More Than Memory released 2/1/17. 500 copies pressed to vinyl with a gatefold cover.
This record took over a year to make and features a crew of brilliant musicians and heavenly singers. These friends not only excel as musicians but are painters, photographers, garden designers, dancer’s, composers, good parents, record producers, travelers, midwives, caring activists, adventurers and people who ride waves for the right reasons.
Sincere, heartfelt gratitude for this gifted family: Trevor Beld Jimenez, Evan apRoberts, Tim Ramsey, Neal Casal, Kacey Johansing, Tania Beld Jimenez, Seth Pettersen, Zara Zeitz, Taylor Belmore, Jenny Stewart, Reverend Joshua Baker, Jeff Evans, Jade Hendrix, Ashley Broder.
Also available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Google Play, Tidal, You Tube, Deezer and other stores and streaming services.
With earphones on, Trev listens to Evan put down a solo.
Flyer by Sterling Schegel
Flyer by Anthony Zaitz
Woodcut poster by Melissa Louise Castellano
Flyer by JG
Jeff Grimes and The Broken Strings
“Stoned, surreal, dream music with wicked observations and subtle and solid musicianship. It’s thinking man’s music…Grimes has an original vision.”
—Chris Jackson Journalist, music critic, founder of Taiwan Writer
VIOLENT GIRL CD
14 song CD released in 2002. Copies of the CD are scarce, but the music is available to stream or purchase copies at all the usual places Bandcamp, Spotify, ITunes, Google Play, Apple Music etc. Grady's Record Refuge in Ventura, CA. still has copies of the CD which includes a poster insert and story.
Ian and Jeff The Derby Los Angeles.
Left to Right: Ian, Cesar, Rose, Jeff, Danny, Brent after a show at Zoey's Downtown Ventura, CA..
The original Broken Strings Band.
I met Danny Nicholson when Zack put together Sucker Bait. After the Sucker Bait tour and breakup (see the Sucker Bait section), Danny and I went acoustic. We wrote songs independently for the most part and then played them together in my very small studio apartment near the beach in Ventura. My favorite “band practices” were when Danny and I walked to the beach at night, and hunkered down in the small sand dunes with a bottle of wine and our guitars. All the early shows we played were “guerrilla gigs” usually outdoors in an alley or some such place with good acoustics including artist Bobby Sissons’ bathroom per his request for his birthday party. The spot we played most often was the stairwell behind the Ventura Library—fun shows with small groups of people in attendance and sometimes other quiet bands. Eventually, we were asked to play other venues. After a show in Olympia, Noel Harmonson (Comets on Fire, Heron Oblivion) recorded The Jacketmen on a four-track cassette player in his basement. A 15-song tape was released.
“The Jacketmen pulled the show together with their friendly Kingston Duo on Quaaludes approach. With quiet guitars, harmonica, and whispered vocals, they manage to create more tension than the most abrasive hardcore band.”
Public Service Announcement:
During the Jacketmen’s Northwest Tour, we sold out of cassettes. After one of the final shows two people gave us money for Jacketmen tapes, which we promised to send to them when we returned to Ventura. On the way home we lost the book with their contact info during a Big Sur rainstorm. This has haunted me ever since. If this is you, please contact me with a few details about the event and circumstances and I will more than make up for the distrust, hatred and woe I have caused. Please I do not want to carry this guilt to my grave.
Photo from the Jacketmen's Northwest Tour, seriously.
The Living Room Goleta, CA. Our first first show in a venue. The woman who promoted the show liked our music and asked us to play an all-girl-band event. Madigan Shive AKA Bonfire Madigan was the headliner.
Danny playing brushes on his Jacketmen drum kit which also often included one of my dog Cody's empty dog biscuit boxes.
The Jacketmen, northbound, stop in Big Sur .
Umbra Penumbra, Portland, OR. Greg Davis helps on the sound while we tune up and the young lad in the red chair dreams of better things.
A satisfied customer looks at his new Jacketmen tape, Portland, OR.
Jacketmen cassette cover front and back. Below are the liner notes by Noel.
I'm not sure where this is--it might be a pizza place we played in Santa Cruz.
Life on the road.
Flyer by JG.
The Curse from Portland, Matt Brown and The Jacketmen played this one.
The Jacketmen went electric for this show.
The Jacketmen's last show. Flyer by Danny.
The Bad Trips
The Bad Trips
Limited edition of 500 copies on 180-gram black HQ vinyl. Sold out.
Recorded on a Sony TC-160 cassette recorder, July-Sept. 2005 at Grady's Record Refuge, Ventura, CA. Mastered by John Golden. Pressed at RTI
"All-original, all-instrumental, real-deal psychedelic stripper pole music."
Formed in Ventura, CA in 2005.
Bob Anderson Drums
Gordon Roberts Bass, Keys
Grady Runyan Lead Guitar
Jeff Grimes Rhythm Guitar, Lead on "Miracle of Marsh Chapel," Bass on "If If."
The skinniest band from Arcata, CA. These boys played with all the heroes of punk rock: Good Grief, Sister Placebo, Brent’s TV, Spitboy, Garden Weasel, Citizen Fish, MDC, Tragic Mulatto, Primus, The Ne’rdo Wells, One Man Running, Nuisance, Wendy O-Matic. They had the Spirit and Dumb Humor that makes a great band.
Lank was happily surprised when we were asked to play the Sadie Hawkins Dance at Eureka High School. We couldn’t have been a more inappropriate choice, but nevertheless we were honored plus they were going to pay us. (Attention school administrators be wary of allowing punk kids onto the dance committee). All was good until a couple days before the event when our singer Doug received an anxious phone call from the Vice Principle who had been alerted to a possible upheaval. There was to be no slam dancing at her school. In fact, if there were even a hint of impropriety, the dance would be stopped immediately. Doug assured her we would act responsibly and he meant it. The next practice he ran through all the songs substituting benign words for profanities and we all agreed to monitor the situation. The kids got a little over enthusiastic at times, but I think everyone had fun.
Troy Youngblood, Doug Rogers, Jeff, Greg Davis.
See story to the right.
A new, different kind of Sadie Hawkins Dance. Doug moves in to calm things down.
After the dance with some Eureka High students. The kids were great. I think that's Troy taking the photo with his foot in the foreground.
We decided to dress up for the Sadie Hawkins Dance...waiting in the hallway before show.
Doug Kate Buchanan Room Arcata, CA.
Troy worked as a firefighter. If his pager went off, he'd run out of band practice.
Greg lives in Vermont now with his wife Sue and amazing kids Scarlet and Cooper.
Doug and Jeff Arcata house party.
Doug barefoot at the Spitboy show Humboldt State University
Gilman Street, Berkeley
(Greg Davis Archives).
Troy and Jeff in a HSU classroom.
Brian Keeney crowd surfs to the soothing sounds of Lank.
I met guitar player Tom Ono in a creative writing class at Humboldt University. He had been working on some songs with a drummer who lived in Eureka and asked if I wanted to jam sometime.
John J. lived at his mother’s house, a rundown, wooden two-story with peeling paint. In the living room, his sister, about 19 her hair in curlers, left hand sporting a diamond ring, paints dye into her mother’s hair with a tinting brush. Mom is covered from her shoulders down with a bed sheet--one hand extends from underneath holding a cigarette. Sister’s friend sits on the edge of the couch not paying attention to the magazine she holds in front of her. It smells of bleach, cigarette smoke and hair dye. John introduces me. Mom doesn’t seem too thrilled about band practice.
We walk up a creaky flight of wooden stairs to John's room. Tom’s Marshall stack, John’s full drum kit and a cheesy PA are squeezed into a space not much bigger than a walk-in closet. I didn’t have a guitar amp at the time so I just brought a few harps with me. John hands me the mic plugged into the PA. A few minutes into the first song, I wave everything to a stop. Over the chaotic din of guitar and drums played at full volume, I can't hear a peep out of my harmonica. I ask Tom if he could turn down a bit.
He says, “I never turn my amp below 10—it ruins the tone.”
After a while, I go outside the room in the hall and shut the door behind me—the volume diminishes slightly. I play the harp with one hand while my other covers one ear so I can listen to the harp inside my head. From what I can hear, the incongruous blend of punk power chords, John’s amazing Bonham-type drumming and blues harp sounds like it might work.
I check in with those guys between songs and play on a few standing outside the room, but eventually give it up and sit on the floor, back against the vibrating wall. John’s sister’s friend walks up the stairs to check the scene out. She has a Poison Ivy from the Cramps kind of look going with lipstick and leopard-skin pants. She also has a fifth of vodka by the neck, takes a long pull, smiles a wet lipstick smile and hands me the bottle on this very early Saturday afternoon. Tom breaks a guitar string in the next room. It’s quiet for a moment. She slides down the wall and sits next to me. She’s a talker, or at least she’s a talker when she’s tipsy. She introduces herself. She wants to know if I’m in a band.
“I might be in this one,” I say nodding toward the closed door. On the other side John practices fills.
She asks me if I like her pants.
“Yes, very nice.”
She says, “I just had a cholecystectomy—do you know what that is?”
“No, but it doesn’t necessarily sound good. “
“It’s when they take out your gallbladder. I had gallstones—they hurt like fuck. Do you want to see the scar? “
Sure. She lifts up her shirt to show a painful slash of stiches and red inflamed skin.
“Jeez, when did you have that done?”
“I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to be drinking right now.”
“Yeah, I wasn’t feeling that good when I started, but I threw-up a little while ago and I feel better.”
Tom opens the door, “I don’t have another string. Practice is over.”
On the drive back to Arcata in Tom’s beat Honda Civic, he says, “All we need now is a singer.”
Next week in writing class, this tall, thin guy with short dyed-blue hair reads a first-person story in which the narrator drowns a box of kittens. The writing is good, detailed and conveys emotion without self-indulgence or dwelling on the obvious and despite the subject matter, has some funny bits. Tom passes me a note, which reads: "I’m going to ask him after class".
It turns out Doug Rodgers has a notebook of scribbled songs, is a radio DJ on the campus station and has a propensity to enthusiastically throw himself around while singing without any regard for bodily injury.
Shark Fetish on the steps of the Eureka House. From left to right. John, Tom, Jeff, Doug. See Shark Fetish in action here (my favorite). Also here this time in living color!!!
Cover of Shark Fetish 40 Ouncers and Lemon Bars cassette release. Photo by Gary Ono, Red Barn, Isla Vista, CA. (Greg Davis Archives).
(Greg Davis Archives).
Driving break on the way down from Arcata to The Red Barn in Isla Vista to play a Shark Fetish/Brent's TV show that became somewhat legendary. Left to right: Jeff, Brent's TV members Virgil Shaw, Jon Quittner aka Quitty and John Denery
Sucker Bait needed a tour vehicle to play a few shows up north. Our singer Zach worked in a record store in a small mall in Ventura. He made an arrangement with a dishwasher who worked at a restaurant next door to trade vehicles for 10 days—Zach’s old, crappy Honda Civic for the guy's even older, crappy Ford van. Zach said the guy didn’t speak much English but was really nice. We loaded up and hit the road. About 30 miles into the trip the oil gauge indicated we were low. That was the first 2 quarts of oil. Approximately 40 quarts of oil later, we limped into Olympia to play our final gig of the trip at the Capitol Theater. We had been blowing black smoke for hundreds of miles and had to repeatedly stop, especially on uphill climbs of which there were many to let the engine cool. The van shut down in Olympia for the last time. The next day after the show, we discussed options, which came down to ditch the van and take a bus with all our gear or spend all our money to rent a U-Haul truck and tow the van home. Zach said he couldn’t get his car back without the van. That was the day I learned how to hook up a vehicle on a transport trailer. On our return trip, we were joined by 3 East Bay punks who needed a ride back to Berkeley—the seven of us alternating between who sat in front in the cab or in the back of the windowless U-Haul. After dropping our new friends off in Oakland, we pulled into Ventura 6 hours later in the wee hours of the morning, rolled the van off the trailer into the parking lot behind the restaurant and all went home. Suckerbait never played another show. You may wonder what finally transpired between Zach and the dishwasher. So do I.
Suckerbait: Don Pedro's Cantina Hollister, CA.
Left to Right: Jeff, Zach, Ian and Danny
Part two of a three part sequence.
For more Rocketship releases see The Bad Trips and Jeff Grimes.
Charley Benton Instrumentalism
Charley Benton lives in Ojai, CA. He makes his living buying, selling and trading goods. A versatile self-taught musician, he has an affinity for the unique and homemade. During his travels through the world’s thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets and junkyards, Charley often comes across mongrel and stray musical instruments that he adopts and gives home and purpose.
Charley recorded this LP in one afternoon session in Jeff Evan’s backyard studio in Saticoy, CA. Charley took 3 trips to the car to carry in a ragtag collection of stringed instruments including a Lucite ukulele, an old 1844 parlor guitar and a guitar built from a gas can he named Ethyl. He grabbed a chair and scattered the instruments on the floor around him as Evans set up a couple of mics. When we were ready to record, Charley picked up one instrument played a tune set it down then played another No rehearsal—no set list—no overdubs—all of it spontaneous. All the songs are improvised straight out of Charley’s head and/or heart.
Tall Tales and the Silver Lining
Why go on about it when you can listen? This video is actually from their last LP "Tightropes" but it captures the joy and musicality of the band. Tall Tales is Trevor Beld Jiminez he writes and arranges all the songs and put together the band. He and multi-instrumentalist and sublime vocalist Tim Ramsey have started a new project "Parting Lines" a duo of the upmost quality. Watch for them.
Rocketship is proud to have put out Ventura punk rock legends, Massenger’s first vinyl release. Since then Seth Pettersen and Sasha Green the soul and spirit of the band have morphed into a new musical vehicle that goes by the name of Sweet Reaper. Sasha moved from the mic to the drum kit. Seth put down the bass, picked up his Jazzmaster and shifted to lead vocals. They are joined by Danny Gomez on bass and vocals. A fun time is had by all.
All instrumental, high-energy, improvisational boy-wonder band that makes shit up as it goes along. Probably best if you don't get too close. Recorded live at Grady's Record Refuge Ventura, CA. Guest appearance by the late, great Steve Mackay, an all-around good guy best known for his saxophone work on The Stooges classic "Fun House" album.
Cover art by Charley Benton 500 copies pressed
Also available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Google Play, Tidal, You Tube, Deezer and other stores and streaming services.
The fifth record put out by Rocketship. 500 copies pressed. Sold out.
Rocketship #6. 500 copies pressed. Sold out.
500 pressed. A few left--contact Grady's Record Refuge Ventura. Look it up on the internet.
Broken Seats Band
Arcata's first all-acoustic punk band. Some recordings exist and may appear here in the future.
From left to right: Luke Batten, Greg Davis, KJ Day, Reverend Joshua Baker, Jeff G. KHSU Radio Station.
Erin Shafkind's art opening Humboldt State University.
Guerrilla concert under an outdoor gazebo in Arcata. The Broken Seats opened for these guys or vice versa, left to right: Erin, Chela, Cleveland, Brian.
Minor Theater Arcata, CA.
The Green Sweater Collection
Johnny Brewton, proprietor of X-Ray Book Company publisher of Charles Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson, Richard Brautigan, Billy Childish, Brook Dalton among others, hooked Jenny and I up with ESOPUS magazine who were looking for songs for a CD compilation. The theme was "missed connections" and each band was to find a missed connection in a Craigslist ad. Our band, The Green Sweater Collection, picked an ad where a guy was attracted to a woman on a train but was afraid to say anything, regretted it and placed an ad hoping she would remember him and the situation. We took the view point of the woman. The Green Sweater Collection is Jenny Stewart on drums and vocals, Jeff on guitar and harp and Cody on vocals. Recorded on four-track by Johnny Brewton.
Butthole Surfers Port Hueneme Skate Palace April 4, 1987.
Richard Metzger describes the Butthole Surfers live shows during this time:
“They were a swirling, lysergic tornado onstage, producing a dirty, unholy wall of sound that was so utterly unhinged and deranged—and yet weirdly beautiful—that I feared for the sanity of the musicians making it. Few acts I’ve seen before or since have achieved anywhere near the sonic or psychic intensity of an 80s Butthole Surfers gig.”
My friend Ray (Author of the novel The Impact Zone*) and I were fans having seen half a dozen of their earliest shows at various venues around California. The night before the Port Hueneme show, we drove down to downtown Los Angeles to watch them play an amazing set at the Variety Arts Theater and now the Surfers were playing a few miles from our home in the small, bare bones Skate Palace.
In LA their dancer Kathleen Lynch performed her unique pagan ballet without clothes, her skin painted an ungodly green for most of the two hour set. In our hometown things went a little differently. Ten minutes into the Surfer’s set, Kathleen came out sans clothing and started her dance. Three minutes later the power was cut, the lights turned on and uniform cops came in to save us all from further corruption—this, mind you after, excellent but brutally aggressive sets by Aggression and Dag Nasty. The show was halted as the cops talked to Gibby the Surfer’s lead singer. I stood a few feet away. Gibby standing about 6’ 5’’ in his long unkempt hair, obviously tripping wore an amused grin the entire time he tried to reason with the uniformed police both almost a head shorter than he, their duty belts weighted with handcuffs, radios, batons, pepper spray, holstered handguns, ammunition, flashlights, gloves, pens, multi-tools and keys. Gibby argued, in his own unique way, artistic expression and freedom of speech—the cops wanted to protect the local youth from debauchery. The law drew the line—the show would be shut down unless the dancer was clothed. 30 minutes after the music ground to a halt, Kathleen was given an extra-large t-shirt and the show went on. As Ray said, "Typical backwoods bullshit."
This 2 minute and 40 second excerpt from an interview with the band may give an idea of what the cops were up against. (For the uninitiated, that is not Kathleen sitting next to Gibby in the video. It is one of their drummers Teresa Taylor aka Teresa Nervosa.
*From Publisher's Weekly: For The Impact Zone, Maloney received Delacorte's Best First Young Adult Novel Prize. He deserves it. Jim, the hero of the novel, is natural and appealing. He's also very believable as he grapples with his emerging sexuality, clarifies his artistic vision, and tries to understand his parents. He runs away from his mother and wimpy stepfather to Hawaii, where his real father is a successful surfing photographer. The vehicle for Jim's journey to adulthood is surfing, and his moment of truth is his entry into the heart of a treacherous wave, called the Pipeline, the "impact zone" of the title. This book is well-paced, well-written and stuffed with authentic surfing lore. Both Maloney and his book are winners."
Yes kids, there was a time you could see Green Day in a grange in a small town like McKinleyville for 4 bucks.
Billie Joe and folks. Photo by JG
Flyer by JG.
Dieselhed another great Arcata Band
Naked Aggression from Madison, WI played in a classroom or some weird place on campus at the University of Colorado Boulder early 90’s. About 15 people at the show. The band tore it up. They spent the night at our house and sprayed Naked Aggression in red paint on my t-shirt with a stencil. A few years later, I gave the shirt to Mickey LeClerc who was a fan.
Indeed, I met Shonen Knife trailblazers for other Japanese girl bands to follow. They were sweet.
Flyer art by Jaime Hernandez. Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez from Oxnard are best known for their wildly popular Love and Rockets comics. A few of the bands that played The Anaconda Club in Isla Vista in the nineties: Public Enemy, Melvins, Bo Diddly, Fugazi, Tori Amos, Babes in Toyland, Phish, GG Allin.
Despite the instructions on the flyer there were drugs and alcohol.