‘We all had a great time’ – musically speaking – at the OB Street Fair

by on June 28, 2009 · 7 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

John Taffola, with Kenny James on mandolin, Gina James on violin and Steve Lawshe on percussion.

On a weekend that followed the loss of 3 major entertainment icons, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson and where North Korea and Iran continued being difficult to deal with, I was ready to get out, get caught up and party down with my pals, friends, band-mates and anyone else that would have me.

Mighy Joe Longa from Joey Harris' band

I love the OB street fair! I look forward to it the way a kid looks forward to Christmas. Yesterday’s was certainly no exception. I got an early start and showed up around 10 a.m. because my plan was to catch both John Taffola‘s set and Bart Mendoza’s band the Shambles set too, but the best laid plans…. I caught one song by the School of Rock, (Somebody to Love) before I headed to the ATM to procure some 20’s.

I walked back down Newport in time to catch John Taffola‘s set and what a set it was. John’s one of my favorite local performers who many of you know played on the Rosie and the Originals hit “Angel Baby.” I’ve seen him perform solo many times so the fact that he had a group with Kenny James on mandolin, Gina James on violin and Steve Lawshe on percussion backing him up made it all the better. I hung out with one of my neighbors and we both, along with other early birds were treated to a great set of heartfelt acoustic music that featured some great alternate tunings on classic re-workings by Santana, Lionel Ritchie & Neil Young.

The Corvelles

After John’s set I walked down towards the pier to grab some breakfast and figured a couple of Teriyaki chicken sticks would do the trick, and they did. I went over and caught a few songs by the Corvelle’s and then the Hip Replacements. Both bands were really fun and they did their best to get the early crowd rocking with them.

The cool thing about living in OB is that you can cruise home when and if you need to, and I needed to.

I got back to Newport around 1 pm and was ready to rock and ROCK I did. After a couple of cool tunes by Patrick Brown with Kenny James on mandolin, I made sure I caught Joey Harris & the Mentals with longtime OBcean mighty Joe Longa on keys. I saw a lot of good pals there and Joey was money. He’s so comfortable on stage and has such a great backlog of older material along with a brand new disc with some great tunes on it that I tend to equate him as being our Bruce Springsteen. I’m told he’s quit drinking but the last 2 shows I’ve seen him perform have been much like the 1st shows I’ve seen him perform back when he was backed up by the Speedsters. Just a great set by one of our own local treasures.

After their set some pals and I headed towards Pac Shores but decided it was too beautiful of a day to be indoors so we caught some very cool jazz tuneage from Skirt Alert, perfect mood for that time of day. Then we checked out the Blackbirdz before we caught Bad Science Fiction. Two more great bands, with some killer grooves.
The plan was to next see one of my former band-mates in his Led Zeppelin tribute band Dazed & Confused but we ended up at Shades instead. We had to put some coolant in the radiator, lol!

After that we headed down to the pier and were blown away by Superunloader. Hey any band that can have “Super” in their name and back it up the way they did gets a hardy howdy from yours truly. They ROCK their asses off and are tighter than any band should be allowed! Major props to Chuck Shiele for putting so many talented acts in one place, Nice work Chuck!

We heard that Fish & the Seaweeds were playing at a private party over on Orchard so we headed over to see if we could hear where they were because that cat “Fish” can really play a mean axe too. We found out later that they’d played earlier so we just ended up at a good pals house where we partied, jammed, shot some 9 ball and all had a really great time O.B. style.

All in all it was an awesome weekend. I didn’t get to see every band that I’d hoped to and I’m about as tired as I can be after doing a gig with one of my bands today too, but I am already looking forward to the next 30th Anniversary O.B. Street Fair which by my calculations should be in about 364 days…give or take ;)

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

PSD June 28, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Killer times, from the moment we heard The Shambles blasting up our block on the way down to the fair until the moment we bailed after catching a minute of Glen Fisher…wish I’d have made it back for some more music later, there were a lot of afternoon acts I was stoked on, but I had a tuckered-out kiddo in tow and babysitting was in short supply, so the stop-off at home to recharge and head back for the grown-ups’ evening turned into slow-moving preparations for tilling the garden today. Thanks for letting me know I missed everything I thought I might’ve!


Dave Gilbert June 29, 2009 at 9:23 pm

This just in: Major sewage spill in north O.B. Beaches CLOSED! Sheesh!!!

Yeah PSD I’m sure the Shambles rocked it, Bart’s really on top of things…I just couldn’t miss John Taffola though and hey, I’m only 1 dude, lol!

I have been hearing alot of good buzz about Glen Fisher though! Sounds like you’re onto something there ;)


Editor June 29, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Dave, ya wanna do a post on the smell? I can catch an aroma of it from here.


Dave Gilbert June 29, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Well Ed,

Let me put it this way. Please don’t take Fido OR Fluffy to Dog Beach or even begin to think about surfing north of the pier for at the very least, quite a few days.

On the bright side it’s a good thing it’s Summer and nobody really goes to the beach here….


lane tobias June 30, 2009 at 7:48 am

i heard about this sewage spill…great. just in time for 7/4 weekend! where did it come from?


La Jolla Kid July 1, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Well, Dave, it’s truly impossible to cover it all by your lonesome, in fact, we were trying to get set to see an act together, but as you say, the best laid plans. I arrived by bike from LJ, and skipping the chili altogether, caught the end of the Troubleweeds set, a very cool and great way to start your morning before the obligatory stop at South Beach. Then it was on to surveyin’ the lay of the land and getting stopped in my tracks by Chelsea Flor. Her heels and red mini skirt drew me in, but her strummin’ guitar and strong voice kept me listenin’. This lady has what it takes, I’ll tell ya! Wandering forward, I landed at Winston’s for a hip Ramones cover band and chance meet up with the legendary Ed Decker of “Sordid Tales (of a Bartender in Heat)” fame. After that, I ran into an old friend outside and took in Beerfeat, a tight and refreshing band that featured a chick singer doin’ Zeppelin, oh my. Then it was time to brave the beer garden…..and what can I say, Love N Groove was about as groovy as anything you’re ever gonna hear. WOW, incredibly executed reggae by some of the best in the business, I was kickin’ into high gear! Now, over to Joey where I saw Dave and I don’t need to add anything here. I did say hi to Joe after the set, though, and reminded him of his days at Frog’s with the Untouchables and even tried to get the guitar player, Dan Sibley, on the phone for him! Had to head back to Winston’s for a bit to see Ed Decker sweatin’ his butt off behind the bar, but the music was good! The beer garden was starting to roar by then, so I finished out the truly Sublime 40 oz. and Superunloader before my pedal back to LJ, and a great time was had by all!!!!


Dave Gilbert July 2, 2009 at 10:10 am

You Rock LJK! That must have been a fun ride home. I remember jamming with Mighty Joe and the Untouchables way back in the day, those guys OWNED O.B!

I’m glad you were able to catch all those other acts too. Chelsea Flor is awesome and in my humble opinion Ed Decker is the best writer City Beat has.

Looking forward to rocking with you & the boys tonight and tomorrow night over on the island! ;)


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