Wild Guessing

Q: Who was asked to be Van Halen's lead singer before Sammy Hagar?

If you know the answer, maybe you're already planning to do battle in Cover Me Badd's Music Trivia tonight at the Whistle Stop Bar in South Park. For $5 a head, teams of up to five members compete for a winner-take-all pot by answering music questions in a variety of formats there on the last Thursday of every month.

Adam Gimbel presides over all, putting together the questions -- creating many himself by drawing on his own vast music-dork knowledge base -- and running the show.

"When I read off answers, people cheer like crazy or moan like they're about to die," says Gimbel. "One girl insisted that I should've counted David Cassidy as a correct answer for 'I Think I Love You' instead of the Partridge Family [who hit #1 with it in November 1970], but I wouldn't budge."

For the "Name That Tune" portion, live bands are enlisted. Gimbel, who is best known around town as front man for his originals band Rookie Card and other concept/tribute projects, started a "Name That Tune" trivia game at the San Diego Sports Club. After SDSC was shut down for noise complaints, he found the Whistle Stop Bar was open to hosting the event.

Other guest cover bands have included the Shambles and Bad Credit; tonight's act -- befitting of the Halloween theme -- is Raven White, which specializes in dark '80s rock.

Gimbel toils to get the right mix of genre-spanning questions, insisting that the easy ones are hardest to formulate. "I love questions about new, bad music because it's harder for the music snobs. The best question I ever heard at the Live Wire night was 'Name any Dave Matthews album' -- because none of us could!"

A: Patty Smyth of Scandal. In 1985, the current Mrs. John McEnroe was friends with Eddie Van Halen's then-wife Valerie Bertinelli.

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