CVIndependent

Sat10202018

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Jeff Bowman has largely been a quiet guy in the background, kicking ass on the drums in the local music scene for the better part of three decades.

But he recently had a fantastic idea that brought him into the spotlight: He’s bringing a variety of local musicians to The Hood Bar and Pizza on Saturday, Aug. 25, to play a benefit concert for the Desert Cancer Foundation.

However, this is not a normal benefit show. Here’s how it will work: Various musicians, many of whom have never played together before, were grouped up and given a band name by Bowman. Each group was then given a list of songs to cover—songs the musicians need to learn, rehearse and perform the night of the show.

“I thought that it’d be cool to get a few local people together, learn a set and try to play as a brand-new band by the end of the summer,” Bowman said during a recent interview in Palm Desert. “Then I thought, ‘I wonder if I could get a few more people together, and we could make a whole night of it. Maybe even five bands.’ I’ve played music in the desert now for about 30 years, and there are still a ton of people I haven’t played music with, and we have a ton of talent out here. I called Nigel (Dettelbach) at The Hood Bar and Pizza and asked, ‘You have anything (open on the schedule) at the end of the summer?’ He had something open and booked it.

“I put a Facebook post together on a Wednesday afternoon, and I said, ‘OK, here are some rules, and if everyone abides by these rules, this is going to work. Be open to doing your homework and learning these songs; be open to playing with people you’ve never played with before; and be available on the night of the show. I put it out there around noon. I was practicing with Waxy that night; I had to put a stop on the post because I had so many responses.”

There is a personal reason Bowman chose to do a benefit for the Desert Cancer Foundation.

“My mom is a cancer survivor, but my aunt was not and passed away,” Bowman said. “My uncle was also recently diagnosed with cancer, and it’s stage 4. I think that (cancer) affects all of us.

“Originally, we wanted to do something for the American Cancer Society, but that’s a national organization, and anything we raise will just go into the national pot. Also, because The Hood Bar and Pizza allows smoking on the patio, (the American Cancer Society) won’t support it. But the Desert Cancer Foundation does cancer-treatment assistance for people with cancer right here in the valley, and they were OK with The Hood Bar and Pizza allowing smoking on their patio.

“I think it’s great our local music scene can support people with cancer. It’s a theme that’s close to home.”

After more than 30 local musicians responded to Bowman’s post, he had to turn others away.

“I had a lot of people tell me, ‘I didn’t hear a thing about it!’ It’s true: They didn’t, because it was an idea that I had on a Wednesday afternoon that I put out on Facebook,” Bowman said. “If you weren’t logged into Facebook from noon to 6 p.m. on that Wednesday, you missed it. But there was enough interest in it to where I could see this being a semi-annual or even an annual event. If I did it again, I’d put it out there, saying, ‘The window is open from this time to this time.’”

Bowman said it was surprisingly difficult to completely mix up the one-night-only bands: Each one includes at least two musicians who are currently in bands together, while others used to play together.

“I tried to be as random as I could with the band selections and the song selections, but there were certain band members who have a depth of history to where that was impossible,” Bowman said. “I literally did little pieces of paper with everyone’s name on them and put them together by the drummers, the bassists, the guitar players and the vocalists to try to make it an interesting experience of people playing with others they’ve never played with—generating relationships, generating energy, storytelling and things like that.”

Of course, the newly created bands have had to overcome some obstacles. Coval had issues with rehearsals because the drummer, Benny Cancino Jr., has been on a tour—so Bowman has filled in. The Oneders had to switch gears after Herb Lienau needed to back out. That band, which includes Sleazy Cortez bassist Derek Timmons, will be fronted by Timmons’ girlfriend, Stevie Jane Lee, who will be making her local live music debut after moving here earlier this year from Utah. Lee said she is thrilled to be taking part.

“I am really excited to be a part of it—and what better way to get to know all the musicians in the area that I don’t know already?” Lee said. “I was a bit worried at first, because most of the songs we we’re assigned, I didn’t know, but we have been rehearsing at least once a week, if not two, since the bands were announced. I can honestly say that I couldn’t have hoped for a better group of people to be in. I am getting to do one of my favorite songs that I have always wanted to cover, so I have no complaints.”

Coval will include a reunion, of sorts: Monreaux frontman Giorg Tierez will be performing publicly with Monreaux guitarist Marcus Bush for the first time in two years, as Monreaux has been on an extended hiatus.

“I asked to participate because I needed an outlet back into the scene, and the show is the night before my birthday,” Tierez said. “It just made sense to me. Plus, I didn’t know Jeff Bowman personally, but I knew of him, and after meeting him and jamming with him, I can say that he’s one of my favorite people, by far, and probably one of the best musicians I’ve ever seen.”

Bowman said the show has been the subject of some inaccurate rumors.

“I’ve heard people calling it a competition, and I need to put the kibosh on that: This is NOT a competition. This is not one of those things that’s, ‘Let’s find the best guitar player!’” he said.

The lineups as of this story’s deadline:

The Oneders: Derek Timmons, Stevie Jane Lee, Cara Makuh, Tom Edwards, Nick Hales, Matt King and Troy Whitford.

Blonde Moment: Noe Gutierrez, Natasha Carian, Alex Mirage Burdon, Randy Caserta, Damian Lautiero, Armando Flores and Rob Peterson.

Bounce Haus: Robbie Waldman, Linda Lemke Heinz, Lindsey Bowman, Robert Bowman, Bobby Nichols, Matt Whyte and Robert Garcia.

Banned Four: Chelsea Sugarbritches, Nico Flores, Pakko Lopez, Josh Heinz, Rob Martinez and Jeff Bowman.

Coval: Giorg Tierez, Esther Sanchez, David Burk, Chris Rivera, Marcus Bush and Benny Cancino Jr.

A Mixed Up Music Party!, an event to benefit the Desert Cancer Foundation will take place at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. Admission is $5 at the door. For more information, call 760-636-5220, or visit facebook.com/HoodBarAndPizza.

Published in Previews

Jeff Bowman is downright intense behind a drum set. He’s played in various groups, including legendary desert-rock band Unsound, Mondo Generator, The Agents, Waxy, and Mighty Jack. He was kind enough to recently answer the Lucky 13; here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

It was my two favorite bands at the time, Anthrax and Iron Maiden, 1989, at the Long Beach Arena. I can still picture it in my mind. Ah, such a great night for a young metal head: “Scream for me, Long Beach!”

What was the first album you owned?

Kiss, Alive. I got it in kindergarten. I would sit and listen to it on my little yellow record player and study the double-album cover. I was fascinated by everything I saw and heard.

What bands are you listening to right now?

My kids have got us on a Beatles kick right now, and it’s been great to revisit them and watch my kids fall in love with them. Such a great variety of music from one band. I really don’t have enough time to explore new music these days.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

The first artist that comes to mind is Bob Dylan. Sorry if that offends anyone, but I don’t get him, and I’ve never been able to tolerate listening to him long enough to try to get him. So I may just never get him, and from what I’ve heard, I’m OK with that.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I’ve been lucky enough to see most of my faves over the years, but I would have loved to have seen the Waters/Gilmour-era Pink Floyd. If you could stretch the definition of “defunct” to “dead,” it would be Johnny Cash.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure? 

I own a double CD of dance/electronica music called Fired Up that I purchased after hearing it on a late-night infomercial. I bought it right there off the darn TV. It gets me fired up.

What’s your favorite music venue?

The Viper Room in Vienna, Austria, is awesome. It’s a place like no other. I was told by a guy who worked there that the building is about 600 years old, and it was originally a monastery. The stage is underground, and the ceiling is arched, so it’s like playing in a cave. The bass tones literally rattle the plaster off the walls and ceiling! The staff and catering were so amazing, though, and there’s a Starbucks within walking distance.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

I just volunteered to play a few kids’ church songs on bass guitar for an end-of-the-year “chapel jam” at my daughter’s preschool, and I listened to the songs over and over again so I could learn them for the one 15-minute performance, and now I can’t stop singing: “Whether it rains, whether it pours, wherever I go, I will trust you, Lord.”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t listening to music or singing along to songs, but I can narrow it down to one piece of music that changed my life as a musician: It was the guitar solo part of the live version of a song called “She” on Kiss’ Alive. I was very young when I first heard it, but it completely filled me with the power of music, and made me feel that, for me, it wasn’t enough just to listen. It made me want to play. It made me want to participate in what those freakin’ guys were doing! I had to learn how to do it. I had to teach myself how to play those instruments. … To this day, I still just play with the pure, simple power and heart of a little boy listening to and emulating Kiss.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

I’m asking Glenn Danzig to strongly consider dumping the overqualified and presumably overpaid Dave Lombardo and let me play drums for the Misfits!

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Synchronicity II” by The Police. It’s pretty humbling to know that the exact moment I die, many miles away, there will be some creature swimming around in a dark Scottish loch that doesn’t know or care the least bit ... .

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

It so depends on mood, but I’d have to say Pink Floyd’s The Wall. I was in first-grade when I got the 8-track, and it’s been part of the soundtrack of my whole life. I just got the re-issue double album from my kids for Father’s Day.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

The song that reminds you of being in love with your soulmate. Listen to it, and fall in love again and again. It should never get old. That’s Sting, “Fields of Gold,” for me. (Scroll down to hear it.)

Published in The Lucky 13