Friday, July 22, 2016


Well, oh well, Comic-Con is in town this week. My bet is that a few of you have heard of it. It started out as a small get together for comic book collectors and creators. That was a few decades ago. It's now grown to this massive pop culture/sci-fi/geek orgy, three (or is it four?) days of all sorts of left field gluttony. It's the biggest convention that comes to San Diego, and I think it's the biggest comic related convention anywhere. It's a big deal for some, and if you live here, a giant pain in the ass. Because it brings in so much tourism related revenue, the city leaders lay down for it.

I went to it only once, a very early Comic-Con, then held in the basement of a hotel, but I only had a passing interest in comics. The reason why I went was because, for whatever reason, the Deadbeats were playing. I have no clue why they were booked, there was no comic connection whatsoever, and they were practically unknown in these parts. They were a L.A. punk band that had a record on Dangerhouse and played occasionally in L.A., but weren't really well known outside of California. Even in Southern California, they had a second tier status in terms of name recognition, for a few reasons. They were weird, didn't really subscribe to any sort of punk rock mode of fashion or sound, they had a sax player in their ranks, as well as a young drummer who's chops were pretty advanced (I think I remember that his dad was a jazz musician). The only members that were omnipresent in the L.A. scene (as most band members were back then) were the sax player, Pat Delaney, and the guitarist, Geza X, at least that's how it seemed. A reunion gig in 2014 (top photo above) also had ex-Screamer Paul Roessler on keyboards. I had the record, and I'd never had an opportunity to seen them, so off to whatever a comic convention is.

The show was in a small room and the crowd was pretty thin, mostly local scenesters, and the scene back then was really, really small. There might have been fifty to a hundred people, and that's if you include the Deadbeats entourage. Among the L.A. people was Brendan Mullen, proprietor of L.A.'s Masque. (He was wearing a hand drawn badge that I had made a week earlier for a friend who was in a local band. How he ended up with it, I don't know.) The show was short, but memorable enough that some friends and I put on a show not long after (flyer above) that included the Deadbeats, the Zeros, and the Young Americans (the latter, an out there band that included Ferrara Brain Pan, then Steve Hitchcock, a criminally overlooked influence on the early San Diego scene). That's a pretty tight bill in itself, though that show is probably better known in some circles as the debut live performance of Non. That's a whole other story.

The Deadbeats – Kill The Hippies E.P. at Killed By Death Four songs, individual mp3s

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