Mike Gaborno, better known to fans and friends as "Gabby," has had a long presence in Southern California's music world. Over the years of his hard-living music career, Gabby fronted a slew of punk and rock acts that have been hugely influential in our local surf scene and beyond. Bands like the Cadillac Tramps and Manic Hispanic helped set the tone for an earlier era of local underground culture, carrying for awhile our elusive underground torch.
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Although Gabby and his bands might be better known to music fans, their importance in the local surfing world is equally notable for many.
"When the Tramps first started, there was really no punk around, at all. But later Offspring opened for us, Pennywise opened for us, Bad Religion opened for us, No Doubt opened for us...surfers kind of jumped on the punk bandwagon in that second wave," said local surfer, friend of Gabby and former Cadillac Tramps drummer Jamie Reidling. "There was no surf industry stuff really. But there were punks who surfed."
In recent weeks, a not so healthful Gabby went in for a routine procedure, only to discover an urgent need for triple bypass surgery on his arteries. Shortly thereafter, he also suffered a debilitating stroke. Predictions following the stroke were shaky at best, but Gabby seems to be in recovery at this point. Friends have noted that his defiant spirit has not been greatly diminished by his ailments.
On January 19 at 8 pm at the House of Blues in Anaheim, friends, fans and fellow musicians will hold a benefit concert to help raise money to support Gabby's rising health care costs. Performers will include Manic Hispanic, Cadillac Tramps, the Grabbers, the Adolescents and Pennywise. The event promises attendance by a wide variety of punks, surfers and OC underground types, both past and present.