Saturday, April 15, 2017



BSC, CA – In the space of the Java Joz-Cuppy's era, we lost 3 people to music. One was Bipsy, through her murder but the other two just left the scene burnt-out. One of the other two was Johnny. Like the ex-convict in that Moms Mabley joke who was stealing wheelbarrows from a construction site, we never got caught being on the outermost reaches of the MPD like a roadhouse. Natural breeze flow took care of the rest. Still Johnny got harassed every time he went to the Murrieta City Hall for something. The last ticket fiasco was the straw. Different City, same mindset.

The second person to leave burnt out was Ric, a handsome Italian who left Italy, like this owner, for the love of a woman. It doesn't get anymore Italiano than that, not that any woman couldn't do the same thing given the Hollywood opportunity. Ric started the first The Vault and had no involvement in the scene of original music. The Sounds of Music were a group of music store/schools in the area that ran all the way up to Hemet [Florida Ave]. The then new area of Temecula attracted the loose franchise to expand here. The place catered to young kids taking music lessons from seasoned old school performers and the old school crowd [50s-80s covers]. Ric got the Temecula store, hired an old-timer [guitarist, 80s hair band] who in turn looked for an assistant, read replacement. One day, fresh from the bonfire of the Jjoz vanities, in comes this kid “dressed in a bandana and tee shirt for the job.” - Ric

And that began the very original music scene last segment, the mushroom cap fireball era of the new music scene which was to branch out into the Summer of Ska; a grand punk revival blending new [current] punks with the punks they maybe had heard about or had records by; modern Christian 'straight-edge'; and a era producing 2 main spinoffs, with the first one you will recognize without being a music fan, just after the jump. That and any one of the pics inside could have been used as the lead-in, but realistically, this group was one that we [Ivan and I] saw together early in this third part of the scene plus no group name better captures the Ivan and everyone else relationships. For all the people who felt that they needed to keep an eye on Ivan, I was the only person Ivan felt that he needed to watch. This is the story from that guy.

Sunday, April 9, 2017



BSC, CA – As I wind up my tenure at BSC, I hope everyone is enjoying the look back at the music scene here when it was happening, I know I am. Also though my telling of these days may be cheered, I'm only the reporter of what was around me. If my words please you, they only reflect a portion of the pleasure, laughter, intelligence, and crazy love I felt almost every night something was happening in the original music scene. Like Indiana Jones, we were making it up as we went along. And we loved it!

The history I now share with you is just a portion of the tip top highlights that I can recall. The emotions were real, raw, and rearing to go, as with any new venture. As I prepared Part 2, some research on one subject brought me to a long ago post about Bipsy. I read the comments and shed tears again for my friend, our friend who was taken during this period of the scene. The following is the comment that I left on today's comment post [Valley News]. Like Hocus Pocus, it wasn't a planned-for story, especially given my tight time frame but what can I say?

“Most of the comments here seem to be church friends, college friends, family friends, and strangers who are touched by the artist known as Bipsy. I can't speak to any of those venues because like Bruce Wayne, I only knew Bipsy as Batman. Bipsy was there the first night that the coffee shop Java Joz opened and this scene fit her perfectly. Since Bipsy worked there, she had spoken to the electrician who did the wiring and he wound up doing some stand-up comedy that night just from something Bipsy had said to him on a construction break one day. She enchanted everyone she came in contact with, and that was before we even knew she played the keyboard or sang.



BSC, CA – Music has been a part of my life since the start of Motown [Bye Bye Baby/Mary Wells, Shop Around/The Miracles]; from seeing James Brown and the Famous Flames tour [Louisville, KY], to being 'buds' with musicians [Leroy Taylor, Austin Landers, New Birth, RCA; Woody/The Spoonbills, Memoirs, bar blues band], but nothing could have made me anticipate the memories to come as I took a call from Bill Gould. I was to meet him down the hill from where I lived on my side of town, at the brand new coffee shop I had watched being built in the little strip mall next to the car wash I peddled past many a night coming home from a show at Madlin's.

I met Bill in the long shallow parking lot and he explained that this dude had called him up and said, “I hear you put on shows. I just built a coffee shop for shows and I wondered if you would throw some here.”

As we walked into the newly finished store entrance, brightly lit by the afternoon sun through the large front window panels, I was thinking the same thing as Bill. This place was in Murrieta, not Temecula. If it worked out, we could side-step our running feud with the City Council over original music versus the conservative/typical styles. The crowd limitation put on Madlin's was wearing thin, and now the show coffee shop sales weren't as profitable due to the lower volume of sales. I was the barista and I made 'em like I didn't own the stuff. I got a lot of compliments. I was known on the tour circuit even. “This could solve all our problems,” I whispered to Bill.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017



BSC, CA – Is there hocus pocus? Short answer, YES. Long answer, what does it all mean? And that's where it gets tricky. The subject of this column wasn't on the agenda for today but I decided to play the demo from La Lune, the band whose drummer was killed in a head-on collision when some meth head decided he had a death wish. Ryan was on a little vacation with his girlfriend driving up in northern California. The news swept over the scene like a wave. I'm sure Bill broke the news to me, as he was more socially connected with the scene at that time.

As I said in the first End of an Era story, La Lune [The Moon] was a better than average screamo band with an angst-sounding lead singer and a screamo vocalist to make the standard front duet. Vocals B+ to A-, but as I listened to the 2 song demo, a disc I probably haven't played once in the time after writing the eulogy, I remembered that this band, as a whole, was really good. Like a number of local bands then, there was a high caliber of musicianship and skill, and I've heard homegrown talent everywhere I have lived. Ryan, like Dan of Strike Twelve, Devan of The Daisycutters, and the drummer in Bobby Breakdown, impressed me because all these guys pound them drums like Woody of The Spoonbills, see Memoirs.

La Lune Showcase Theater flyer, left at 10 o'clock; Ryan Towery story, center, next to Bipsy

After news about the wreck hit print I removed the band signed CD and put it in a frame that also housed the article. You can just see the curved CD edge in the pic above. This started my special shelf home for a number of items I already had got a home. This morning as I played the demo CD, I noticed there was writing on the back of the case. Thinking it might be the demo song list, I looked closer. And then I remembered. This was the case for the band signed debut CD so the names showed instead of the regular label. The CD was titled “Good Morning Hospital”, a 6 song EP featuring Torches. I had written this info on the case myself that night of the release party. It was the finale to the emotions that I was already feeling in playing this old memory.