Victor Penalosa has played multiple instruments in a number of area bands, with a partial list including the Burrito Brothers, the Melanies, Sidewalk Scene, Riot Act, Unruly Bangs, Baja Bugs, Got it Covered, ADD/C, the Zeros, Action Andy & the Hi-Tones, and the Shambles. Since 2013, he’s been a member of Bay Area–based favorites the Flamin’ Groovies, whose ’60s/’70s tunes such as “Shake Some Action” and “Jumpin’ in the Night” are now considered garage-rock classics.
Perhaps his most high-profile gig, with the Groovies constantly touring the world, he admits that it’s not hard to have fun with the retro-rock mainstays. “There are no difficult Groovies songs,” he says. “All pretty straight-ahead rock-and-roll numbers.”
Penalosa’s newest project, the Phantoms, play punked-up ’70s-inspired FM glam rock, pounded out by Penalosa alongside Xavier Anaya (the Trebles, the Hoods), Chris Iandolo (Dizzy), and Ed Masi (Ghosts of California, Sleeping Cranes).
The self-titled debut Phantoms album was released in June via Rum Bar Records. A video for “Stab Me (In My Broken Heart),” featuring clips from the 1979 drive-in feature Driller Killer, is streaming on their Reader band page.
The Phantoms play the Casbah with Dirty Pennies and Mittens on Monday, October 10.
WHAT’S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?
Penalosa: “Roky Erickson and the Aliens, Creature with the Atom Brain. Best songs ever written.”
Iandolo: “David Bowie, Low. Great, fairly overlooked album, this, but so good.”
Anaya: “Johnny Kidd and the Pirates.”
Masi: “I don’t own a CD player.”
WHERE DO YOU TAKE OUT-OF-TOWN GUESTS?
Penalosa: “The Whistle Stop.”
Masi: “Controversial Bookstore.”
IF YOU COULD READ OUR MINDS?
Penalosa: “I’d blow my brains out.”
BEST ADVICE YOU EVER GOT?
Masi: “A professor from one of my grad-school courses told me, ‘Think before you speak.’”
MOST VISITED WEBSITES?
Penalosa: “KissFaq.com has all things Kiss, Beatles.com has all things Beatles, and True Crime Garage is the best podcast in the universe.”
Masi: “CaliforniaRocker.com, founded by Donna Balancia, has music reviews, interviews, news, and shows, and SpeakersInCode.com is a St. Louis–based music blog founded by Jason Gonulsen.”
FAVORITE QUOTE FROM SPINAL TAP?
Iandolo: “Can I raise a practical question at this point? Are we gonna do ‘Stonehenge’ tomorrow?”
Anaya: “Sounds like barbershop raga, a new hybrid.”
YOUR DRINK OF CHOICE?
Penalosa: “Gin and tonic.”
Iandolo: “Manhattan, preferably ‘up’ and light on the vermouth. Or, as my mother says, quoting her father, ‘Open the vermouth bottle and turn to the west.’”
Masi: “A Roy Rogers.”
FIRST BOOK YOU REMEMBER READING?
Anaya: “Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman.”
Masi: “The Truth About Fonzie, by Peggy Herz.”
WHAT SHOULDN’T PEOPLE DISCUSS AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Anaya: “Nothing. I’m dead already.”
Masi: “My penis reduction surgery at the tender age of six.”
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME SOMEONE YELLED AT YOU?
Masi: “Two weeks ago, by a man from Romania, I believe, in a van, for parking in his parking space. Sulo King at Iacon Sound can provide better details about the incident.”
YOUR TASTIEST DISH (AND WHAT’S YOUR SECRET)?
Anaya: “French toast. Instead of syrup, use honey and lemon, and now it’s Spanish toast.”
Masi: “Quesadilla with ranchero cheese, corn tortillas, and pan fried in olive oil.”
CRAZIEST WAY YOU EVER MADE MONEY?
Penalosa: “Selling Xerox copies of Monkees 8-by-10s.”
Masi: “Selling what I believe were rodent bones that I passed off as prehistoric fossils. I was seven.”
WHAT REMAINS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Masi: “Climb Everest before my dad dies. He says he named me after [New Zealand explorer] Sir Edmund Hillary, so, wow, I can’t let him down. I grew up Catholic, so I’ll try to finally convince him that he named me after Saint Edmund [the martyr king of East Anglia circa 855 AD] and get away with proving to him that I provided adequate protection for kings, pandemics, torture victims, and wolves.”
- Monday, October 10, 2016, 8 p.m.
2501 Kettner Boulevard,
BEST THING YOU HAD TO LET GO?
Penalosa: “My dignity.”
WHAT WOULD YOUR GRADE SCHOOL TEACHER SAY ABOUT YOU?
Masi: “‘He was kind, but bubbling with evil thoughts.’ Remember, I went to Catholic school.”
SONG THAT BEST DESCRIBES YOUR LIFE?
Penalosa: “‘Add Some Music to Your Day,’ by the Beach Boys: ‘When you’re alone (add some music, add some music) is like a companion (add some music, add some music) for your lonely soul.’”
Masi: “‘Main Street’ by Deer Tick: ‘Of goodbye times, you ain’t on my side, satisfaction, too much of mine, song goes here, never let me down, oh the main street seems so lonely now.’”