Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dick Dale Surfs into Auburn

Well.....the legendary Dick Dale actually flew his private plane into Auburn to perform a show Saturday night at the Auburn Event Center; But to hear Dick tell it he almost actually did fly into Auburn having made his initial decent without remembering to put his landing gear down. Apparently an alert passenger/instructor saved the day by ordering him around for another pass to correct the situation thus avoiding the possible disaster. At 72 years old the "King of the Surf Guitar" is still going strong....but I doubt a belly landing on a cold Auburn morning would have done much to enrich his current West Coast tour.
It was the fourth or fifth time I've seen Dick, so to speak, and once again he didn't fail to thoroughly entertain me and all the other Dick Heads in attendance. Having never been a truly rabid Grateful Dead fan I could never really call myself a Dead Head...but I will admit to gladly being know as one of Mr. Dale's legions of Dick Heads....a term he lovingly throws around accompanied by his patented smirky grin.
Dick's show, for those of you who are uninitiated, is a loud and intense eclectic layered mixture of original heavy metal surf style guitar tunes and patented original cover versions of songs....the likes of wish you will never hear done in an even remotely similar fashion. "House of the Rising Sun" , Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and a tribute to Ray Charles classic "Say What?" are a few that come to mind.
Dick's well oiled three piece band seldom even pauses between numbers...preferring to continue the upside down left handed Stratocaster onslaught in rapid fire order, save for the occasional personal story from Dick or to introduce the Drummer or bass player.
Dick's original instrument was the drums and he delves into that area a couple of times...assisting the drummer on one of his solos and also banging out a tune with drum sticks on the strings of the bass guitar...naturally as the bass player is playing it!
And of course he always remembers to play his signature tune Miserlou which never fails to turn the crowd into a frenzy bunch of pimply screaming adolescences for a couple of minutes. Dick even breaks out the trumpet for the occasion.
So ya....if you ever get a chance to see Dick in person I highly recommend it......he is an original...the likes of which we will likely never see again.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Home Sweat Home

Well....actually getting home WAS a bit of a sweat....between the over extended stay at Pizza Port San Clemente on Monday and the unfortunate conversation with the CHP on Tuesday it took us about a day and a half to return North from our Southern excursion.
Somehow, despite all the drinking, traveling, drinking, visiting, drinking, Football games, tail- gating, drinking, Thanksgiving meals, coffee roasting and brewery visiting we managed to make it home with about eight growlers and a case of beer in 22oz bottles.
Terri and I visited Sequoia Brewing in Fresno as well as Ballast Point and Alpine in San Diego and of course Pizza Port San Clemente on the day we were originally scheduled to return home. Fortunately we DID stop in San Clemente because there were some bottles of Hop 15 and Port 3rd Anniversary Ale that had our names on them.
Another highlight of the trip for me was the pint of Coronado Brewing Red Devil Imperial Red I had at PP.... which at 10% abv reminded me of the legendary LogSpliter that Sequoia Brew Master Kevin Cox has produced in years past. Had I know about that beer I would have surely taken that off-ramp to Coronado Island that I bypassed earlier in the day. Oh well...so much beer and so little time available.
Our Ballast Point stop provided us with a case of scrumptious Sculin IPA and a high priced growler of Dorado Double IPA. I also had a sample of their Imperial Porter Victory at Sea but like some overspending cheap ass fool I failed to secure any bottles to bring home. Despite the $7.99 price tag I highly recommend it should anyone actually find any in Nor-Cal .... or anywhere else for that matter.
Naturally the biggest and most anticipated brewery visit of the entire trip was Alpine Brewing. We filled 20 growlers of their finest offerings including Pure Hoppiness, Duet, Nelson and O'Brien's IPA. While we were basking in the glow of Alpine Hops my sons Cody and Zack along with their beautiful brides Breann and Oralia were visiting Green Flash Brewing in Vista. They filled up 8 or so growlers and were treated like royalty by Brewer Chuck Silva's friendly crew who hooked them all up with custom Green Flash Brewing T-shirts. Along with growlers of Hop Head Red, West Coast IPA and Imperial they managed to secure some of the elusive Palette Wrecker that I had been hoping to try. It did not disappoint.
Somehow we also managed to squeeze in a visit to the legendary Hamilton's and the new Toronado of San Diego. Both places lived up to the hype and I could have spent a lot more time in each establishment. Both highly recommended.
Our late and unexpected stop at Red Shoe Roasting in Rancho Oak Hills was also a highlight of the trip and filled our trunk with a really obscene amount of mega quality fresh roasted beans from all over the globe. Thanks to some large Sasquatch type man who shall remain nameless we also were able to share in the sampling of a couple of bottles of Double IPA from Utah.
Since it Tis the Xmas season I suspect that these eight or so growlers I have left will be history before long.....now all I need is a sponsor and I'm ready to go on another round of growler gathering. A hearty thanks to all who housed, helped and joined us in any part of our great turkey weekend adventure ..... you certainly know who you are.