Twenty-something rock musicians are generally concerned with finding a place to jam and booking gigs, but The Bash Dogs are on a mission to raise money in honor of a homeless man in Newport Beach named Harly. Known for his sunny disposition and love of the ocean, Harly’s arguably the most lovable beach bum in Newport Beach – at least in The Bash Dog’s opinion. The psychedelic-surf rock outfit will play The Wayfarer on Thursday, December 15 and proceeds will go to Share Hope USA.
The Bash Dogs are comprised of lead singer and guitarist Nate Barrett, his brother and drummer Jeremy Barrett, and bass player Nathan Schmok. Based in Tustin and drawn to beaches all along the coast, the trio met Harly while surfing in Newport Beach. A seaside conversation over cigarettes and beer grew into a friendship, eventually inspiring a song called “Captain Harly” and a benefit show for the homeless. The group intended to give all of the proceeds to Harly, but decided it would be best to let an experienced charitable organization distribute the funds.
“Harly is a very good friend of ours that lives in Newport Beach. We like to call him the ‘King of Blackie’s' because he roams around Blackie’s pier and a little surf break around 24th street. He rides through there on his bike, everyone knows him. He’s a surfer, a legendary beach bum,” Nate Barrett says. “He’s such a nice guy with such a huge heart. Every time we see him we say what’s up and give him some cigarettes or beer or Chipolte. He’s just good to be around.”
Not only did the band write a song inspired by Harly, they invited him to be the star of the music video. The only thing that Harly asked for in return was for the band to pay a ticket for him – citation unknown. Nate Barrett shares that Harly was a natural during the shoot, free spirited and fond of the process. Filming wrapped and the group debuted the video in San Diego, and took footage of the show back to Newport Beach to share with Harly.
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“We released the video the day after Thanksgiving at a show in San Diego, and the next day we drove to Newport to show Harly how well it went. He just watched, and there was so much joy in his eyes when he saw it. It was awesome.”
The Bash Dogs have been playing together as a three-piece since 2013, but the Barrett brothers have been performing with one another since elementary school. Their father taught them to play instruments just in time for their 5th grade talent show, when they performed what Nate Barrett deems the easiest song of all time – “Gloria” by Van Morrison. The brothers stayed true to their love of music and went on to win KROQ’s Battle of The Bands in 2014. Now focused on a more jam-based, rock sound, The Bash Dogs are looking ahead to a new album in 2017 and are excited to have “Captain Harly” make it’s Orange County debut.
“We’re hoping Harly comes to the show. I’m going to pick him up and take him to dinner and then head over,” Nate Barrett says. “Everyone knows Harly down at the beach, he’s got a lot of buddies. I don’t know how it would work but I’d love it if his friends could come to the show. They could see Harly on the projector while a rock band plays a song named after him – hopefully it’s a good night for him.”
The Bash Dogs perform with Playdates and Tunnels at The Wayfarer, 843 W. 19th St. Costa Mesa, Thurs. December 15. Doors 8 p.m., tickets $8. For more information visit www.wayfarercm.com.