1995: I was a fresh teenage runaway, eager to be a young punk but still stuck in East County San Diego where the scene was lacking, to say the least. I did know about one fledgling punk band named Wingdilly from meeting a (very) young Nick Galvas (“Is that dumb? I might change the name.”) the year before, smoking clove cigarettes in front of Henry’s grocery in San Carlos. It turned out they were playing that night at the one venue I did know about, Soul Kitchen in El Cajon.
I didn’t have the $5 they were asking at the door so I headed to the back to see about sneaking over the fence. As luck would have it, a young Kevin von Mutant had been tasked with watching the back fence that night and he cared as much about it as you’d expect. We talked about how much we liked DEVO and he said if he ever started a DEVO cover band he was going to call it The Beautiful Mutants.
1995: There was this pseudo-novelty punk band from LA called Rebel Rebel that was a local favorite not because of any great talent but more for the huge amount of chaos and destruction that would happen at their shows. Their performance that night was typically chaotic and destructive, with piles of broken televisions and burning junk everywhere.
There were some youths trying to tip over the vending machine in the corner of the club and at a particularly inspirational moment I picked up a piece of metal from the rubble and started hitting the front of it. It quickly broke, the youths cheered, and I ran out the back and over the fence before anyone in authority could figure out what had happened.
Rebel Rebel got some video of it happening and when I saw them around in subsequent years they would always say, “Hey, it’s the vending machine guy”, in their fake English accents.