La Bamba – I grew up in Seaside, California in Monterey County. When I was in middle school my parents took us to see the movie La Bamba and I knew instantly I wanted to play guitar. Shortly afterwards I spoke to my friends at school about starting a band. We agreed I would play guitar and they would play whatever. It didn’t matter to me, I was playing guitar and that’s all I cared about.
To my surprise, for Christmas my friend Toby’s dad bought him a guitar and since they knew how to play and I didn’t, they said they would show me how to play bass. I asked “What the hell is a bass?” Toby said, “It looks just like a guitar, you wont know the difference.”
We went on to play punk rock, most notably The Jon Bennet Stranglehold. So many great memories of drinking in my adolescence with my homies, playing shows and thinking it would be like this forever. Just like U.S. Bombs or Final Conflict, the end did come with constant guitar player changes. In the search for the perfect guitarist, I fell out of love with playing music.
I started dating a girl that was from Minneapolis who dj’ed house music and I was hooked. Soon after I left Monterey to be a house music dj/promoter in San Francisco.
The dj house music scene was harder to break into than I imagined. I started to focus on being a promoter and began to diversify my shows since I struggled to break even with my house music events. Around this time I was introduced to singer/songwriter Jaime Wyatt and I wanted to help her book a show since she was from LA. This got me back into doing live shows. I actually made money doing live shows and being around bands made me want to be in one again.
As a promoter under the name Roundmusic Presents, I started to climb up the ranks through SF venues like Annie’s Social Club, Fat City and finally working my way into Jay Siegan’s Red Devil Lounge, The Rickshaw Stop, Slim’s and The Great American Music Hall. My music connections were starting to expand and I was looking to join a band that was playing big shows.
I met The Frail through a booking at the Rickshaw and stayed in touch. When Danny Lannon casually said they were looking for a bass player, I hit him up periodically but persistently until he finally said come down for a try out. Being in The Frail was a great time in my life for several reasons but on the music front, we seemed like we were on the cusp of something big that just didn’t materialize. In hindsight, I can see where we made mistakes but that’s for a different time, a different website. I will say that I will never forget playing shows with The Frail to a packed house at the Independent opening up for Dirty Vegas and Fugiya Miyagi. The best feeling would come a few days later after a big show where a random person in the streets of SF would approach me and say how they loved our last set and how we killed it. Good times.
Everything But The Everything is my baby. Being in band is a lot like being in a relationship, it’s about compromise. However, sometimes in a relationship, one of the committed wears the proverbial pants, calls the shots and the rest falls in line. As a bass player, I have always been the cog in the wheel of decision making and never really wanted more than that. I just wanted to focus on my part and knock it out. Especially when in the recording studio. I hated the studio. Lots of sitting and waiting. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to see the bigger picture in song structure and similar to the way I now eat my cauliflower and broccoli… I want to write and mold my own songs. For better or worse, the onus falls on me and I accept everything that comes with it.
Buy the ticket, take the ride.
Izzy The Gent.