I initially had planned to leave Tiki Oasis on Sunday so I could return to work on Monday, but am certainly glad I stuck around for what was really the main event of the weekend! My fears of a sparsely attended show (as we saw many people packing up and taking off on Sunday) were soon allayed as the indoor ballroom filled up with a big crowd of all ages ready for some fantastic garage rock'n'roll!
The room had a huge dance floor - which was packed all evening - along with plenty of seating on the outskirts, which was greatly appreciated as the weekend wound down - some of us could barely stay on our feet at this point! Unfortunately, someone thought it was a good idea to have the a/c temperature set at 60 degrees, which meant that everyone except the performers were frost-bit by the end of the night, but a small price to pay.
First off was the wild ones, the Diddley Daddies, featuring the legendary Mike Stax (the Loons, the Tell Tale Hearts, the Crawdaddies and much more) on bass and vocals (nice to see him playing his old Harmony again), Brian Reilly (New Kinetics) pounding out the Bo Diddley beat and the ubiquitous Pat Beers (Schizophonics / Little Richards) on guitar and vocals. Besides covering Bo, of course, they did a number of great garage tunes, the Who's "It's Not True" (with Mike and Pat trading vocals), "I'm Your Witch Doctor" (Mike on harp as well as bass), some other Pretty Things, Outsiders, "Roadrunner" and concluding with stompin' "Cadillac". Truly wild and superb - made me wish I was living in San Diego!
The intermission was provided by the Devil-ettes, a group of innumerable female go-go dancers of all shapes and sizes shimmin'n'shakin' to numbers like "Devil With a Blue Dress" and other 60's fringe-movers.
From there we got the Rosalyns, San Diego's premier all-female garage rock queens that I have written about a few times before due to their forays
to Las Vegas
. Amy Gore (guitar / vocals) was able to come out from Detroit and new woman Lori (guitar/vocals) is now joining Lety (drummer for the Schizophonics / Little Richards), Anja (bass) and Birdy (keys/vocals). Opening with Lori and another young woman providing a horn section, they then moved on to many of their signature numbers like their namesake "Rosalyn", "Der Hund Von Baskerville" ("Paranoid" in German), the female "Gloria" - "Melvin" - that the Pandoras used to cover, the Easybeats' "Gonna Have a Good Time", "Go-Go-Gorilla" (with a male go-go dancer - Kyle of the Schizophonics) and ending with "Diddley Daddy", bringing up the namesake band to sing, dance, play harp and create chaos with the ladies.
Another proverbial "back from the grave" band is the now touring Chocolate Watchband! Those of us who studied their moves and general coolness from the movie Riot on Sunset Strip
(singer Dave Aguilar has a couple of good stories about the movie and their career in general) will attest to their influence on the entire 80's (and beyond) garage scene. They were pretty much the epitome of what we all wanted to be. While the only original members now are Aguilar and drummer Gary Andrijasevich, they are ably abetted by multi-talented guitarist Tim Abbott, bassist Alec Palao and special guest keyboardist/guitarist, Darryl Hooper from the Seeds!
The set combined some of he Watchband's more psychedelic numbers (giving Abbott a chance to play an electric sitar live!), 12-string-dominated "It's All Over Now Baby Blue", "One Way Out", covers like "Mr. You're a Better Man Than I" and the Mothers' "Trouble Every Day" (the groups played together at the Fillmore). Hooper got to show off his keyboard prowess on the Seeds' "Pushin' Too Hard" (of course!), "Mr. Farmer" and "Can't Seem to Make You Mine", to terrific response. He still has the sound and the chops!
They showed off a new original ("Unknown Legends of Rock'n'Roll" with some nice slide guitar work), and acoustic take on Dylan's "Desolation Row" and then blasted out the raw hits that everyone wanted to hear - "Sitting Here Standing", "Are You Gonna Be There", "Sweet Young Thing", "Don't Need Your Loving" and "Let's Talk About Girls" - Whew! Was it as wild as the old days? Of course not. Was it pretty damn special regardless? Of course it was!
For their encore they chose an anthem for the scene - the Kinks' "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" - and the Diddley Daddies and Rosalyns all crammed on stage to end the bash on a true high.
Truly the best overall night of the weekend and well worth missing work for! San Diego was well represented throughout the weekend and this evening the bands couldn't be beat! Thank you Tiki Oasis for an excellent night of garage rock'n'roll to end out the festival!