When three friends involved in the San Francisco punk-rock scene moved to the desert, they decided they needed to get together and have some fun.
The result of that fun is the Hot Patooties, a newly formed band that consists of former San Francisco musicians Nettie Hammar (vocals), Beth Allen (guitar) and Shawn Smith (drums), as well as Yucca Valley bassist and former Gutter Candy member D.D. Gunz.
We chatted at Beth Allen and Shawn Smith’s home in Morongo Valley after an alcohol-infused dinner party.
“We’re from Morongo Valley, where the morons go,” Allen joked. “Shawn and I are in a band together called the Wastedeads, and we’re a two-piece. Nettie also moved to Morongo Valley. Nettie and I are old friends from way back, and I thought, ‘Oh shit, we need to be in a band together.’ The Hot Patooties were born after that.”
D.D. Gunz was recruited after the others decided to form a band here in the desert.
“(D.D.) sent me a response to the Craigslist ad, and asked, ‘Are you still looking for a bass player?’” Allen said. “This ad has been up for over a month. I was being really sarcastic on my phone, and I said, ‘Actually, we’re looking for an old punk-rocker; are you an old punk-rocker?’ I was about to give up. … He said, ‘Actually, yes,’ and then he sent me a photo of himself with his huge Charged GBH mohawk standing next to Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks. I was totally joking and didn’t expect to find anyone like this.”
D.D. Gunz said his time rehearsing with the Hot Patooties has been a lot of fun and even rejuvenating for him as a musician.
“I don’t want to sound cliché, but when I found these guys and played with them for the first time, I thought it was just real music,” Gunz said. “More so than Gutter Candy, who I used to play bass for; there were no influences or anything. It was just, ‘Who gives a shit? Let’s just play!’ Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, that’s how it used to be for me, but it hasn’t felt that way since.
“I’m 43, and I’m playing good music, and that’s a true story. It’s raw, and it’s real, and it’s cool.”
Back in the SF music scene, Hammar was in a band called the Mighty Slim Pickins, and Beth Allen was in a band called the Meat Sluts before they joined forces.
“We were a dyke-abilly band,” Hammar said about the Mighty Slim Pickins. “We were all rockabilly gay-wads, and we played with the Meat Sluts, who were an all-girl punk band, and it just worked. The shows were always packed. We played for a lot of years together before my band broke up and the Meat Sluts broke up. But it was a lot of fun.”
Allen and Smith are a couple; Smith told a story about how he met Allen after a Meat Sluts concert.
“I was in San Francisco for six months at the time and went in to talk to my band and said, ‘OK, who knows Beth Allen?’” Smith said. “My bass player, my guitar player and lead singer all raised their hands and said, ‘We all know Beth.’ I said, ‘OK, she’s going to be my girlfriend within three months!’ And it happened!’”
The Hot Patooties are entering the local music scene with no big intentions.
“We’re all a little older and have done our time,” Allen said. “I’ve toured and have done all that shit. We just want to show the desert how to have some fun.”
Hammar told me a story about touring Europe and making no money.
“We’re all comfortable with ourselves,” Hammar said. “We’re old people. We’re rocking our shit, and we all just got together to have fun. What we’re doing is having fun.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Hot-Patooties-2071750783142932. Disclosure: Beth Allen is an Independent contributor.