Yesterday And Today

  • Me and Ronnie Earl

    I joined my first professional blues band, King Biscuit, in 1981. We had a regular gig every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at a club in San Diego called the Mandolin Wind. There was a guy who used to come see us and he was always telling me about this great jump blues band from […]

  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti: America’s Poet

    Lawrence Ferlinghetti passed away last month, at age 101, and what we’ve lost is a great American voice. His poems were written in a wonderfully amorphous American idiom, his rhythms were light, quick, jazz-like; his patois seemed to come from anywhere in 50 states. His poems were vocalizations of the man on the street who […]

  • Q & A with Gabe Lapano: After the Rain and Beyond

    If you recall the Cascades 1962 classic hit “Rhythm of the Rain,” it conjures a gentle scene of a quiet storm by the sea, perhaps with sand blowing on a lonesome shore. A yearning of love lost, far-flung yet hopeful. And so the song breezed by the winter of ’62, and by spring of 1963, […]

  • Remembering Sam Hinton

    A Lifetime of Achievement If you grew up in San Diego, chances are your classroom would have been treated to a visit by a man who played guitar and sang funny folk songs. You wouldn’t have easily forgotten this engaging man, because when he sang his songs, history came alive. That man would have been […]

  • Band of Brothers: The Liggins Brothers

    Although they were both born in Oklahoma (Joe in Guthrie on July 9, 1915, and Jimmy in Newby on October 14, 1922), band leaders Joe and Jimmy Liggins relocated to San Diego as youths. Revered by lovers of jump blues, swing, and R&B, they soon began their musical apprenticeship in the local clubs of 1930s. […]

  • A Darker Side of Donovan

    There’s a telling scene in Don’t Look Back, D.A. Pennebaker’s grainy 1967 documentary of Bob Dylan’s stormy 1965 tour of England. Dylan is in a hotel, filled with tour members, local celebs, musicians, and varieties of hangers-on. The Maestro is rifling through a British paper and happens upon an article on Donovan, the Scottish singer-songwriter […]

  • Time Between: Chris Hillman’s Life in Music Leads to his Roots

    “I heard the most beautiful voices I had ever heard.” This is how country-rock California bluegrass pioneer Chris Hillman describes the first time he heard Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark, and David Crosby sing together as the Byrds. As a founding member of the band that helped shaped the music of the pivotal decade—the 1960s—Hillman’s autobiography, […]

  • The Transformation of John Lennon

    I’m sick and tired of hearing things from uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics All I want is the truth, just give me some truth I’ve had enough of reading things by neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians All I want is the truth, just give me some truth. — John Lennon, “Gimme Some Truth” October 9th marks the […]

  • Rosie and the Originals Put National City on the Map

    The majority of rock historians agree that rock ‘n’ roll hit a dry spell between 1960 and 1962. The charts told the story: leather-clad rockers were out, acne-free boys and girls were in. There are several key reasons why the music retreated from the intensity of Little Richard to the conservatism of Connie Francis—the deaths […]