On Mother's Day, June Gutierrez and her four-year-old daughter Leilani were driving home from South Coast Plaza when their Ford Explorer was broadsided by a driver who ran a red light at the intersection of Newport Boulevard and Wilson Street in Costa Mesa. The Explorer was hit with such force that it rolled three times, ejecting Leilani from her car seat and plunging her into a coma (a medical student who was nearby ran over and managed to get a breathing tube into Leilani's lungs, likely saving her life). It's already a nightmare, but the fact that Leilani's dad is Rodney Sellars, guitarist for the band Sense Field, only adds to the trauma. After almost 15 years slogging their way through local clubs, several releases on Huntington Beach-based label Revelation, and a brief (though unfulfilled) flirtation with Warner Bros., the band finally managed a breakthrough this year with their album Tonight and Forever, the tracks "Save Yourself" and "Beatles Song" getting quite a bit of commercial-radio airplay. And now this. Sellars, who lives in Long Beach, left the band's Portland tour stop as soon as he got word about the accident and flew back home to be with his daughter. Sense Field have been playing as a four-piece in the interim and are now finishing up a stretch of dates opening for the Goo Goo Dolls. "They really debated hard on canceling, but there wasn't any way they could," says Monica Seide, a publicist for the band's label, Nettwerk America. "They had too many shows tied in with radio stations, this tour with the Goo Goo Dolls and a European tour that they had already postponed three times." While Leilani has medical insurance, the maximum amount is expected to be reached quickly (if it hasn't already by the time you read this), and her latest prognosis is that she'll need long-term, possibly lifelong care. Though Sense Field have been around awhile, they're still a brand-new band in the eyes of the larger music industry and are by no means the fabulously wealthy rock stars they should've been years ago—which means that Leilani's family needs money to pay her soon-to-be-huge medical expenses. To raise funds, Sellars is asking people to send checks and money orders to Leilani Gutierrez, c/o Globe Packaging, 179 E. 17th St., Box 400, Costa Mesa, CA 92627. Get-well cards can be sent to Sense Field at 3940 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Ste. 165, Studio City, CA 91604.
What does it mean when there are two huge multi-act radio-station-sponsored megafests going down in our area on the same day (KROQ's Weenie Roast and KIIS's Wango Tango on June 15), and No Doubt is not playing the one with Bad Religion, Moby, Jimmy Eat World, Unwritten Law, System of a Down and the Strokes, but instead the one with Pink, O-Town, Aaron Carter, Celine Dion and Kelly Osbourne? And what does it mean when the wrinkly-peckered Monkees can play the Galaxy Concert Theatre—like they are on Thursday, June 13—yet John Stewart, the guy who actually wrote "Daydream Believer," can only play Muldoon's Dublin Pub in Newport Beach, like he is three days later? And what does it mean when the press release we get announcing the Stewart gig is rife with errors and breathless exhortations ("Stewart is considered by the music industry and patrons alike an American Folk Hero"), but none quite as guffaw-worthy as this quote from the Muldoon's special-events director: "We thought that during these most challenging times in which we live, Stewart's brand of sediment and unity might be a nostalgic and healing way to spend a Father's Day this year." Errr . . . unless folk heroes like Stewart have a fetish for dirt and residue deposits, we think the word they meant to use was "sentiment."