Bring Back the Soul

San Diego's Marcia Claire is one busy bassist -- she currently plays in four bands: Citizen Band ("power country rock on ephedra, caffeine, and Jameson"), the Cindy Lee Berryhill Band, the Barbara Nesbitt Band ("beautiful harmonies you need to hear to believe"), and, on occasion, the Cathryn Beeks Ordeal. She adds, "I've also played with Dave Howard, Gregory Page, Lisa Sanders, Tim Flannery, Sven-Erik Seaholm, Chuck Schiele, Christopher Dale, Spud Davenport, Girl Trouble, the Coyote Problem, Not Your Mom -- a girl band! -- Frank Williamson, and Dani Carroll."

Claire also went to junior high and high school with Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. "We were acting partners in our freshman year at San Dieguito High in Encinitas."

She feels music, right now, "has got to go back to its roots. Stuff like what the Meters did in the '70s -- music that makes you move in that way that electronically assisted music just can't. We're in the midst of the pendulum effect," she claims. "We went very techno in the late '90s, just based on the idea that we actually could go techno. But the soul of music was compromised in the process. There are plenty of good producers, both internationally and right here in San Diego, that are committed to bringing the soul back. The pendulum will swing back to the real funk and soul."


"Usually it's logistics -- just getting drums and big amps to fit on stages built for open mikes. I've almost taken a head or two off of unsuspecting customers at the Ould Sod. Sometimes it's grouchy patrons who've been at a bar/club since noon and have been overserved by the time the band rolls in. And sometimes, it's getting my low A440 [string] to stop ringing in a big room."


"My main bass, 'Goldie,' a 1982 Custom Fender Jazz with gold hardware. Quite the pimp bass. So, yeah, do the math: I've had her for 25 years. She plays so great, and she's been with me to Memphis, on USO tours, and, most importantly, she's always there when I'm going through bad times. Goldie is my favorite friend; she's a great listener."


"For sheer massive rock 'n' roll factor, I'd say when our band Main Street Magic performed as a finalist at the International Youth Talent Competition at the Memphis Coliseum. It was big. It was loud. I was 19 years old. Oh, and we lost the competition to somebody from Japan."


"That'd be a tie between the night I had a salad-sized bowl of popcorn thrown at me onstage by a drunken fan that wanted 'more Chairman of the Board!' and playing a gig in an inch of standing water -- yes, with electric instruments -- with my cover band Balance, up in the hills above La Mesa. I figured it would be very rock 'n' roll to die by way of gig electrocution."


"Getting stitches in my forehead after splitting my head open on park equipment while my parents were having a make-out session under a tree. I was three years old."


"I didn't go to my San Dieguito prom, but I went to Fallbrook High's prom with Marc Burchstead. We went to the Cask 'n' Cleaver in Oceanside for dinner, then the prom at Camp Pendleton. Yes, I actually went to the dance."


"The rough tracks to the solo CD I'm working on. Why? To decide which songs to ax and which to keep and to try to decide if I'm really any good."


"I asked Gene Simmons this same question at Kiss Unplugged, and all I got out of it was an inappropriate proposition. I'll actually give you an answer:

1. Incubus, Make Yourself

2. The Best of the Police

3. Fleetwood Mac, Rumours

4. Blind Boys of Alabama, Higher Ground

5. NWA, Straight Outta Compton

I can't believe I don't have jazz or classical -- I'd need a longer list."


"Besides my sweetheart's house? I'd have to say, for music, the Belly Up Tavern. For fun eats, the new Aussie restaurant/bar Bondi in the Gaslamp. They have fishing baskets to sit in, and, drum roll please, Coopers on tap, mate! For getting jiggy, let's go to the Lime Tequila Bar."

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