If Bernard “Buddy” Seigal (stage name, “Buddy Blue“) were alive today, and he hadn't left his post as OC Weekly music editor years earlier, he'd be in charge of the blog you are reading right now.
And since the blog you are reading right now mixes music with
comic-book culture, Heard Mentality surely would have been a must-read
(no disrespect intended for its current roster of mighty fine writers).
Seigal–who left Earth for that dank club gig in the sky on April 2,
2006–had a way with words, a wicked sense of humor, an encyclopedic
knowledge of music, a deep fascination with comic books (the more dark,
twisted and underground, the better), and a lifelong love affair with
his audience, be they readers or music fans.
As Buddy Blue, he was a founding member of The Beat Farmers, which earned
international acclaim in the 1980s with songs like “Happy Boy,” “Riverside” and Seigal's own “Gun Sale at the Church.” The San Diego roots-rockers also earned a name for their sound that Seigal loathed: cowpunk.
Believing that Curb Records was steering the cowpunks too far into Dire Straits territory, Seigal left after the band's first two
albums for a musically eclectic solo career that won him critical acclaim and a cult-like following, but obviously not enough cold-hard cash that he wouldn't have to take a job editing the Weekly music section in the early 2000s.
After and before his time in OC, Seigal wrote for the Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, Orange County Register and San Diego Union-Tribune.
Before he was taken from us–and especially his wife Anne and daughter Tallulah–way too soon (he was but 48), Buddy Blue was pouring his creative juices into The Farmers, the revamped
version of the Beat Farmers that dropped the “Beat” out of deference to the band's late, great, barrel-bottom-voiced leader, Country Dick Montana (Daniel McLain).
The Farmers, who still have talent to burn despite the losses of the hugely influential Country Dick and Mr. Blue, have trudged on with gigs in and around San Diego. They'll be remembering Buddy (and no doubt Country Dick, too) at the fourth annual Buddy Blue Fest Saturday night at Pete's Place, the little hole-in-La Mesa that various Seigal-band incarnations darkened for years and years.
Joining the Farmers are The Buddy Blue Reunion Band, Tomcat Courtney and The Wigbillies. The evening's emcee is Sven-Erik Seaholm, Seigal's longtime collaborator and the producer of nearly all Buddy Blue solo albums.
Admission is free. Set your Mapquest coordinates for the address on the poster below.
Don't expect to leave La Mesa, which was Seigal's longtime home, without being thoroughly entertained, thoroughly blotto, thoroughly teary-eyed–or, most likely, thoroughly all three.
We'll end this love-in with a HAIR-RAISING-REVELATION ALERT!!!
When I plugged
“Buddy Seigal” into the Weekly search engine in hopes of finding a
photo or cartoon of him for this post, the first thing that popped up
was “Buddy Seigal is Dead.”
Thinking, 'My, that was an awfully harsh headline, even for us,” I opened the entry
up to find it was a collection of letters from 2001 about Seigal's bold declaration that jazz was dead.
Somewhere in a dank club gig in the sky I'd imagine Buddy smiling at that.