San Diego rockers invade Spain and Italy

Robert Lopez and friends bring a Schizophonic Little Richard to Europe

Lety Beers: “We all play twice in one night but make up the three acts of the evening...everyone comes together to form the Little Richards.”
  • Lety Beers: “We all play twice in one night but make up the three acts of the evening...everyone comes together to form the Little Richards.”

Last month, a San Diego traveling circus invaded Spain and Italy to perform a run of shows. The three-act tour, which featured the Little Richards, Schizophonics, and Diana Death y Sus Novios, benefitted from the overlap of players in each group.

Little Richards live...

...in Spain

...in Spain

“The Little Richards was a brainchild of Robert Lopez that we put together for [vintage clothing store] The Girl Can’t Help It,” multi-band member Lety Beers explained. “We all had a wild time with it, adding more and more dance moves and gimmicks until Robert wanted to take the show to Europe. Since there are so many of us in the Little Richards we are a self-sustained bill, where we all play twice in one night but make up the three acts of the evening. First off it was Diana Death y Sus Novios — Robert, Justin Cota, Diana Death, then the Schizophonics — me, Pat [Beers], and Adam Gimbel, and then everyone comes together to form the Little Richards, who headlined the tour. Robert has been playing out there for ages so he asked his booker, Kike Louie, to put this together.”

The tour ran October 1–24, with only four days off during the run. Brian Reilly (the New Kinetics) usually plays with the Little Richards but was unable to get off of work for the duration of the tour, so Justin Cota took his spot when it was time for the Richards to perform. Adam Gimbel (Geezer) flew overseas with the crew to play bass in the Schizophonics and with the Richards as well. He is filling in with the Schizos until they find a permanent new member for the position.

All these bands do well locally, but the audiences overseas apparently cut loose when the circus rolled into town.

“One of our favorite [shows] was at an awesome club called Hell Dorado in Vitoria [Spain]. The crowd was really fun and crazy and we played until we had nothing left. Then our wonderful tour manager/driver Kike started DJing rock & soul and it turned into a big dance party, which apparently lasted till 10 a.m. the next day. We didn’t make it that far, though.” Beers admitted.

She also added that one memorable night found Beers playing guitar on Robert’s shoulders while Justin was rolling on the ground. For Beers, seeing everyone from the bartenders to the door girl dancing all at the same time while this was happening was “a real wild time.”

Perhaps a little more active than your typical local crowd?

Bar Pink

3829 30th Street, North Park

“Playing in San Diego is like playing to a group of friends and family every night,” Beers explained. “We love this town. Touring Spain was like playing different Casbahs every night. People show up to dance and really let loose. There seems to be a bigger appreciation for old rock and soul music over there, so our music went over better there than we’ve noticed in the States.”

Schizophonics play a local show on Saturday, November 14, at Bar Pink for the San Diego Music Thing.

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