Daily Update: Dinner with my Brother
Last night we went to have dinner with my brother. We had a great time. Went to Mission Valley and had dinner at Gordon Biersch. Very good food. I didn’t have a beer, though I really wanted one. We brought along one of my favorite daughter’s friends. It was a great time. I haven’t seen my brother since the service we had for my father in Minnesota so it’s been about a year and a half. He’s still quite bald and I didn’t pass up the opportunity to point out I still have a full head of hair.
He shared a great story about his daughter that I will share another time, it’ll take a little writing to get the details, but it’s pretty funny. Well, now it’s funny. I’m sure at the time mom and dad weren’t too happy.
We also made a call back to his house and talked with his kids. They’re 3 and 6 so it’s always fun to talk to them on the phone. We all even said hello to his wife. They all miss daddy. He heads back home today.
Back to more about how JR got to where he is today.
Sean, his girl, and I had moved to San Diego. We planned on hitting it big as a band. We had just gotten our taxes back so we had a little bit of money and arrived in town knowing no one and having no where to stay. We rented a hotel for a week while we looked for a place to live. We wound up there for two weeks. It was awful. One bed so I slept on the floor. Each day we got a paper and looked for two things; jobs and apartments. Both were in short supply.
We eventually found a place that gave us a month to month contract. No one else wanted to give us a place to live because we didn’t have jobs and we couldn’t get jobs with no call back number because we didn’t have a place to live. It was vicious.
First, last, and deposit ate up a lot of the money we’d brought with us, but once we had a phone, it was only a matter of time before we all found jobs. This was the early 90s so no cell phones and no internet. It made doing things the old fashioned way a way of life.
Sean and I had gotten telemarketer jobs and his girl got another phone related job. We all had paychecks. Well, for a couple of weeks. The first place we had jobs basically stole all the money they’d brought in for some contest. We were thankful for paychecks and cashed them as quickly as possible. We even got to see the business on the news as police tried to locate the owners.
We both got jobs again as telemarketers. Those also fell through, but for different reasons. Finally we went to all the temp agencies. That was a grueling task and we both worked a number of odd jobs (yes, I’ve been a ditch digger) until we got regular work on the night shift at a plastic injection molding factory.
Steady work was finally achieved. Just in time because being flat broke and not making a car payment meant I no longer had a car to drive. The plus side, I didn’t have to make a car payment or insurance payment. The downside, the three of us only had one car.
But beyond that, we were able to start getting the band together. The gas station across the street where we lived became our little hang out. We got to know all the attendants. It turned out that one guy there was a guitar player/singer and had a drummer and was looking for another guitar player and bassist. We were in and Defective formed that day.
The drummer was in college (the only one of us) and he lived in a frat house. That became our practice pad until enough complaints came in from the neighbors. Then we found a person with a garage that’d been soundproofed that he rented out as practice space.
We practiced two or three times a week and once we thought we were ready, made a really bad demo tape (I’m still trying to run down a copy) and I got a copy of the Reader and started looking at where to play.
Over the course of the next three years we played anywhere we could. We played everywhere in San Diego we could. Dreamstreet, Brick by Brick, the Cashbah, Soma, and places that aren’t even around any more. We also played a lot of parties. For the most part we were a punk band, but we also played other songs like Helmet’s big hit Unsung.
This is where headbutting started. I wanted to play more than just three chord punk songs and when we did play songs that I or Sean had written, people really got into the music. This didn’t sit well with the singer who felt he should be writing/singing. It got to the point where he would argue every gig about the song list making sure we’d eliminate any songs I’d written.
I left the band. The singer begged me to come back. I wasn’t going to until we got a call from Soma to play the main stage. We’d played the basement several times, and they were calling US! I re-joined Defective. We fought and argued over the song list right up until we went on stage. We were back stage while Blink played (now Blink 182). We took the stage and only played what the singer wanted to sing. We didn’t play one of my songs and I was quite pissed.
The next two bands, Sprung Monkey and Lucy’s Fur Coat finished out the night. It was great to play in front of nearly 1000 people. But I couldn’t stand the lead singer’s attitude. I told him so and said enough was enough. if he didn’t want to sing songs I wrote, then there was no point in my staying with the band.
That was Defective’s last gig.
Tomorrow it’s life After Defective.