Posts Tagged ‘punk’

Today I woke up with less than a year before I’m 40, and decided to take the advice of a writer I chauffeur and get back into writing by…writing. More than I have been, anyway. So here’s a short story that ties in the day I turned 21, played a show with my band, and the changing technologies since then that reinforces why we need to live life for moments that will never happen again. There’s even video of the show, and for an added bonus, there’s videos of the Human Beans on San Francisco cable access and one I made of Nick’s band Secret Secretaries included in this posting.

I spent my 21st birthday playing with my band 3 Hunglo at San Francisco State University. It wasn’t the largest show, coming in the middle of the day in the middle of the week. But it was everything I could ask for both as an aspiring punk rock bassist, and now later in life, especially as we dissolved after a few years after only “releasing” a home-dubbed cassette tape with a handful of songs. Thinking about those times and lost technologies 18 years later makes me realize how important it is to follow those dreams, because they can never be had again.

My buddy Nick and I were both from San Francisco’s Sunset District, having downhill skateboard races as kids through Noriega Street traffic to the beach. After getting hooked up with friends’ drummer friends, we upped our professionalism and found Lonnie’s ad on the bulletin board at the Lookout Records store in Berkeley. As in he wrote his phone number on a card tacked on a wall at a store where people got music on record, CD or tapes. Not craigslist or another online listing post. Nick and I had our first serious band.

I was going to SF State at the time, working on campus doing phone surveys, which was a very welcome job. It paid $8 an hour, then $11 as a supervisor, while my job at the Hallmark card store was the minimum wage $5. Comparatively, I shared a studio apartment with my girlfriend for $655 a month, not the $1,500 or $2,000 it would be now. Another perk was making long distance calls. Phone calls were generally made from landlines back then, and paid for by distance, not cell phone minutes. In fact, cell phones were only for those with money, and would have been too costly and bourgeois anyway.

It was through that job that a co-worker was looking for acts to fill her St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the university. Having band members available during the day was probably a big part, so we did it. I let the student newspaper know for their event listings, which back then was a bigger deal in advertising shows than in today’s must-have Web presence. I heard about most local bands from The List, a basic-type, photocopied weekly listing passed out at record stores and shows in the Bay Area. No bands had Web pages, and if your music came out on CD it was because a label put it out or you had the money to have them done professionally. Burning a CD was not the DIY undertaking it is today.

Apparently, being listed with us upset some of the Irish folk dancers organizing the event, and along with Lonnie being late due to parking and traffic, we got in a rough six minutes. But it was one of the most memorable six minutes of my life. Peet, another neighborhood buddy who played in the Human Beans and later joined 3 Hunglo when Lonnie left to play for Subincision, even made an appearance on the boombox. Peet would play various tapes, sometimes instructional or commercial recordings, with different speeds and other manipulations as background noise. It used to annoy me, but with Peet later passing away and tapes virtually non-existent, I’d do anything to see that happen again. It’s hard to think it was barely a generation ago.


Here’s a video of the Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 show with La Plebe of San Francisco at 924 Gilman St. in Berkeley, Calif. If you look close you can see me, and the kid that jumped off the stage into my camera and turned it off. While a Nikon L820 is a good, versatile and cheap camera, I learned they don’t do so well in a pit.

Luckily my buddy Philip Liborio Gangi, who I’ve known since the days we developed actual film in a darkroom, was also taking video and I used his sound.

The Rockonigles-June 29, 2013-Day On the Dirt

Here’s another video I made of my buddy Alexis’ band The Rockonigles on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at Revolution Cafe in Oakland. The first one is here. This was their record release show for “Out of Pocket.”

Happy Valentine’s Day! Earlier this week these recordings of legendary San Francisco band Hickey came my way. It included a 1997 recording of a Valentine’s Day show at Komotion, which I thought would be a cool present to you.

It also reminded me of the time my band played with them in Concord. I tell this story a lot, so I thought I put it on my blog.

By Eric Louie

In the years after high school I had a band, 3 Hunglo. One of our early shows was at the Time Out Sports Bar in Concord where a guy named Tony was trying to have shows on off nights. We ended up getting a Tuesday show with Hickey. It was 1997, I think.

A local hard rock band called Toxic Love was the third band. Despite even Tony’s suggestions, they insisted on playing first, which sucked, since us and Hickey were from San Francisco. No one from the city is going to Concord, especially on a Tuesday night, even if it is free. But that’s what happened, and the bar was essentially empty when the rest of us played. I remember the Toxic Love folks, whose bassist/singer used a wireless connection for his instrument, and the friends they brought left while we played.

So when Hickey played, there really was no one but our band and a couple guys at the bar. I remember thinking Hickey talked a lot between songs. It included mentions of mullets, which the Toxic Love guy had. Too bad he wasn’t there to hear that. In a joking threat, Hickey said they would play a 20-minute song about the creation of the world, which I later learned was “In the Beginning.”

One of the guys at the bar, who really was in a cowboy hat, then got pissed and said he didn’t want to hear that in his bar. I guess noisy, loud punk doesn’t mix. He wanted to fight, but his friend calmed him down before anything real happened. He would have had to walk across an empty bar, and never got out of his chair. Not like anyone wanted to fight anyway.

That was the first I had seen Hickey, and we talked to them after. The next week or so I saw them in a packed San Francisco Mission District warehouse. I think it was Komotion, on 16th near Harrison street. I mainly knew places by location rather than name, and also only remember going there a couple times. Soon after Hickey broke up, and there were other bands the three members made that I saw.

I then moved to Stockton, so I wasn’t around a lot. Then I heard Matty Luv, Hickey’s singer/guitarist, died. I didn’t know him really well, but I was really sad to hear that. I knew a lot of my friends were close, and also that it was a big loss to to the local music scene that is still a big part of my life.

There’s a Web site with Hickey and other Matty Luv music free at

By Eric Louie

The Oakland Art Murmur draws large crowds to Telegraph Avenue around 23rd Street on the first Friday of each month. A lot of galleries open up, but there are also bands and other art on the street. A lot is free. In September The Rockonigles played at the Stork Club. This is a video of that night. My friend Alexis plays bass. I’ve known him forever. It also gave me a chance to post video of the Human Beans, which he was in with my other friends, and my band 3 Hunglo.