Every town with a relatively healthy scene, has had, at one time or another, their own Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers disciples, right? And not all Thunders; a little heavy on the Heartbreakers. Somewhere between punk rock and the Stones; guitar heavy and a little sloppy. Sometimes it may not have even been intentional. The Rockin' Dogs may not have been into the Heartbreakers, but they sure sounded like them. Even the lead and background vocals sound like the Thunders/Lure of yore.
Listen to the guitar, particularly from the 1:00 mark on. [Mp3 link below] The fills (by Dave Ellison?) sound like Thunders, James Burton and CCR-era John Fogerty mashed together. I saw them a few times and they were (pardon the term) awesome. Both guitarists, Dave Ellison and Sam Wilson, were well versed in rock n' roll licks, from all eras, and they weren't afraid of being a little sloppy. I never thought that I'd hear them again. Thanks to Che Underground, I now know that they were pretty much as I remembered, sloppy and rocking out.
Che Underground is a blog about the San Diego's scene within a scene of the 80's, primarily bands associated with the Che Cafe (a venue at UCSD). Hosted by Matthew Rothenberg (former member of Noise 292 and 3 Guys Called Jesus), posters include Ellison, Tom Ward (Gravedigger V, Nashville Ramblers, etc), Bart Mendoza (Manual Scan, the Shambles), Ray Brandes (Telltale Hearts, Town Criers), Dave Klowden....basically a who's who of SD 80's bands. There's a lot of lost music being digitized and posted by Matthew, so stop by and give him an "atta boy".
Rockin' Dogs - Candy Rock mp3 at Che Underground
Rockin' Dogs - Baby Baby Baby mp3 at Che Underground
Rockin' Dogs - Back of Your Heart mp3 at Che Underground
Rockin' Dogs - Always On the Run mp3 at Che Underground
Che Underground home page