Tom Dumonts' Best Orange County 2007 - 7 Favorite Things
No Doubt may just be the most triumphant success story Orange County has to offer. Yeah, yeah, Donald Bren this, UC Irvine that—don't even. No Doubt is one of the biggest bands in the world.
It's no secret that the band has its roots firmly planted in Orange County's soil. But unlike many other bands that have made it, some members of No Doubt stillcall the area home.
Long Beach resident and No Doubt lead guitarist Tom Dumont is no exception. Having grown up in Irvine, Dumont played a role in helping to develop our burgeoning music scene. He played in OC metal bands up until he joined No Doubt in 1988—but his fondness for the genre played a definitive role in the expansion of that distinct No Doubt sound.
Dumont studied at Orange Coast College; has lived in Anaheim, Orange and Irvine; surfs at our local beaches; and eats in the restaurants of our county—in other words, he's one of us. Minus all that fame and fortune and stuff.
Dumont wrapped up producing the second full-length record of another local, Huntington Beach's Matt Costa, in June and is just "writing music with the guys" for the next No Doubt record. He's also composing his first musical score with longtime friend Ted Matson for an indie documentary covering the Providence-St. Mel School in Chicago.
Dumont's favorite places in Orange County:
1. Maple Sound Studios:"Cameron Webb runs the finest recording studio that I know of in Orange County. The vibe is comfortable and mellow, it's got fantastic gear, and Cameron knows how to use it to make great-sounding records. I just produced the new Matt Costa record there, which comes out early 2008." 2931 W. Central Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 751-1103.
2. Bolsa Chica Wetlands:"It's the biggest parcel of open space anywhere near my home in Belmont Shore, and the ocean view from the bluff is expansive. The bluff has some old military bunkers and gun turrets from back during World War II, meant to guard against a sea attack. Also, Indians lived there for thousands of years. I used to work on the bluff there in my 20s, on the archaeological dig. I sorted through dirt all day and cataloged loads of beads and arrowheads." On Pacific Coast Highway between Seapoint and Warner Avenue, Huntington Beach.
3. Tacos Jalisco: "Tacos Jalisco is the real thing, sitting in a mini-mall right behind Taco Bell. This was my local Mexican spot when I lived in Orange around 1990, and they have the best fish tacos. There is a LOT of great Mexican food in Orange County—and, of course, it's still there and as tasty as ever." 480 N. Tustin St., Orange, (714) 771-5819.
4. Corona del Mar State Beach:"This is where I went to the beach with my family as I was growing up in Irvine. I did a lot of boogie-boarding there in the '70s, and we always took the time to hike to the end of the jetty and also check out Little Corona on the Bay. There are caves in the rock at Little Corona, and it was rumored that Sigmund and the Sea Monsterswas filmed there." Ocean Boulevard and Iris Avenue, Corona del Mar.
5. Irvine Meadows Amphitheater: "It'll always be Irvine Meadows to me, not 'Verizon Wireless Amphitheater' or whatever. I got a job there when I was 16, making hamburgers and selling beer in the concession stands. I worked there for many summers, so I could see concerts for free. It was the greatest thrill for me to finally play there with No Doubt. I'm stoked to have played on that stage about six or seven times now, and every time I do, it always feels like I'm living out my teenage rock & roll fantasy. Oh, yeah, and I met my wife there while attending one of the KROQ Weenie Roast shows. Sad to say that someday it'll be replaced with tract houses." 8808 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine, (949) 855-8095; www.livenation.com.
6. Orange Circle:"Small downtowns like the Orange Circle are scattered all across America, which I discovered while touring, and I'm drawn to the old buildings and the ideal of simpler times that they symbolize. I always wanted to live in the apartments above Sir Wicket's. I like to eat at the counter in Watson's and imagine what it was like to live in the '30s." Glassell Street and Chapman Avenue, Orange.
7. San Onofre State Beach:"Here is the perfect day in Orange County: Ditch work or school on a Wednesday and pack up the SUV with surfboards, food, beers and a charcoal barbecue; then camp out on the beach all day, surfing, eating and napping until the sun sets." Two to three miles south of San Clemente on Interstate 5.