Musician Pushes Sandy's as a Local-Talent Showcase

Local musician Jerry McCann soon will be doing his part to revive the moribund North County music scene. Recently, the guitarist-vocalist convinced the owner of Sandy's in Encinitas to use the restaurant-club as a 250-capacity showcase for local original music. McCann and his Band of Giants (drummer Charles Hylton, bassist Don Demkiw, percussionist Bumbah), who blew the Woody Harrelson crew off the stage at a recent Belly Up Tavern show, will inaugurate the venue with a big bash on New Year's Eve.

Sandy's, at 581 Westlake Ave., near the Encinitas City Hall, has been a restaurant for most of its seven-year existence. Since Bill Bauchman bought and remodeled the club a couple of years ago, it has hosted karaoke (sing-along) entertainment and the occasional Latin and jazz band. But McCann saw other potential.

"I saw this as a chance to provide musicians who do their own music with another place to play," McCann said recently. "We'll probably feature electric music on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and on the slower weeknights we'll have people performing acoustically. Sandy's is perfect for intimate shows; it has a better stage and generally is a much better setup for entertainment than, for example, the Mandarin Coast (the Solana Beach restaurant that has been home to the Solos venue)."

As the entertainment director at the new club, McCann will perform as well as book talent. Musicians interested in playing at Sandy's are invited to call McCann at 942-7866.

By the way, this isn't the first time the 44-year-old performer has made such a suggestion to a proprietor. In 1975, at the urging of Michael Breceda (who then was a bartender at the long-defunct Golden Rollin' Belly in Del Mar and who now runs the kitchen at Sandy's), McCann approached Dave Hodges with the idea of presenting live music at his Solana Beach beer-and-pool emporium. That following New Year's Eve, McCann and his band at the time, the Aquadogs (with Hylton on drums), kicked off a new era for the Belly Up Tavern.

FAST FORWARD: Rockola, the quartet that took top honors in the best classic or vintage rock category at last summer's San Diego Music Awards, is scheduled to appear on KGTV-Channel 10's "Inside San Diego" show Friday at 10 a.m. The station taped Rockola's performance as part of its coverage of the awards program, held in August at San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art's Sherwood Auditorium in La Jolla. Later, a staffer caught that video playing on a Channel 10 studio monitor and thought Rockola would make for an entertaining guest segment.

To provide viewers with a representative taste of the cover-band's repertoire, "Inside San Diego" director Pat Mettes shot a medley-montage of Rockola performing such songs as the Beatles' "Eight Days a Week," Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl," the Turtles' "Happy Together," Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride," the Four Tops' "Reach Out, I'll Be There," and Three Dog Night's "It's for You," the last of which Rockola sang a cappella at the awards show. The band's Bob Tedde (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Marty Eldridge (drums, vocals), Doug Booth (bass, vocals) and Mark DeCerbo (guitar, vocals) also will chat with the show's co-host, Bill Griffith.

Although Rockola specializes in songs from 1962-72, DeCerbo recently released his debut album of original songs, "Baby's Not in the Mood," on the Bizarre-Straight label. Tedde played and sang on the album. DeCerbo will remain with Rockola until his solo career makes it impossible for him to do both.

Those waiting for the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater to screen the critically lauded IMAX film, "The Rolling Stones at the Max," will have to wait until at least February, according to a theater spokesman. The Julien Temple film of the band's 1989-90 "Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle" tour presents special problems for the Fleet's management. At 90 minutes, the film would require a reel change--a procedure complicated by the IMAX format--and an intermission, thus taking up the equivalent of two of the theater's normal screening slots. To cover costs, the theater would have to charge more than the $6 that rock fans are accustomed to paying to see the venue's Laserium shows. Management also is reluctant to draw the expected large crowds to the complex during its current remodeling project. A decision as to whether or not to book the film at all will be made in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, "The Rolling Stones at the Max" is being shown daily, at 9 p.m., at the Tijuana Cultural Center, Paseo de los Heroes and Mina Street (Zona Rio). The center expects to continue screening the film through May. Admission is $12. For information, call 011-52-66-84-11-11, Ext. 302 (bilingual).

Musicians Who Care, the Encinitas-based international volunteer organization that places musicians in community-service roles, will hold a holiday potluck dinner Thursday12 at the Artists in Action Club/Art Gallery, 446 North Highway 101, Leucadia. The local acoustic trio, the Cartel, will perform at the party, which is open to the public (all ages). A dish of food to share or a $5 donation is requested. For more information, call 632-0770.

GRACE NOTES: (Tickets for the following concerts will be sold at all TicketMaster outlets, unless otherwise specified). Country star Johnny ("Take This Job and Shove It") Paycheck will perform two shows Sunday at Leo's Little Bit O' Country in San Marcos. For ticket information, call 744-4120. . . . Guitarist Vinnie Moore's gig at Sound FX, originally scheduled for Nov. 26, has been rescheduled for Jan. 16. Moore vacated several spots on his recent tour after he was added to Rush's "Roll the Bones" tour (Moore will not appear with Rush in their Jan. 20 concert at the Sports Arena, when the opening act will be Primus). . . . The Beat Farmers have been added to Eddie Money's Dec. 27 show at Symphony Hall. . . . Dire Straits has been booked for the Spreckels Theatre on Feb. 5 (on sale Dec. 15).

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