Elvis, Diva of Velveeta, Lead Singer of Super Cheez
Photo by Jeanne Rice> K-Tel Records. There is no better example of pathetic vinyl on the planet. I love K-Tels because they pressed a new one practically every week, and as a '70s kid on a budget, I could own every pop hit I heard on my AM radio and buy them at the drugstore! Ask me what I'm listening to, and more times than not, I'm spinning a K-Tel. I have a very thorough collection spanning 1971 through 1983. Even more exciting are their titles, such as Star Power, Disco Rocket and Dyn-o-mite Hits.
> Louie from the Stag. My favorite local musician, who played the now-defunct Stag in Costa Mesa. Gawd, I miss Louie. If anyone knows where—or if—Louie is playing these days, let me know. He was the epitome of lounge-lizard piano acts. His keyboard with the bad cha-cha beat, combined with his singing, made the Stag—a regular ol' hole-in-the-wall bar—esoteric. Louie's power was more apparent if you had a really good buzz. I sang "Love Will Keep Us Together" with him a couple of times, and it was always "different." Ohhhhh, Louie . . .
> Throw Rag. My favorite OC band. If you haven't seen them live, well, damn it, get out there and do it! You can find out where they're playing at www.throwrag.com. Gone are the days of Captain Tae-Bo barfing onstage—at least, I haven't seen it in a while—but if you're in the mood for raw, foot-stompin', knee-slappin' sailor rock, this is it. I love 'em!
> The Loving-Kindness. My favorite cover band. The first cover band I ever saw that didn't do songs such as "Sympathy for the Devil." They had the most righteous playlist: retro with a twist, sometimes like going through your parents' record collection. We got to play with them twice, and it was Magic Cheez.
> The Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa. Because I've stumbled in there too many times for too many years not to acknowledge its presence as an OC music venue. The Tiki can change moods (and names) like the wind, depending on the night. I appreciate them for allowing Super Cheez to play there for going on seven years now, though I do miss the early days of cheap-ass, overly alcoholic Hawaiian drinks. Sigh . . .
> Super Cheez dressed up as Charlie's Angels, fighting a group of real-life audience bandits, which resulted in me flying over my keyboard and into the crowd. My favorite live-music memory. Most attendees thought it was staged.
> Devo. My favorite new wave. I can't be in a mood bad enough that Duty Now for the Future or Are We Not Men? cannot cure it. Along with K-Tels, they're still on my current playlist.
> Orbit Studios (3319 Warner Ave., Santa Ana, 714-556-7248). My favorite rehearsal space. They have a fuzzy Velvet Elvis in their showcase room. For some odd reason, practicing in that room makes me happy. There's something kind of amusing about practicing in rehearsal studios. Mostly, they're filled with band dudes who walk around throwing rock-guy attitudes. I think it humbles them to hear Super Cheez in the Velvet Elvis room practicing "Convoy."
> John Doe of X. He was supposed to marry me, but, ummm . . . I guess he forgot to ask. He is my rock god of all rock gods. I've talked to him on the radio, touched his foot (clung to his leg, actually) and bought him a beer during the course of my fanaticism, which has spanned more than 20 years (yes, that dates me), and I'm still in awe, all googly-eyed.
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