Cisero’s hosts rock band of oldies but goodies
January 2, 2009
"It was the summer of ’69," sings Bryan Adams on the classic rock album "Reckless." "Me and some guys from high school/had a band and we tried real hard."
Not unlike the fictional band in the song, the rock group Friends met in high school at Millikan High School in Long Beach, part of one of the largest graduating classes of 1969. Although their origin is accurately, if only coincidentally, described in Adams’ opening verses, the similarities stop there. Unlike the song’s band that can’t stay together, Friends has played together intermittently for the last 40 years.
Steve McComb, whose band name is Mac, owns Cisero’s nightclub and plays guitar in the group. He is credited with reuniting the rock alumni at their 20th high school reunion in 1990, he said. Ten years later, they played the gig for classmates.
In that time, the six-piece rock group has played at Cisero’s nightclub nearly every year, 18 times, under the names Bonehead, Big Daddy and Twang. Some members of the groups are full time professional musicians. One is an accountant. Another is a cabinetmaker. One, McComb said, makes false teeth.
What they have in common today is an abiding love of music. "We do it because we love live music," McComb explained Thursday. The band has been wearing out the grooves on The Beatles "Baby You Can Drive My Car," the Rolling Stones’ "Brown Sugar" and Van Morrison’s "Brown Eyed Girl" since they banded together in high school. The covers remain popular in live performances, McComb said because, "The classic stuff is just classic."
The songs are especially rich when played live. "I’ve always preferred live music over deejays," he said. " I like live music because you make mistakes. You have an energy there that’s not there on a record or CD."
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To hear Friends play live, come to Cisero’s Saturday night at 9 p.m. For more information, visit ciseros.com.