. The players included singer Ron Silva, bassist Mark Zadarnowski, guitarist Steve Potterf, and drummer Dan McLain. Potterf and Silva were both in the similar garage band The Hitmakers.

Image The quartet signed to Voxx records in 1979, releasing an album the following year and a 45 and EP in 1980. They soon fractured with various Silva-fronted lineups taking the band through 1984.

Potterf left the group after recording the first Crawdaddys LP, leaving Silva as head Crawdad. Unfortunately, the group's sound took a slight dive in aggression level as a result. Later lineups included guitarist Peter Miesner, keyboard player Keith Fisher, and drummer Gordon Moss.

McLain, later known as Country “Dick” Montana, passed away in 1995 while on tour with the Beat Farmers. Potterf apparently stopped making music.

Many early Crawdaddys recordings were mastered by Stan Ross, who mastered "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" for Iron Butterfly and worked with Phil Spector.

The band reunited in 2011 for a pair of shows: June 10, headlining the sixth annual “Go Sinner Go” festival in Spain. Then, on September 2 at the Casbah, part of a 1980s weekender where the Unknowns reunite for a performance on September 3.

The 2011 Crawdaddys feature Silva and Zadarnowski alongside members from slightly later lineups — guitarist Peter Miesner, keyboard player Keith Fisher, and drummer Gordon Moss. The band spent last Memorial Day weekend shooting at the Rhino Pop Up Store with filmmaker Eric Rife, in preparation for their reunion show.

The last time Zadarnowski, a South Park resident, and Silva, who currently resides in Los Angeles, performed together was in 1993, at the now-defunct venue Bodie’s downtown.

Image

The Baja Bugs specialize in obscure and FABulous relics from the Beatles. The band includes Hector Penalosa (the Zeros, Squiddo), Xavier Anaya (the Trebles), and members of My Revenge.

Image

The Amandas are a six-piece 1960s-inspired rhythm and blues combo fronted by Amanda Suter. The combo also includes A.J. Croce (son of Jim Croce), Tom Ward (Gravedigger V), David Klowden (Tell-Tale Hearts), Aaron Rossi (Ministry, Prong), and Jon Erickson (the Fairmounts).

Image

“Anyone who had the opportunity to see the Unknowns play had an unforgettable experience,” says San Diego musician and historian Ray Brandes on the http://www.cheunderground.com website.

Image “Crisp, staccato drumming and the dripping-wet reverberation of Mosrite guitars through Fender amplifiers was punctuated by the yips and howls of the legendary melodramatic lead singer, Bruce Joyner, who sang from a chair or aided by a cane, looking every bit like a down-home Barnabas Collins in search of fresh blood.”

The Unknowns performed a previous reunion gig at the Casbah in January, 2010.

Sidewalk Scene made its live debut July 30, 2011, at Lestat’s, as part of a Sounds of the Sunset Strip bill. The group includes several San Diego garage band legends: Ray Brandes (Tell Tale Hearts, Town Cryers), Eric Bacher (Tell Tale Hearts), Joe Piper (the Crawdaddys), Mark Zadarnowski (the Crawdaddys, the Shambles), and Victor Penalosa (the Melanies, the Shambles).

Image

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The Che Underground presents two classic local garage bands reuniting on two consecutive nights at the Casbah: The Crawdaddys (September 2 with off-Beatles tribute the Baja Bugs and the Amandas) and The Unknowns (September 3 with the Sidewalk Scene and the Comeuppance).

Image The original Crawdaddys lineup formed in 1978, inspired by British rhythm-and-blues groups of the early 1960s, such as the Pretty Things and Rolling Stones. The players included singer Ron Silva, bassist Mark Zadarnowski, guitarist Steve Potterf, and drummer Dan McLain. Potterf and Silva were both in the similar garage band The Hitmakers.

Image The quartet signed to Voxx records in 1979, releasing an album the following year and a 45 and EP in 1980. They soon fractured with various Silva-fronted lineups taking the band through 1984.

Potterf left the group after recording the first Crawdaddys LP, leaving Silva as head Crawdad. Unfortunately, the group's sound took a slight dive in aggression level as a result. Later lineups included guitarist Peter Miesner, keyboard player Keith Fisher, and drummer Gordon Moss.

McLain, later known as Country “Dick” Montana, passed away in 1995 while on tour with the Beat Farmers. Potterf apparently stopped making music.

Many early Crawdaddys recordings were mastered by Stan Ross, who mastered "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" for Iron Butterfly and worked with Phil Spector.

The band reunited in 2011 for a pair of shows: June 10, headlining the sixth annual “Go Sinner Go” festival in Spain. Then, on September 2 at the Casbah, part of a 1980s weekender where the Unknowns reunite for a performance on September 3.

The 2011 Crawdaddys feature Silva and Zadarnowski alongside members from slightly later lineups — guitarist Peter Miesner, keyboard player Keith Fisher, and drummer Gordon Moss. The band spent last Memorial Day weekend shooting at the Rhino Pop Up Store with filmmaker Eric Rife, in preparation for their reunion show.

The last time Zadarnowski, a South Park resident, and Silva, who currently resides in Los Angeles, performed together was in 1993, at the now-defunct venue Bodie’s downtown.

Image

The Baja Bugs specialize in obscure and FABulous relics from the Beatles. The band includes Hector Penalosa (the Zeros, Squiddo), Xavier Anaya (the Trebles), and members of My Revenge.

Image

The Amandas are a six-piece 1960s-inspired rhythm and blues combo fronted by Amanda Suter. The combo also includes A.J. Croce (son of Jim Croce), Tom Ward (Gravedigger V), David Klowden (Tell-Tale Hearts), Aaron Rossi (Ministry, Prong), and Jon Erickson (the Fairmounts).

Image

“Anyone who had the opportunity to see the Unknowns play had an unforgettable experience,” says San Diego musician and historian Ray Brandes on the http://www.cheunderground.com website.

Image “Crisp, staccato drumming and the dripping-wet reverberation of Mosrite guitars through Fender amplifiers was punctuated by the yips and howls of the legendary melodramatic lead singer, Bruce Joyner, who sang from a chair or aided by a cane, looking every bit like a down-home Barnabas Collins in search of fresh blood.”

The Unknowns performed a previous reunion gig at the Casbah in January, 2010.

Sidewalk Scene made its live debut July 30, 2011, at Lestat’s, as part of a Sounds of the Sunset Strip bill. The group includes several San Diego garage band legends: Ray Brandes (Tell Tale Hearts, Town Cryers), Eric Bacher (Tell Tale Hearts), Joe Piper (the Crawdaddys), Mark Zadarnowski (the Crawdaddys, the Shambles), and Victor Penalosa (the Melanies, the Shambles).

Image

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Comments
1

Thanks for the coverage, Jay!

One small correction: Because of scheduling conflicts, the Unknowns were unable to play our Che Underground gig in Jan. 2010. So this really is the very first time the definitive Unknowns lineup has played San Diego in three decades!

By the way, Saturday openers the Comeuppance (featuring Dave Fleminger and Heather Vorwerck) are an incredibly talented act who'll be playing with some wonderful surprise guests. Here's a taste of their work: http://cheunderground.com/blog/?p=5547

Aug. 27, 2011

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