Notorious Dr. Demento Brings Show to Encinitas

In celebration of his 20th year as rock’s curator of the quaint and curious, notorious radio personality Dr. Demento is taking a multimedia show on a five-week tour to 15 “major American markets.” Apparently, San Diego has made it to the majors--Demento and his loony program have been booked into the La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas on Oct. 4.

The tour coincides with the release of Demento’s double CD compilation, “The Greatest Novelty Records of All Time” and a related video featuring 12 “wacky” clips (both from the folks at Rhino). Ironically, while many associate Demento with radio, the traveling show is a two-part, mini-film festival.

Part one, “Dement-O-Rama,” features vintage short films, movie trailers, cartoons and classic “demented” movie clips from the good doctor’s archives. After an intermission, a sci-fi film spoof called “Lobster Man From Mars” (made a couple of years ago and starring Tony Curtis) will be screened. Demento himself will serve as emcee of the affair.

Admission is only $6. Ticket arrangements had not been solidified at press time, but a source predicted that they will be available sometime next week at the La Paloma box office. Stay, as they say, tuned.


Songwriter Don Dunn is back home for some “working R & R,” which means he’ll be performing locally while he rests up for a concert trek through Europe that begins next month. The native San Diegan, who has had his songs recorded by some of the biggest artists in contemporary music, last year established a second base of operations in Nashville, the heart and hub of the country music market.

Since then, things have been looking upper and upper for Dunn. Hoyt Axton recorded his song, “Bible and a Gun,” and recently Dunn signed a co-publishing deal with the Nashville-based Blue Water Music firm, which will push or “shop” his tunes. Blue Water has similar relationships with recording artists David Lynn Jones and Webb Wilder.

Thanks largely to his co-authorship in the ‘60s of the song “Hitchcock Railway,” which was recorded by both Jose Feliciano and Joe Cocker, Dunn is a big item on the other side of the Atlantic. (The recent “Joe Cocker Live” album, which includes the tune, has sold more copies in Germany alone than in all of the United States.)

Consequently, Dunn leaves in October for London, where he’ll begin a tour that will take him to Ireland, and, eventually, Denmark and other European countries. Paul Brady’s backup band will provide musical support. While he’s here, Dunn will perform Thursday through Saturdays for the rest of September at the Ireland’s Own pub in Encinitas.


It’s “deja vu all over again” (apologies to Yogi Berra) as Buddy Blue and the Jacks re-invade the Spirit for a “Friday the 13th” show. Blue, who has a renewed appreciation for proprietor Jerry Herrera’s policy of hiring only bands that perform their own material, hasn’t performed at the Buenos Avenue address since the original incarnation of the Jacks did some shows there in 1986. Blue is dragging local bands Meatwagon and Dark Globe to this gig, and he’s considering making the Spirit engagement a regular thing.

GRACE NOTES: (Tickets for the following concerts will be sold at all TicketMaster outlets unless otherwise specified). A new schedule of shows by Fineline Productions leads off with the Mighty Lemondrops and If Tomorrow at Winters Red Tape (5880 El Cajon Blvd.) Saturday night. Other forthcoming bookings of note include Pere Ubu at the Bacchanal Monday, and The Damned at Iguanas Oct. 4. . . .

The Fabulous Thunderbirds, with Duke Robillard replacing Jimmie Vaughan on guitar, drop into the Belly Up Tavern Monday. The Blonde Bruce Band opens. . . .

Singer-songwriter David Wilcox, whose third album, “Home Again,” was just released on A&M; Records, will perform a dinner- concert Sept. 22 at the Spreckels Masonic Hall at 3858 Front St. (at University Avenue). A gourmet vegetarian dinner will be served prior to the 8 p.m. show, which also features folk artists James Paxton and Bobo Czarnowski. For ticket information, call 294-6660. . . .


A yuks-and-licks show featuring comedian Garry Shandling and BrazilJazz with Peter Sprague and Kevyn Lettau has been inked for Oct. 13 at UC San Diego’s Mandeville Auditorium. Tickets go on sale today, with proceeds to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Camp of San Diego. . . .

The Allman Brothers (who, if I’m not mistaken, were born ramblin’ men) hit town Oct. 13 for an afternoon (3 p.m.) concert at the Starlight Bowl. On Oct. 17, the same Balboa Park venue hosts a hard-rockin’ triple-bill of Warrant, Trixter and Firehouse. Both of these new Starlight bookings go on sale Saturday, as does a Kenny Loggins show scheduled for Oct. 18 at the Spreckels Theatre. . . .

Rockin’ multiinstrumentalist Lenny Kravitz (whose visibility shot sky-high a few years back when he married the Cosby show’s Lisa Bonet), will perform an Oct. 15 concert at Symphony Hall (on sale Friday). . . .

Former Clash guitarist Mick Jones and his band, Big Audio Dynamite, will be joined by the Farm and Downtown Science for an Oct. 20 gig at SDSU’s Open Air Theatre (on sale Saturday). . . .


Coming to Leo’s Little Bit O’ Country: Don Williams on Sept. 29; Ronnie Milsap on Oct. 20. . . .

Tickets already are on sale for a country music extravaganza (is there such a thing as a regular “vaganza?”) that will bring Carlene Carter, Shenandoah, the Sweethearts of the Rodeo and San Diego’s own Incredible Hayseeds to the Cajon Speedway in El Cajon on Oct. 21. Proceeds from the affair will benefit the Leukemia Society of America. . . .

Mountain’s appearance at the Bacchanal, originally scheduled for tonight, has been canceled because of tour problems.



Some think that if Transvision Vamp had beaten the Sex Pistols to the draw in the overthrowing-the-rock-establishment coup, they would have had a more profound and longer-lasting effect on rock, musically speaking. Maybe. The band’s albums “Pop Art” (1988) and “Velveteen” (1989) certainly demonstrated a command of the trash-rock form, and vocalist Wendy James’ alley-cat posturing (equal parts Debby Harry, Patti Smith and Wendy O. Williams) has fulfilled its dubious promise on the more recent “Little Magnets Versus the Bubble of Babble.” The foursome takes aim at SDSU’s Backdoor tonight, with the psyche-pop Candy Skins opening.