Saturday, December 20, 2014


How much of a fiend are you? Check out that photo above, one of the greatest Christmas related photos ever, and tell me, if it was 1966, and you were buddies with a teenage Lester Bangs, what present would you open first? Probably a flat 12" x 12" package, right? And if that package contained a Music Machine LP, hell yeah, you'd stop and snap a photo. The photo was posted by Gary Ràchac, a friend of mine from way back, and the recipient of Santa's dead on selection.

The loot.

Ràchac is one of those guys that a true local music scene is made of, a musician, former record store employee and a man of taste. And he seems to know everybody. He once threw a couch out a fifth floor hotel window. With Keith Moon. One time I stopped by the record store where he worked, and just before I entered I passed an exiting Wild Man Fisher out on the sidewalk. Ràchac had just 86'd him. Ràchac does radio too, with Vince Martell (Vanilla Fudge) and May Pang (John Lennon's squeeze during the "lost weekend" period).  His favorite ball player is Ty Cobb, or at least that's what he told me about twenty years ago. It impressed me. Though Cobb was a son of a bitch, pure and simple, I liked that he liked Cobb. I don't exactly know why. The last time I ran into Ràchac was a few years ago, at one of the Brian Wilson Pet Sounds show.

At the office in the eighties. Photo: Harold Gee

One of the things I like the most about Gary Ràchac is that he represents a local scene lineage, from the mid-late sixties and all the way up to today. He's from the Bangs era, and he's still talking shop with people within the scene that are a generation or two younger. Every major city with a long running music scene probably has a few of people like him in their midst, the mainstays, seeing the scene change and evolve, keeping things real, so to speak. Reminding them that there once was a time when cleats were sharpened.

The Music Machine - Talk Talk mp3 at Sous les Paves, la Plage
The Music Machine - Trouble mp3 at Sous les Paves, la Plage
The Music Machine - Double Yellow Line mp3 at The Rising Storm
Gary Ràchac profile at San Diego Reader

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