The Kickstarter Campaign to raise funding to print GEARHEAD #20 has been a tremendously exciting, challenging and interesting project. As of this moment, we are 24 hours from ending and just $150 short of hitting our goal.
Reserve your copy of Gearhead Magazine or a shirt, or get a cool thumb drive with exclusive behind the scenes content. If you’re a band, own a car you wish was featured in one of those glossy car mags, are a member of a car club you think everyone should know about, or are an aspiring artist, consider the Top Fuel level of pledge. You’ll get a chance to tell your story and have it published on the Gearhead website!
I want to extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all of you who have been cheering Gearhead on, and especially those of you who have pledged during this campaign. Because of people like you, I have the courage and support to keep on going. You all are a very special very respected part of this community. Thank you!
See y’all under the checkered flag!
Much love and thanks,
These last few weeks have been anything but normal around GEARHEAD HQ. Final preparations for GEARFEST 2016 have occupied more time than I planned for, but that is normal when you’re putting on a festival that has so many moving parts.
Organizing Gearfest has been a labor of love. It feels great to have the passion flowing through my veins again. I feel like a car that just had an oil change and tune up—revved up and ready to go go go!
I am excited, really truly excited to meet, hang out, rock out and just enjoy something social again. Listening to music that fuels my soul, drinking a few brews, checking out cool cars, eating some good food…. this is what running a company like Gearhead is all about.
I’m excited for the Ms. Gearhead Contest as well. Doing something good for the community and recognizing powerful creative women in our scene at the same time is a win-win for everyone. And besides, it’s fun! To sign up, or just learn more about the contest check out the contest page.
Think back on those dark days not so long ago when I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to listen to a record again or pull myself out of my pajamas, get dressed up and go see a band or a car show. Times were pretty rough, and it looked like GEARHEAD was gonna go the way of so many other small creative businesses. But thankfully, with the help, support and enthusiasm of you, my community, things have come 180 degrees around. Its like doing donuts in the dirt; the thrill is back, enjoying doing something really fun, even if it’s kind of risky, makes life worth living.
For those of you who can’t make it, don’t despair. I plan on making Gearfest an annual event, each year a little bigger, a little better and with a lot more warning than I gave you this year. I have no excuse; I am simply learning once again to navigate the trials and tribulations of running a small business and learning to ask for help.
Please make sure to introduce yourself if you're coming. I love meeting the people who support Gearhead! For a full schedule, please check out the Gearfest page.
To commemorate the event, a limited run of Gearfest shirts is now available featuring the poster on the back and the Gearhead logo on the front of a white t shirt.
I’m getting better with the social media thing and will hopefully have photos and video up pretty quick after the event. I’m sure other folks will be sharing as well: use #gearfest2016 and #gearheadrocks as the hash tag if you do!
Finally, I want to take a moment to thank the sponsors who helped make GEARFEST 2016 possible: Asphalt Rodeo, Sacramento Tattoo and Piercing, Rolling Rock Beer, Beautiful Disaster Cosmetics, Kustom Koffins Apparel, Tres Noir Optics East SMF, and Dave’s Dawgs. You guys rock!
Now let’s go shake some action!
XoXo Rev. Michelle
(Elk Grove, CA) Inez Whitlow is a tough chick. In fact, she was once a Chick in Crisis, having become pregnant as a teen. Inspired by her experience and wanting to help other chicks navigate the trecherous waters of an unplanned pregnancy, she started Chicks in Crisis to help teens and young women facing the mental, physical and emotional challenges of an unplanned pregnancy. With a goal to keep babies and young children from entering the foster system, Whitlow created a one-stop shop of sorts for these young women, providing everything from counceling, clothing and cooking classes to facilitating adoptions.
As a tough chick herself, Gearhead owner Michelle Haunold decided to host a fundraiser during the upcoming Gearfest 2016 to help Chicks in Crisis. “They’re right around the corner from my house, “ Haunold says. “I stopped by one day to see what it was all about and was inspired by Inez and her dedication to these girls and babies. She’s making a difference in our community, and I wanted to help.”
The garage-punk hot rod exravaganza Gearfest 2016 will take place at the Blue Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95816 Sept. 24, 2016. The underground rock festival will begin at 6:00 pm with a free hot rod show in front of the club followed by a garage-punk rock show for 21+ featuring bands, food and a Ms. Gearhead contest.
What exactly is the Ms. Gearhead Contest you ask? Sponsored by Beautiful Disaster Cosmetics, an El Dorado Hills, CA based brand of hypoallergenic cosmetics, any woman can take part in the contest by donating $20 for a chance to win the title of Ms. Gearhead 2016. All proceeds from the contest will be donated to the non-profit Elk Grove, CA based Chicks in Crisis.
Women don’t need to dress or look a certain way. They just need to be able to speak for three minutes about how they embody the qualities of Ms. Gearhead, which, according to the website is “… strong, independent and above all, true to herself and her inner voice. She is compassionate and kind, and works for the rights of those less fortunate than herself, but she is not a push over. She is a protector and voice for animals and the earth, conscious that being a leader comes with great courage to do what is right and stand up against what is wrong. She is diplomatic and follows a path of peace when facing conflicts.”
After a short deliberation by three independent judges, the winner will be crowned and given the title of Ms. Gearhead 2016. She will win a feature article and photo shoot for the Gearhead website, as well as a basket of goodies valued over $500 including Beautiful Disaster Cosmetics, a Lux DeVille handbag and wallet donated by Kustom Koffins Apparel, sunglasses from Tres Noir Optics and a gift basket from Sacramento based restraunt East SMF.
In addition, raffle tickets will be sold for $1 a piece with half the cash prize going to Chicks in Crisis and the other half to one lucky raffle winner.
Guests can get a $2 discount by buying their tickets early, which Haunold encourages. “Space is pretty limited at this club, so get your tickets in advance to make sure you can get in!” Tickets are $10 at the door, but guests can get a $2 discount by bringing one or more of the folllowing: Diapers Sizes 4, 5 and 6, Clothing: Newborn to Size 5T, Baby Wipes, or Gift cards ($25 or less). All these items are on the Chicks in Crisis wish list.
For more information, please visit the Gearhead website at http://www.gearheadhq.com
Michelle Haunold, CEO/President
Ms. Gearhead is strong, independent and above all, true to herself and her inner voice. She is compassionate and kind, and works for the rights of those less fortunate than herself, but she is not a push over. She is a protector and voice for animals and the earth, conscious that being a leader comes with great courage to do what is right and stand up against what is wrong. She is diplomatic and follows a path of peace when facing conflicts.
She is 100% her own person, not following trends or fashions but her own inner guidance and passions. She feels safe expressing her opinions even if it is not popular. She is honest and forthright, and speaks from her heart. She follows the path less walked by others and enjoys the challenge of finding her way in a sometimes-overwhelming sea of conformity and expectations about what a woman should do and be.
Whether Punk Rock or Pin Ups, Rosie the Riveter or The Rockettes inspires you, please join us in selecting the next Ms. Gearhead during intermission during Gearfest 2016.
The first 15 women to donate will be entered in the contest.
*All contestants may dress however they feel most inspired, at their best and most powerful.
*Each contestant will have 3 minutes to speak about why she embodies the qualities of Ms. Gearhead.
*After a short deliberation our judges will select Ms. Gearhead 2016 based on how closely she meets the personal qualities of Ms. Gearhead.
The winner will receive a photo-shoot with the pictures to be included with a write up for the Gearhead website, Facebook and other social media sites, and the title of Ms. Gearhead 2016. She will also get to wear the Ms. Gearhead tiara and carry the Gearhead sceptor until the next Ms. Gearhead contest.
The entrance fee is a $20 donation, which includes the price of admission to Gearfest 2016. All proceeds from the Ms. Gearhead contest will be donated to Chicks in Crisis, an Elk Grove, CA based non-profit dedicated to providing support and resources for pregnant women (and their partners) with prenatal care, life skills training, parenting assistance, clothes, emergency food, baby supplies, and legal guidance.
In addition, a raffle will be held during Gearfest 2016 with half the proceeds going to one raffle winner and the other half going to Chicks in Crisis. To further support this charity, every Gearfest 2016 attendee can get a $2 discount at the door by bringing one or more of the following:
• Diapers: Sizes 4, 5 and 6
• Clothing: Newborn to Size 5T
• Baby Wipes
• Maternity Clothes
• Gift cards ($25 or less)
Are you our next Ms. Gearhead? Please join us to find out!
Previously, I shared how nervous I was to follow in my former partner Mike’s footsteps as editor of GEARHEAD. But I realized it was about finding my voice and putting my own stamp on the magazine, much as any other new editor does. Once I was able to look at it that way, the writing flowed. The tricky part has been figuring out how to put it all together, and of course raising the money to print it.
This new issue contains stories I have wanted to write for a long long time, including an article about the Yolo County Demolition Derby, an in-depth interview with Jake from The Lords of Altamont, and a behind the scenes look at the long-running Lady Luck Tattoo Convention. Craig Fitzgerald over at Bangshift.com serves up a history of the 60s craze The Zingers! Long time Gearhead supporter Laurent Bagnard is contributing a tribute to the King of Kustomizers, George Barris, who recently passed away. Eva Von Baron contributes a look at the Bay Area music and art scene, and Aime Elkins McCrory shares delectable details about what it was like to be legendary music producer Kim Fowley's assistant. The new mag is stuffed with lots of other cool stuff, so Pledge Now, so I can raise the money to print it and share it with you!
I have had no templates to work from, with nothing to guide me except back issues of the mag. But hell, those of you who know me know I am nothing if not determined. I created an entire record label from scratch fifteen years ago, for goodness sakes, and put out over eighty records on a wing and and a prayer. I knew I could certainly figure out how to write, design and lay out a single issue of a magazine! And now, it all comes down to money.
You've probably heard I'm running a Kickstarter Campaign to raise the necessary $3500 to print the magazine. It's a chance for you to be a part of the process, so please pledge your support now if you are even the slightest bit curious about this new issue! I personally think it's one of the best but I'm a little biased! Click here to check out the cool gifts you can get when you pledege today! But hurry! The campaign ends 9:30 am PST Monday Dec. 2, 2015. If I don't reach or beat my goal of raising $3500, I DON'T GET A DIME, and you fine folks won't get your magazine. SO PLEDGE TODAY PLEASE!
There's so much happening before and during the upcoming party at The Blue Lamp, Saturday Sept. 26, 2015 I figured I'd make it real easy and post a time-line. Please feel free to share and post on your own social media pages! See y'all there!
5:30- 6 PM HOT RODS, CARS, MOTORCYCLES MEET IN FRONT OF THE BLUE LAMP. There will be cones set up in front of the club for hot rods and bikes to park, but please note, Space is Limited! All are welcome but you may have to park farther away.
6 PM BLESSING OF THE CARS RALLY BY REV. MICHELLE HAUNOLD
This will be a short non-denominational blessing free to all attendees, and held in front of the Blue Lamp. All participants will get a coupon for $1 off entrance fee for the show.
6:30 DOORS OPEN— TIX ARE $10 AT THE DOOR, $8 ADVANCE
Thank you to our party sponsors So-Cal Speed Shop, Sacramento Tattoo and Piercing and Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. Everyone attending the party gets a free poster!
FIRST 25 DOOR ENTRANTS GET A FREE GEARHEAD GOODY BAG!
7 PM THE SACTO STORYTELLERS
8 PM THE WHITE BARONS
9 PM MS. GEARHEAD CONTEST and Fundraiser for the SPCA $5 to ENTER
All women are welcome, no matter what shape, size, or style of dress. Each participant will get a chance on stage to introduce herself and share why she thinks she should be Ms. Gearhead. The winner will get a 2 page spread in a future issue of Gearhead, a goody bag from Tres Noir Optics, a gift certificate for $50 towards a tattoo from Sacramento Tattoo, a $25 gift certificate from Phono Select Records, a goody bag from Cock Grease Hair Pomade, a goody basket from Illumination Vacations, 2 Limited edition signed prints from Bruce Gossett Studios and a gift certificate for a hair cut by Kylie from AJF Salon worth $50.WOW!! Plus a very cool home-made scepter and crown and flowers, and the chance to wear the title of Ms. Gearhead for a year. How cool is that?!
Thanks to our sponsors Tres Noir Optics and Norcal Knock Out!
10 PM PAT TODD AND RANKOUTSIDERS
11 PM THEE MERRY WIDOWS
Food trucks will be available during the event, and there will be a GEARHEAD merch booth.
ACE FREHLEY OF KISS AT STEVE RODRIGUEZ (THE DRAGONS)
MEMORIAL LAST SUNDAY AT CASBAH IN SAN DIEGO
Memorial Concert Raised Over $7,000
GoFundMe Campaign Raised Over $8,000
All Contributions Go To College Fund For Son Jesse Rodriguez
Last Sunday night Ace Frehley (KISS) honored the memory of Steve Rodriguez (1967-2015) by playing with The Dragons (Mario Escovedo, Ken Horne, Jarrod Lucas) at a memorial at the Casbah in San Diego. The bands and the music community raised over $7,000 at the concert and over $8,000 via GoFundMe campaign. All contributions go towards a college fund for Rodriguez's son, Jesse.
In addition to Ace Frehley members of The Bronx and The Zeros joined The Dragons for an incredible night of music and remembrances. Attendees were also treated to performances by Steve Poltz, Uncle Joe's Big Ol' Driver, and Saint Shameless. A video tribute was produced and edited by Maren Parusel featuring a collage of photos depicting Steve Rodriguez's life and emotional video messages from Seiji of Guitar Wolf (Japan), Ginger from The Wildhearts (England), Sami Yaffa from Hanoi Rocks/Mad Juana/Michael Monroe (Finland), and Ronnie Barnett from The Muffs (California). Video can be viewed HERE.
Many others turned out to pay their respect and share stories, including Tony Bee from the Adolescents, John Reiss from Rocket From The Crypt, Lou Carus of Junk Records and countless other musicians, fans and community leaders.
Steve Rodriguez passed away on July 21, 2015. Besides The Dragons his bands included Infantry, Mad Juana, The Zeros, and of late his own band Saint Shameless. He is survived by his wife of many years, Jamie, and their son Jesse.
Publicity requests may be directed to Ilka Erren Pardinas at Fly PR:
Any other inquiries may be directed to Mario Escovedo at:
PHOTO CREDITS AND CAPTIONS
photo outside Casbah with Ace Frehley/KISS from left to right: Ken Horne, Javier Escovedo, Ace Frehley, Mario Escovedo, Jesse Rodriguez, Jarrod Lucas
By: Maren Parusel
photo on stage from left to right: Hector Penalosa of The Zeros, Ace Frehley, Mario Escovedo, Jarrod Lucas, Matt Caughthran of The Bronx, Javier Escovedo, Ken Horne
Steve Rodriguez portrait by Derek Plank (photo of Jesse by Mario Escovedo)
When they announced they were breaking up back in 2006, I cried then too. I loved this band so much and they brought such pleasure to my life and the lives of others; how could they call it quits? The music industry is a tough place to work. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to get out there and tour, playing sometimes for pennies and almost no one listening. The lifestyle can take it's toll on relationships and on one's health. I understood that probably better than most, having worked with many bands over the course of their careers.
My heart broke when I got the news via Facebook that Steve Rodriguez, bass player for The Dragons, had passed away suddenly July 21, 2015. Disbelief, shock, questions...all flashed through my mind in an instant. And then the tears came. Only a few weeks prior I had cherished hopes that The Dragons might reform and play the Gearhead Anniversary party I was putting together for the fall. Now, I will never see them play again.
It takes a specific type of personality to be able to weather the stresses of band life, and Steve seemed to be that person. He was married to a lovely lady, Jamie, and had a cute kid, Jesse. He was so proud of his wife and son, and while I never got to meet his son, and only met his wife a couple of times, I knew that was one relationship that could withstand the rigors of the road. I was happy for them, and happy to see love thrive in the otherwise desolate landscape of constant touring. Being a woman in the music industry is rough. Many people think all you have to do is sleep with the band, and you're in the inner sanctum. I had the privilege of being one of the lucky few who got to work closely with the bands but never had to resort to sex to spend time with them. I had a strict rule: no sleeping with the bands! It allowed me to do my work, be the boss, but also be a friend and confident.
I went on tour with The Dragons and The Riverboat Gamblers in 2003. It was a blast, and really eye-opening. Much of touring is simply moving from one city to another, spending countless hours on the road discovering new ways to pass the time as you travel in cramped uncomfortable vehicles to the next show. It's the type of situation that can cause crankiness and frayed nerves to escalate into fights and disagreements but that never happened, at least while I was with them. In every picture of Steve, he is laughing, enjoying life, celebrating his friends and music and how much pleasure it gave him. And that is always how he was with me.
There was always time for a smile and a hug. He was especially good at the hugs. They were warm and deep and came from his very soul. He never held back, and there was never anything superficial in those hugs. I am a pretty shy person, although you might never guess that. During one stop on the tour, we were at a house party in Boston, and I felt very out of place. I didn't know anyone except the bands I was traveling with. I'm not really a drinker or a partier, and all I wanted was to go to sleep. Steve seemed to sense how uncomfortable I was and stuck close by my side talking and laughing, making sure I was ok. It meant so much to me, tears come to my eyes now as I remember how relieved I was to have him there with me, making me feel safe.
He became my guardian angel that night, and for the rest of the tour, he always made sure I was ok, feeling safe and comfortable, had food to eat or a beer if I wanted. He was thoughtful and kind, and there was no rock-star bullshit. He could have very easily pulled attitude with me, but he never did, and I never saw him pull it with anyone. H just seemed to thrive on being a nice, sweet kind guy, the kind of guy his wife and son would be proud of. Steve was a rock star in the truest sense of the word. He shone so bright when he was rocking!
His signature song was Joan Jett's Bad Reputation. As soon as Steve stepped up to that mike, you knew what was coming next. He rocked and sang with passion and enthusiasm and fun every single time I saw him perform it. And no one could have done it like Steve. It was just his song!
It's hard to put into words how much someone can touch your life without you really even knowing it. As I sift through the pictures and the memories, I wonder if he ever knew how deeply his kindness and love touched me. I don't think I ever told him. It makes me want to be a better person, more loving and more open and vulnerable, telling those I love how much they mean to me. Telling the bands that have touched my life how grateful I am to have worked with them, learned from them, shared with them.
To those of us left to honor his memory, I think that is one of the best ways we can do it. Be grateful for the close bonds of friendship and love that surround you. We all have them, even if you're not in a romantic relationship with someone. As we walk through our lives, we touch those around us, even if we're not aware of it. Little acts of kindness and generosity are what it's all about after all. Leaving the world a little bit better than how you found it. Many blessings and prayers to those touched by Steve's life, especially his brothers Mario, Kenny and Jarrod from The Dragons, and his wife Jamie and son Jesse. He has passed out of our lives physically, but emotionally, he is there, always reminding us to smile, to love, to be genuine and authentic, and most of all to make those around you feel loved and special. Rock with the angels my friend. I know they will enjoy you as much as we did.
A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help with expenses and to create a college fund for his son. Please donate what you can! A lovely video has been put together honoring Steve. You can watch it here. Also, a memorial show has been set up for Sunday Aug. 2, 2015 at The Casbah in San Diego. For more information go here.
Only a couple days left to buy this totally offensive, but funny limited edition Gearhead® shirt! Based on this classic 70's photo of Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones sporting a "Who The Fuck is Mick Jagger?" shirt, this is a nod to the totally punk-rock roots of Gearhead. It will only be available through our campaign on Teespring.com, and once that ends, this shirt will never be printed again. So buy your limited edition Keith-inspired shirt today!
Automotive Journalist, Editor and Publisher of Gearhead Magazine, Gearhead Records, Gearhead Apparel, DJ, Punk Rocker, Master Gardener, Minister, Environmental Activist and Animal Lover... who IS this person?!