Posted on Aug 29 2017 07:57 PM
You take that break BTD, you certainly deserve it!
Here's some (what turned out to be too many) thoughts on the weekend:
We got in Thursday and as per tradition got our annual injection of In-N-Out. Later we headed to the Tonga Hut (which is already a tradition in the making) where we met some great new friends (Tien, Michelle, Dave, and Gundi) and treated royally by our hostess and dearest friend Marie. I may have said this before but Tonga Hut might be my favorite tiki bar I've ever been to; the family selling tacos in the back lot certainly doesn't hurt! We got to The Barkley with plenty of time to spare. I got a little time to meet with folks and catch up. The show was great, I had never seen The Kilaueas and only listened to their records a handful of times but I'm certainly a fan now. The Huntington Cads were magical, their "Introduce the New Sounds" record is probably a top five for me so this was a big deal. They definitely didn't sound like it had been years since they had played together and I got chills several times during the set.
The drive out to Corona the next morning was actually really nice. I knew I'd enjoy the Fender tour but just not how much. Our guide seemed like he was thrown in to the position last minute but was a wealth of information, as he'd been there since the 80's. The place was labyrinthine, and I feel like we got to see a good sampling of the work that goes into building a guitar. It was also a joy to see some of the original machines and some seemed like they were still in use! All of the people we saw and met beamed with a sense of pride, one gentleman we met was in his 80s and had been there almost 50 years and he had the biggest grin and just as happy as can be! We couldn't believe the amount of work still done by hand, not just even the custom shop either. Of course we got to see Dave at work and Bruce from the Nocturnes was in my group, which only added to my personal experience. Between the factory tour and Alpine Village, I made my first, and by no means last, pilgrimage to Oceanic Arts to drool over everything that I couldn't buy (although I did ship my wife a special something). I think we got to Alpine Village around 6:30 and there were several folks milling about and I got to do some shopping (I put a hurting on Bob Dalley's booth, or did it put a hurting on me?). It was a long day and I didn't make it to the bands I REALLY wanted to see, The Volcanics and Insect Surfers. Alpine Village is cool and I of all people understand the ease and wanting to keep a festival contained at one venue but I definitely missed the Purple Orchid show this year. Those shows are always packed and have an organic and exciting feel to them.
Saturday, the main event! It was kind of nice playing first as I had the whole rest of the day just to enjoy the music. I felt we put on a great show and you have no idea just how great it was to take off those god forsaken masks. During our last song, Jamie and I were standing on a ledge and often times I'll jump but it looked like a long way down so I decided to jump backwards. Bad move. I landed on my Quilter 101 (which didn't take a licking) on my pedal board and my right foot (which did) decided to go it's own direction so I hit the ground hard and didn't think I could get back up so just stayed down the rest of the set but did manage to stand for an encore. Went to urgent care when I got back and thankfully it's just a sprain. I'll just go over the highlights for the rest of the day. The Lively Ones are one of my favorite 60's surf acts so needless to say they were one of the acts for which I was most excited to see. While it wasn't exactly what I was expecting (not sure what I was expecting, really), it was still an honor to witness most of the original lineup and how much fun they still seemed to have. I had seen the Dynotones previously at the pier show one year and didn't remember thinking too much about it but this time, they really knocked me out. Aggressive with tons of energy, and they just looked cool. Tim seemed like an entirely different drummer with them than Lively Ones, what an animal! Speaking of knocking me out, I've listened to the Exotics' records for years but live was a whole different story. All great players and one of the tightest bands. I really enjoyed watching the drummer, he had an economy of motion while maintaining power and energy. I think this convention was especially stacked with incredibly talented drummers. What can I say about the Madeira that hasn't already been said? I believe them to be the best band of our genre of all time and not many, if any, even come close. Injured foot and all, I stood front and center dancing, screaming, and banging my head as I let Dane's pounding, Ivan's melodies, Patrick's powerful rhythm, and Todd's low end just wash over me. Just as it seemed to climax and couldn't get any better, John Blair and Jonpaul come out on stage and create an unbelievable swell of sound and pure energy. This is exactly why I listen to this music. It can be emotional, frenetic, technical and countless other ways all at once. I digress, after this onslaught my ears were pretty much toast but I gave them a break and then stuck around to once again see the Cads and once again it was pure magic. Chris' melodies are really like no other within the genre. Only one thing could top the night off, tacos from a truck just down the road with James, Tim, Michelle, Tien, and Dave.
I always enjoy the Sunday show due to its casualness and laid back atmosphere and this was no exception. I've already gone on far too long and said most of what I'd like to say except I really got to listen to Atomic Mosquitos that day and they just slayed. Kept the energy high the whole time and the melodies just stick with you. As for The Mystery Men? set, it was really a thrill to play all the new material for everyone although I never really thought about how strange some of the tunes may come off. Possibly because we were just surrounded by so much surf all weekend but alas, that's just the music we make and I make no apologies. After the show a bunch of us (TMM?, Kilaueas, Jonpaul, Marie, Dave, Paul, Dorthy, Jenny, and Gundi) headed to a diner where we proceeded to have a wonderful time, the perfect ending to what couldn't have been a better trip.
So thank you Tena, Ran, Emilio, Josh, Jenny, Jonpaul, Marie, Dorthy, and especially the big guy himself. Jeff, you continually outdo yourself and I am grateful. Not just for the convention, but your friendship and all the friendships I've made because of the convention. It gives all us crazies a place where we feel truly at home, if only for a wild weekend. So here's to ten more years of SG101!!!
The Squares - 1995-2002
The Mystery Men? - 2012-
MOONBASE - 2012-
Southern Surf Stomp!