San Diego music in the early 80’s

December 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm | No comment

I had the pleasure of living in San Diego Ca. from 1979-1983…Looking through some of my old albums recently from those days made me realize what an amazing time that was for music. Anyone that lived there then will recognize some of these bands and clubs and will know what I’m talking about.

The Penetrators (I can’t believe I still have my autographed copy of this album)

This was one of my favorite San Diego bands at the time. I probably saw them play live a hundred times (not literally, but it seemed like it) . The members were: Gary Heffern, Dan Mclain, Chris Sullivan, Chris Davies, and Jim Call.

The best venue in San Diego to see live bands at the time was a place called “The Skeleton Club“. I say best not because it was nice or cozy or had running water (actually I’m pretty sure it had that, but I was too afraid to go in the bathrooms to find out for sure)…but it was the best because it was a raw hole in the wall that fit the music and bands that were playing there so perfect. It was located in a very industrial and warehousish district (at the time anyway) on the NW corner of 2nd & Market (202 w. Market st. I believe) The original location was in the basement of a building on 4th ave. across from Horton Plaza…but that only lasted a month before the police shut it down.

Another band that I saw play at the Skeleton Club and all over town was DFX2

This band was cool and unique…They were the first group I’ve seen fronted by identical twins. (Douglas & David Farage…thus the name DFX2)…I was so brilliant at the time that I didn’t even get the significance of that till years later…yeah, I know.

Another fantastic live music venue in San Diego is (was) The Spirit Club at 1130 Buenos ave. (I think it’s called Brick by Brick now…but it’s still there which is cool) All of the album pictured below was recorded live there in 1981

I was given this drum stick by the drummer of “Lords of the New Church” (Nick Turner) after a show at the Spirit Club in 1982…I also had my beer bottle yanked out of my hand and broken on stage by Stiv Bators at the same show, but I’ll save that story for another time.

Other great bands that I saw during this time in San Diego included: The Germs, XTC, The Blasters, The Misfits, Paladins, The Puppies, Solid State, The Unknowns, Fear, The Plimsouls, The Busboys, The Cramps, X and many others.  A few of the other really good music venues that hosted these cool bands besides The Skeleton Club and the Spirit Club were the North Park Lions Club, Montezuma Hall, the Zebra Club, California Thearte and Golden Hall.

I know that this blog will probably be of no interest to most people, but if you happen to have been in this particular area at this particular time I’m hoping that it brings back some awesome memories….I wish you all well and keep rockin!!

Gary Dean Hathaway


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