Throwback Thursday: Drive Like Jehu

Today’s Throwback Thursday is about taking advantage of second, or even third chances! It is festival season now with Coachella coming up, and that means a lot of us musicians are headed to airports, into vans or on trains. But either way, festivals are our best chance to see bands come through our towns. What happens a lot these days is that bands you thought would never perform together again, do, and we all get our chance to see a band we saw back in the day. Or even better, we get to see a band you never saw when they were active. For me, one band I never got to see was Drive Like Jehu, but in 2015, that day finally came!

I will tell you what I remember about Drive Like Jehu, and if you really want to know about them, please Google them and listen to their stuff by any means necessary. In any case here is my story, for your reading pleasure.

I first became aware of Drive Like Jehu in the mid 90’s. I was in a band called DC-10. We were a funky rock band (similar to what the Beastie Boys did on Check Your Head) and we were asked to play Fred C’s Super Twin Hour on KXLU college radio out of Loyola University here in Los Angeles. I remember when we set up, there was a picture of this band performing live at KXLU and I asked the dudes at the station who the picture was. He said it was Drive Like Jehu and that they were one of the best bands to ever play at the radio station.

The pic was of four dudes facing each other and they looked like they were killing it. They were like a gang. Two dudes on guitar and one on bass with their drummer hammering down on toms. After we performed, I went to a record store in Venice where I was living at the time and bought Yank Crime. I remember the guy working at the store telling me “Great purchase. These guys were amazing.” Now, “were” stuck out to me and I found out this band had recently broken up. I lived on Yank Crime for at least a year and also bought their first record Drive Like Jehu and listened to that just as much.

So I end up hearing that Drive Like Jehu was going to play in San Diego at Balboa Park late last year. I was pretty set to go but I heard they were not going to play long and they were performing with an pipe organist who was the pipe organist for the park. It all sounded a little like a let down reunion so I blew it out. I eventually watched a Youtube video of the entire gig and realized that I blew it. They sounded pretty amazing.

Well then I catch wind that Drive Like Jehu was going to perform at Coachella which really tells me that they will probably do side shows around SoCal. In all this excitement, I get a text from my friend O who knows all the guys in Drive Like Jehu and he tells me Mike Kennedy, the bassist, needs to get a bass rig for the upcoming shows they have. O puts me in contact with Mike and I am flipping!

Mike calls me and asks my opinion on the greatest amplifiers ever made, Ampeg, and what I thought he should use. I give him some suggestions but he really knew what would work and I put him in contact with Scott at Ampeg to get the rig for him. Mike is a very humble dude and I probably freaked him out a little with my over the top enthusiasm I have for him and his band. He offers to put me on the list for a show they are doing at the Casbah in San Diego (their home town) and of course I accept the invitation. I drove down there last week with Dan Elkan and we witness one of the best shows I have seen in years. Mike was dead on with his bass lines (I would know, I listened to this record over 1000x) and his bass rig sounded HUGE!

If you are not aware of this band, please check them out. They are legends to me and I think one of the best returns you could ask for. They sound amazing!


Photos courtesy of :

It’s Gonna Blow: San Diego’s Music Underground 1986-1996