Offbeats News

Where The Offbeats Are Playing

July & August 2013:

Time sure passes quickly. I've been back in Arizona for 4 years and moved again from Mesa to Payson. This is my last stop gang! I've purchased a home, am officially retired and living in "Mayberry". But that doesn't mean The Offbeats have wrapped things up. There will be special ocassions and one is coming up! On August 24 we will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of our performance at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, England with a recreation of that show at Hooley's in Rancho San Diego, California!. Hours are 8p to 11p and it will be out on the patio stage. Doug will be flying down from Spokane, so it will be the original line up, one night only. We hope you can stop by and share it with us! If you're not familiar with Hooley's, here are the details: Hooley's.

I'd also like to mention a few birthdays . . . 7/4 - our country. Happy Independence Day! 7/7 - Ringo Starr! 7/13 - My former employer and mentor, Gordon Austin, La Mesa Chamber of Commerce. 7/15 - yours, truly. 7/28 - My little sister, Mary Hanna Tichonchuk. I wouldn't be here to write this if Mary hadn't come into my life. 8/1 - Beautiful Susan Bigelow, former City Clerk for both La Mesa and Chula Vista, CA. 8/4 - Our own George "fang" Lewis! 8/20 - The lovely Patty O'Reilly, former Chairman, LMVMA and Board Member, La Mesa Chamber of Commerce. Happy Birthday, and God bless us, everyone!

You're invited to get the bigger picture about the participating Offbeats through the years:

Take a look at Doug Harrison's world: Doug Harrison by clicking HERE.

See Andy Tirpak and Tom Schlesinger's gigs with Laguna by clicking HERE.

See Gene Rochambeau and Guy Harris's gigs with The Noise Boys by clicking HERE.

See Tom Allen's gigs with The Blue Current Band by clicking HERE.

Get the scoop on Howard Blank's gigs with The Legends here:

Catch you on the flip side!

John, George, Doug, Andy and Tom
The Offbeats

April & May 2009:

Things are getting busy as we approach Spring. Deuce Coupe will be at the American Legion Hall (7p to 10p) in Escondido with drummer Ted Best and and guitarists John Sisson (The Legends) on Friday, April 10 and Gene Rochambeau on Saturday, April 18. Blue Current will gig at the Spring Valley Inn, 8p to 12a on Friday April 24 and at a 50th birthday party in Jamul from 4p to 8p on Saturday, April 25. May 2nd finds The Legends at the Allied Gardens Springfest! from 2p to 4p and Deuce Coupe is playing another 50th birthday party in Vista on Saturday, May 9 from noon to 3:30p, this time with Andy Tirpak on guitar. The Offbeats return to McP's on Saturday, May 30 (9p to 1a) with Andy on guitar and Blackbyrd (an all Beatles show) plays the Coyote Grille in Calrsbad from 2p to 5p on Sunday, May 31. I'll be playing bass/keyboards at all of these dates. Now let's see . . . if I can avoid senior moments and keep track of who's playing what, how, where and when . . . LOL!

April 8 is Doug Harrison's birthday!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ZD! Taxes are due on April 15 . . . YIKES! I'll be producing and engineering a Tom Allen (of Blue Current) recording session on Wednesday, May 6. Nancy Dennison's birthday is on May 11! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NANCY! Stu Wood (The Grapes of Wrath) celebrates his birthday on May 15! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STU!

You get the latest here, so stop by regularly. Plus, you're always invited to our public appearances, tomato tossing optional . . .

To get the bigger picture:

See Andy Tirpak's gigs with Laguna by clicking HERE.

See Gene's and Guy's gigs with The Noise Boys by clicking HERE.

Get all the details on The Blue Current Band here:

Get the scoop on The Legends here:

See you next month!

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene, Guy, Hal, Ted and Tom
The Offbeats

March 2009:

Welcome to March and get ready for the time change . . . .

Musically speaking, it's John on bass with Blue Current on Friday the 13th at the Point Loma Submarine Base (a private party), The Offbeats with Gene on guitar on Tuesday, the 17th at the big McP's St. Patrick's Day Party (7-10), The Offbeats with Andy on guitar Friday the 20th at the Kearny Mesa Moose Lodge (7-11) and Deuce Coupe with Andy on guitar, John on bass and Ted Best on drums Saturday the 21st at the Escondido American Legion Hall (7-10). Also, the work continues in the studio with The Grapes of Wrath :-)

A reminder . . . you're always invited to our public appearences! Email me at if you have any questions :-)

The Legends have a new website, and you're invited to check it out: Some fun things are happening there!

March is shaping up :-)

To get the bigger picture:

See Andy Tirpak's gigs with Laguna by clicking HERE.

See Gene's and Guy's gigs with The Noise Boys by clicking HERE.

Get all the details on The Blue Current Band here:

See you next month!

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene, Guy, Hal and Tom
The Offbeats

February 2009:

Old Man River keeps rolling' along . . . I'll be playing bass with The Legends the afternoon of Saturday, 2/7 from noon to 3:00 at the El Cajon Elks Lodge. The Offbeats will be at McP's on Saturday, 2/21 from 9 to 1 with Gene on guitar and The Legends will be playing a private party on Saturday, 2/28. In between, the rehearsals continue.

Another new Grapes of Wrath demo written by Steve and I will be completed during February. It's called "While I'm Sleeping". We've also decided to replace Stuart Wood's "Malibu" with another of his songs, "How Could You Trust Him" which has a great Mersey feel to it. Just the thing for the Grapes of Wrath :-) "Matthew" is already in the works as well. This band is getting studio prolific! I'll post mp3's here as soon as they are available.

That's it for February :-)

To get the bigger picture:

See Andy Tirpak's gigs with Laguna by clicking HERE.

See Gene's and Guy's gigs with The Noise Boys by clicking HERE.

Get all the details on The Blue Current Band here:

See you next month!

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene, Guy, Hal and Tom
The Offbeats

January 2009:

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! The Offbeats begin the year at the Kearny Mesa Moose Lodge, Friday 1/2 from 7 to 11 with Andy on guitar and McP's, Saturday 1/3 from 9 to 1 with Gene on guitar. On the 10th we're playing a private party in Alpine at Lovely Sheila's house, once again with Gene. I will be playing bass with Geezer on Thursday, 1/22 from 4 to 8 at the Oceanside Harbor Fair.

During January I will be recording a new demo of 'Tis The Season, a Christmas song written by Steve Whitehurst (Grapes of Wrath) and me to shop for next Christmas. Speaking of the Grapes, we will be recording a new single during February and March in Phoenix! We're resurecting two songs written circa 1966-71 which were never recorded, Goin' Down To Malibu (Stu Wood), a Beach Boys flavored tune and Matthew (Steve Whitehurst & John Hesterman), a Sgt. Pepper styled tune. This is gonna be fun! Rehearsals will also continue with The Legends for dates beginning in February and Blue Current which will be recording a couple of new Tom Allen songs soon.

That's a pretty full January!

To get the bigger picture:

See Andy Tirpak's gigs with Laguna by clicking HERE.

See Gene's and Guy's gigs with The Noise Boys by clicking HERE.

Get all the details on The Blue Current Band here:

See you next month!

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene, Guy, Hal and Tom
The Offbeats

November & December 2008:

Now that Halloween is over, the holiday season really kicks in! November and December will include the usual gigs and maybe a surprise or two . . .

Our own Fang's step son Cole gets married at Traditions in Fallbrook on Friday, 11/28 and we'll have both Doug Harrison and Hal Cope on guitars for that gig. The next night (11/29) Doug and I will be at McP's with Tom Schlesinger (of Laguna) on drums. This is an Offbeats lineup we've never done before and it should be a blast! Earlier that day (the 29th) I'll be playing bass with Blackbyrd's Salute To The BEATLES at the Coyote Bar & Grille in Carlsbad (2:30p - 5:00p). Don't miss it! Saturday, December 6, The Offbeats play Karri McPherson's birthday party in El Cajon, this time with Gene Rochambeau on guitar. Sunday, 12/7, I'll be playing bass with Blue Current at the Pacific Beach Masonic Temple from 3 to 7. On Thursday, 12/11 The Offbeats play the Prudential CA Realty Christmas party in Alpine and Saturday, 12/20 we'll be playing Keller-William's Realty Christmas Party at the San Diego Yacht Club, both with Gene on guitar. There will also be a December McP's date (Friday, 12/26) with Doug on guitar, a rare performance by the ORIGINAL three Offbeats! Finally, we close out the year on 12/31 (New Year's Eve) at The Four Seasons Resort in Hemet with both Doug Harrison and Hal Cope on guitars. This will be our third NYE appearance at The Four Seasons :-)

Here's another bit of news: Howard Blank (the original drummer with The Outsiders of 'Time Won't Let Me' fame) is reforming The Legends and I'll be playing bass with them in 2009. I said there would be surprises! I am also working on a jazz project (yet to be named) which will be performing in and around Phoenix, AZ next year. There will be more Chino Valley Rangers and Stumblin' Buffalo projects in Prescott, AZ and TRACE recording sessions at Lamont Audio (Gilbert, AZ) plus a serious focus on Ron Ryan's music and the RHM Publishing catalogue. Our own Fang will be gigging with Phil 'N' The Blanks in the new year. The Offbeats will also continue as they have since Doug moved to Spokane, rotating guitar players from other bands when they are available. I'll still work with Blue Current as well. As I said, 2009 will be an interesting year :-)

I'll be posting the annual Offbeats holiday offerings on the home page the day after Thanksgiving, so watch for that! Will Fang take another Holiday Sleigh Ride? Find out here!!!

To get the bigger picture:

See Andy Tirpak's gigs with Laguna by clicking HERE.

See Gene's and Guy's gigs with The Noise Boys by clicking HERE.

Get all the details on The Blue Current Band here:

Enjoy your Thanksgiving and Have a Wonderfully Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene, Guy, Hal and Tom
The Offbeats

October 2008:

October!!! Fall is a nice time of year. The heat of the summer is finally gone and there is a slight holiday nip in the air! We're as busy as ever :-)

Friday, 10/3 we do McP's with Andy on guitar. Sunday 10/5 Blue Current plays the Marina Deli in Marina Village. The weekend of 10/10 thru 10/12 I travel the Prescott and Cottonwood, Arizona for a big show with The Chino Valley Rangers, a band I was part of during the 1980's. And we still ROCK! Saturday, 10/25 is a double header: Andy and I appear as The Offbeats at a fund raiser for St. Didacus Church in San Diego and later that day Blue Current dresses up as pirates for a Halloween Party in Scripps Ranch!

For those of you who don't know, Doug Harrison, our original guitarist will be with us next month for two gigs, one of which will be McP's with Andy Tirpak playing drums! This will be a fun lineup! Watch for the details here :-)

Studio-wise, I will be producing an 18 song demo CD for Blue Current's Tom Allen this month. Tom is a talented songwriter and I suspect you will be hearing about him. Head's up!

To get the bigger picture:

See Andy Tirpak's gigs with Laguna by clicking HERE.

See Gene's and Guy's gigs with The Noise Boys by clicking HERE.

Get all the details on The Blue Current Band here:

Thanks again for stopping by :-)

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene, Guy, Hal and Tom
The Offbeats

August & September 2008:

It's hard to believe August is already here . . .

And the hits (gigs) just keep happening! The Offbeats are back to McP's on Friday 8/8 and Friday 9/5 with Andy on guitar. Andy and John will also be appearing at McP's on Wednesday, August 6 as LAGUNA LIGHT from 8 to 10. The Offbeats also open a new room in El Cajon, Thornton's Irish Pub ( Thornton's Irish Pub ) with Andy on guitar on Saturday 8/9! We'll need your support on that gig, a good turnout is always GREAT on opening night! Blue Current has a private party (A Special Thank You to Tom Allen for doing a GREAT job on guitar and harmonica with The Offbeats last month at McP's!): Saturday 8/23 in Scripps Ranch. Finally, Gene joins The Offbeats on guitar for a party hosted by beautiful Sheila in Alpine on Saturday 9/6.

Our own Fang celebrates his 56th birthday on Monday 8/4. Happy Birthday, George! (Yours truly turned 59 last month on the 15th).

Andy has an OUTSTANDING new CD with Stars On The Water out soon! We all listened to it at last Monday's rehearsal and were absolutely blown away! I'll post the details here as soon as I receive them!

To get the bigger picture:

See Andy Tirpak's gigs with Laguna by clicking HERE.

See Gene's and Guy's gigs with The Noise Boys by clicking HERE.

Get all the details on The Blue Current Band here:

Thanks again for stopping by :-)

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene, Guy, Hal and Tom
The Offbeats

June & July 2008:

Summer's here! We're getting busy . . .

First, the Offbeats will be at McP's on 6/14 (Andy on guitar) and 7/19 (Gene on guitar). On June 7, we're playing a private party in Poway with Andy on guitar and Tom Schlesinger from the band Laguna on drums. We're also doing The Four Seasons Resort in Hemet with Gene and Hal playing guitars on July 4th and our annual Berry Street Park Concert in Lemon Grove with Andy playing guitar on 7/31. Blue Current will be at the Sportsman's in Lemon Grove on 6/13 and at Wong's Chinese Restaurant in La Mesa on 6/21. John will be going to Arizona July 12 & 13 for recording sessions with TRACE. LAGUNA LIGHT will make it's debut at McP's with Andy and John as a duo on Wednesday, July 23. Finally, on July 25 Tom Allen will make his debut with The Offbeats on guitar and harmonica. As always, just click on the link above for the complete details.

The recording of Ron Ryan's songs continues in between the band gigs and Andy and I will also be doing some recording of his original songs together during June and July. If there's time left, I might even tackle a few of mine. I will begin posting some of these demos here on the website soon. We hope you like them :-)

This will be the first year since 1993 that I will not be involved in the La Mesa Oktoberfest (or any of the other La Mesa street events). Most of you know that for the last 15 years I have been the co-coordinator of that event. I will mark the passing of an era by saying that politics and greed are still alive and well in good old La Mesa. (DUH).

Birthdays of note: Paul McCartney, 6/18; Brian Wilson, 6/20 and Ray Davies, 6/21. Wouldn't they make an interesting band? Happy Father's Day to all Dad's on 6/15!!!

To get the bigger picture:

See Andy Tirpak's gigs with Laguna by clicking HERE.

See Gene's and Guy's gigs with The Noise Boys by clicking HERE.

Get all the details on The Blue Current Band here:

Thanks again for stopping by :-)

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene, Guy, Hal and Tom
The Offbeats

April & May 2008:

And the beat goes on . . . :-) A benefit for the American Cancer Society, a couple of gigs at McP's, a couple of private parties (Happy Birthday Nancy!), Deuce Coupe rears it's glass packed head (lol!) and Blue Current storms Jamul! We're also working on a gig for Sunday, May 18 in Lakeside . . . if it pans out, the info will be posted here (see the gig page at P. S. John will be jamming Beatles songs unplugged with "Blackbyrd" (old friend Randy Renner captains that ship) at the Old California Coffee House in Restaurant Row, San Marcos on Friday, May 2 and again on Friday, May 30 from 7p to 10p.

Doug has a birthday on April 8 (Happy Birthday, ZD!). Stuart Wood (Bass & Vocals, The Grapes of Wrath) also has a birthday May 15 (Happy Birthday, Stu!).

OF NOTE: The Spongetones have a great new CD: "Too Clever By Half." Check it out at

See Andy Tirpak's gigs with Laguna by clicking HERE.

See Gene's and Guy's gigs with The Noise Boys by clicking HERE.

Get all the details on The Blue Current Band here:

Thanks for stopping by!

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene, Guy and Hal
The Offbeats

February & March 2008:

They say there is no rest for the wicked . . . well OK!

Important things first: Our own Andy Tirpak celebrates his birthday on Tuesday, February 19. How old is he? Here's a hint: "Car ---- , where are you?" Also, the quiet Fab, George Harrison's birthday is Monday, February 25. Maybe we'll put something fun together to celebrate (if it happens, we'll announce it here) . . .

Gigs: The Offbeats go back to ever-loving McP's on Friday, 2/22 with Andy on guitar; Friday, 3/14 with Gene on guitar and Monday, 3/17 with Andy on guitar to celebrate St. Partick's Day! McP's makes a very big deal about St. Patrick's Day, and you're invited! I'll be playing bass with Blue Current on Saturday, 2/23 at The Sportsman's Pub in Lemon Grove and Friday, 2/29 at Last Call, San Diego. In the studio, I'm taking on a new production project which begins with a series of demos for Irish songwriter Michael McMahon. Sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, 2/13 and Monday, 2/18 with more to follow. Finally, my old guitar pickin' friend from the Chino Valley Rangers, Andy Pendley, will be in San Diego 2/27 thru 2/30 and a party is brewing! Watch this page for the details! Excellent :-)

I'll be going to Phoenix the weekend of March 7 to record with TRACE. We'll be working on two songs written by Ron Ryan (my partner and friend who wrote hits for the Dave Clark Five back in the 60's). When the sessions are mixed and transfered to mp3, I'll post them on this sites homepage. I've also agreed to assume the producer's chair for a new project with San Diego songwriter Chelsea Flor. We record the preliminary demos of 13 songs March 2.

Beatle fans: Ringo Starr has a new CD out called Liverpool 8! If you like Ringo, do yourself a favor and get this one, it's classic Ringo at his best :-) Liverpool 8

See Andy Tirpak's gigs with Laguna by clicking HERE.

See Gene's and Guy's gigs with The Noise Boys by clicking HERE.

Get all the details on The Blue Current Band here:

Thanks for stopping by!

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene and Guy
The Offbeats

January 2008:

Welcome to a New Year!

George, Andy & I are playing the Sarah Ferguson wedding at the Coronado Community Center on Saturday, January 5. Gene is in rehearsal with Sandi Shaner for her CD release party ay Humphreys on Saturday, the 19th! Both Gene and I will be there, Gene being one of two of the featured guitarists (Doug is the other one, and George is featured on drums) on the album and I, being the producer. The party begins at 4p. We'll be returning to McP's on Saturday, January 26 with Andy. For those of you who are inclined towards the BEST guitar effects in the world: The NAMMS Show is being held in Anaheim, CA the weekeknd of the 19th, and Doug will be there representing his company's product. Get the details at Finally, rehearsals are also continiung with Gene and Guy for the four piece version of The Offbeats. We have a full plate!

I'm continuing work on Ron Ryan's ( music for RHM Publishing (our company). You may recall that Ron wrote several hits (Because, Anyway You Want It, Bits & Pieces, Can I Trust You, All Of The Time and others) and album tracks for The Dave Clark Five back in the 60's. I'm hoping I will be able to announce an exciting new project concerning Ron's music soon. Watch this page for the details!!!

See Andy Tirpak's gigs with Laguna by clicking HERE.

See Gene's and Guy's gigs with The Noise Boys by clicking HERE.

Happy New Year!

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene and Guy
The Offbeats

November & December 2007:

There will be less playing out in November and December, and more work in the studio. I'll be going to Phoenix the weekend of November 3rd for a three day recording marathon with TRACE! There will also be sessions with Sandi Shaner on November 7, 10, 11, 16 & 24 and December 19. I'll be playing bass with Blue Current at the Del Mar Hilton on November 6, at Singing Hills Country Club on December 14 and Ghallager's (Ocean Beach) December 16. Doug Harrison will be in town for Thanksgiving & Christmas and will be playing McP's with George and me on November 24 & December 28!!! This is the ORIGINAL Offbeats line-up, so spread the word gang! Doug will also be sharing guitar duties with Gene on New Year's Eve in Hemet, CA. It will be a very special night :-)

Don't forget...La Mesa's Christmas In The Village is December 7 & 8! Horse-drawn carriages, bonfires, caroler's on the street corners, choirs, orchestras and street buskers . . . a warm & fuzzy family event inspired by Norman Rockwell and Charles Dickens :-)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone :-) Watch for the Christmas edition of our website, which will hit the Internet the day after Thanksgiving. And oh yeah . . . Merry Christmas . . . and Happy New Year!

See Andy Tirpak's gigs with Laguna by clicking HERE.

See Gene's and Guy's gigs with The Noise Boys by clicking HERE.

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!"

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene and Guy
The Offbeats

September & October 2007:

The "busy" continues! I'll be playing bass with Midnight Fire at the KOA Camp Ground in Chula Vista on September 1st. We're also playing McP's with Andy Tirpak on Saturday, September 29, again at McP's on October 19 with Gene, the McPhearson Party (this is a GREAT party!) on Saturday, October 20 with Andy, and a High School Reunion on Sunday, October 28, again with Andy on guitar. We go back into the studio with Sandi Shaner on Saturday, October 13, with Gene on guitar to record 5 new Shaner songs . . . Blue Current will be playing private parties on September 8, October 13 and 27 (all Saturdays).

Did I mention a little thing called Oktoberfest? ROFL! Yeah . . . I'll be coordinating that monster again October 5, 6, & 7 . . . three days of bratwurst and beer (can you say Chicken Dance?)!

Happy Birthday to my dear friend Andy Phemister (the Chamber's Communications Director and Editor of the East County Business News) on October 6. The truth is, without Andy I couldn't do Oktoberfest . . .

See Andy Tirpak's gigs with Laguna by clicking HERE.

See Gene's and Guy's gigs with The Noise Boys by clicking HERE.

That's all the news that's fit to be news . . . It's Only Rock & Roll, but we like it :-)

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene and Guy
The Offbeats

July & August 2007:

This sure is a busy time! The Offbeats with Gene Rochambeau on guitar return to McP's on Saturday July 28, Friday August 10, Sunday, August 12 and Saturday August 25! John also travels to Prescott, Arizona July 7 for another concert with Stumblin' Buffalo at Lyzzards! The Offbeats will do a showcase at Winston's in Pacific Beach on Saturday July 14 and a special private wedding rehearsal party in Oceanside on Friday, July 27! John appears with Blue Current on July 15 (his 58th birthday!) at the Marina Deli near Sea World and at a private wedding reception in Mission Bay on July 29! The Offbeats do a Concert In The Park at Berry Street Park in Lemon Grove with guitarist Andy Tirpak on Thursday August 2! Finally, George and John will work with Sandi Schena again in a special show at The Second Wind in Santee on Sunday, August 19! Did I say busy? LOL!

See Andy's gigs with Laguna by clicking HERE.

See Gene's and Guy's gigs with The Noise Boys by clicking HERE.

Our own Fang turns 55 on Saturday, August 4. You'll have to get in line for the spanking!

Rock & Roll !

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene and Guy
The Offbeats

June 1, 2007:

Hi All! Hope you'll be able to stop by McP's and catch The Offbeats on either Saturday the 9th, from 9p to 1a OR Sunday the 10th, from 4p to 7p outside on the patio. The patio gig is always nice, fresh air, great vibe! John will also be gigging with Blue Current on June 16 at the Sportsman's Pub in Lemon Grove from 7p to 11p.

Andy will be appearing with Laguna at Carver's in Rancho Bernardo on Friday June 15, 8p-Mid and Saturday June 16, 8p-Mid. Gene and Guy will appear with The Noise Boys Saturday, June 9 at the Ascension Community Fiesta, 11292 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Tierrasanta 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm and Friday, June 15 at a Private Party in Chula Vista from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

June is a great month for birthdays . . . Paul Mc Cartney (6/18), Brian Wilson (6/20) and Ray Davies (6/21) all celebrate their births this month. The Offbeats feature music by all three of these giants, and we'll focus on them at McP's :-)

This month's fave additions to the Offbeats song list: This Boy (The Beatles) and Bluebird/Mr. Soul/Rock & Roll Woman (The Buffalo Springfield). You can see we are getting into intricate vocal harmonies, which is GREAT FUN!

John's work on Ron Ryan music continues. He's also working on a studio deal in Phoenix. If it pans out, a lot of new recording will happen! We'll keep you posted on the details here . . .

We're sorry to announce we will not be going to Goodstock as The Grapes of Wrath after all. Politics is a bitch! LOL!!!

That's it for now. See you all next month :-)

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene and Guy
The Offbeats

April 1, 2007:

Today is April Fools Day, but there will be no jokes here :-) Coming up this month, we return to McP's on the 14th and we're continuing to rehearse new (for us) material so that when you hear us next there will be some surprises. I will also be appearing with Blue Current on the 28th at The Spring Valley Inn and the 29th at The Sportsman's Pub in Lemon Grove.

I've just finished recording a demo of Ron Ryan's FOREVER. It's a lovely song, a ballad in the 50's tradition, so it's right up my alley. Logistics didn't allow for help from George or Andy, so I did the entire song (instruments and vocals) myself. I'll have it up on the website as an mp3 soon. I'm also working on a great little rocker written by Pete Dintino. I'll have more on that shortly.

George has "officially" changed his name. From now on, he wishes to be addressed as Fang. Maybe because he's long in tooth?

We contnue our work on the show for Goodstock. The excitement is building!

Gene & Guy will be appearing with The Noise Boys at the Allied Gardens Spring Festival on May 5 and returning to Catalina Island for two shows on May 26 and 27.

That's it for now. See you all next month :-)

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene and Guy
The Offbeats

March 1, 2007:

Time to get off my big fat ass and update this site!!! First, welcome to Andy Tirpak, who over the last several months has become our permanent guitarist!! Andy is AWESOME, and we (George and I) sincerely welcome him with open arms :-)

We've been learning a lot of new (well, new for us) music recently, taking on some interesting musical challanges. Included in our mix is a little more 70's and 80's with a focus on vocals. Buffalo Springfield? Yeah! Doobie Brothers? You Bet! Van Morrison? Uh-Huh :-)

Our big road trip this year will be to Summersville, West Virginia to appear as The Grapes of Wrath with three original members (Steve Whitehurst, Stu Wood and John Hesterman supplemented by George Lewis and Doug Harrison) at the latest event in the Woodstock saga, GOODSTOCK 07!!! This event, which is being organized by Larry McClurg and Artie Kornfeld (who was one of the four organizers of the original WOODSTOCK 69) is expecting crowds in the thousands!!! Like the original WOODSTOCK, it will be a three-day event, July 19, 20 and 21. The Grapes of Wrath are scheduled to take the main stage on Friday, July 20 at 6:00 p.m. You can get the details here at . SPREAD THE WORD!!!

More big news!!! I have formed a music publishing company (RHM Music) with British songwriter Ron Ryan!!! Ron wrote several of the hit songs for The Dave Clark Five during the 1960's and he and I will be promoting his music in the USA from my office here and his in London. Ron is a real English gentleman, and I'm looking forward to a long and happy association with him. Stay tuned!

The latest on Doug: He's thriving in Spokane! Toadworks has really taken off and the move to Spokane was the right decision. That will not keep Doug from joining us from time to time as he will at Goodstock. Andy mentioned recently how fun it would be to have both he and Doug playing guitar at an Offbeats gig, and George and I enthusiastically agreed. Watch for it :-)

Finally, I know I've been slagging off on my duties here on the website. That's going to change :-) Thanks to everyone who has stayed with us through the years and be watching for new and great things to happen!!!

See you next month,

John, George, Andy, Doug, Gene and Guy
The Offbeats

February 1, 2006:

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" -- John Lennon, 1980. A very profound statement! Life is certainly change. In that regard, it is with mixed emotions that I announce our guitarist and friend, Doug Harrison, will be leaving the band after a wonderful 16 year association (see the details here). Before that happens, however, we'll be doing a private party in Vista on the 4th, McP's on the 10th and Carver's in Rancho Bernardo on the 17th and 18th, which will be our farewell shows. The details are on our Where We're Playing page. After the Offbeats, George and I will be putting together a new band, which will hopefully be ready for its debut by the middle of May. A great turn out at Carver's will be very helpful for the new band as well, so we'll see you there! George and I will also be gigging with Gene Rochambeau of The Noise Boys while we're putting the new band together. We'll keep you posted via e-mail and on this web site.

To everyone - thank you for 10 years of wonderful memories!

"It's only rock & roll, and I like it!" --- John, Doug & George

January 1, 2006:

Happy New Year! Well, OK, some of us are happier than others . . . **sigh**

January is our traditionally slow month, and the gigs reflect that. We'll be at McP's on Friday the 13th! I hope that isn't a bad omen, lol!

We're using the time to rehearse new songs and George has been wonderfully supplying us with new P. A. gear (a huge JBL system with sub-woofers --- thank you George!) which we are experimenting with. While we certainly don't want to blow the roof off of any place we play, it will be nice to have what George calls "quality and clarity without being overbearing." He also says "having all this equipment is a good thing!" We agree :)

I've been rehearsing with two other bands just to keep busy: The Royal T's, which is a 5 piece corporate show band, and The Southwest Modernaires, a 4 piece jazz ensemble. Both have been interesting and fun. When we gig, I'll post the locations on the Offbeats page like I have done with The Orbitz and Blue Current.

That's about it for January. Happy New Year from The Offbeats! --- John, Doug & George

December 1, 2005:

December means Christmas. We'd like to invite you to visit our home page at and listen to the Christmas recordings we offer in the spirit of the season. There is no political correctness in this band and we're not afraid to say Christmas. So there it is . . . . Merry Christmas :)

We start the month with the San Diego Come Together Beatles Fan Club Holiday/Birthday Party in Valley Center, CA on the 3rd. The following two weekends 12/9 & 10 and 12/16 & 17) are the La Mesa Old Fashioned Christmas In The Village. I will be on the street busking with my Chamber partner Andy Phemister, and you're invited! Time is from 6p to 9p all four evenings. We return to McP's on Coronado Island on Thursday, the 15th. We play a big Holiday Block Party in Granite Hills on the 29th. I gig with the Blue Current Band at The Sportsman's Pub in Lemon Grove on the 30th. We cap off the year with a huge New Year's Eve Party at the Ascension Catholic Church in Tierra Santa on the 31st. In between the live appearances, work continues in the studio.

We'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone in Offbeatsland . . . those of you who attend our performances and support what we do as a band. Your devotion is sincerely appreciated. For us, it's all about the music and you.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! --- John, Doug & George

November 1, 2005:

Welcome to November, here we go! First, The Offbeats gigs so far are as follows: Friday, the 11th at McP's, Saturday the 12th at the McPhearson's in El Cajon (private party) and possibly Friday the 25th at Hooleys in Rancho San Diego. Blue Current gigs are on Saturday the 5th at a private party in Scripps Ranch, Saturday the 12th at KC's in Lemon Grove, Friday the 18th at The Sportsman's Pub in Lemon Grove and Sunday the 27th at The Towers in Ocean Beach. I'm also hooking up with a jazz band on the 15th, and who knows where that will lead, lol!

It's official, I'll be returning to the La Mesa Old Fashioned Christmas Village this year as co-coordinator. The dates for the event are Fridays and Saturdays, December 9, 10, 16 & 17 from 6:00p to 9:00p. As always, it's great holiday fun for the entire family and EVERYONE is invited to attend absolutely free! You may find me "busking" at the event as in prior years too. Maybe Doug if I can twist his arm again. Between now and then, there will be a frantic race to get everything ready. Christmas will be here before you know it!

Some musical notes: the new album from Paul McCartney is out! It's called Chaos & Creation In The Back Yard. If you're into what I call "fireplace music" (cuddling with your significant other by the fire with a warm adult beverage) then you'll love this album. I recommend it. Also, Brian Wilson has a brand new Christmas album out, and it's GREAT!!!!! It features the same musicians that performed so amazingly on his legendary SMILE album. These people absolutely knock me out! Do youself a favor on this one!!! In addition, Macca's lead guitarist in Wings, Laurence Juber will be appearing in San Diego on Sunday the 20th. He's absolutely incredible as a solo act. Finally, I can't forget my favorite sultry jazz songbird, Tokeli who will be making appearances through the end of the year with the Ed Kornhauser Trio. Check out her web site. Very classy.

December is going to be a busy month, make sure you check here for those details. Until then, Happy Birthday to our good friend Richard Felix and happy Turkey Day to everyone!

See you next month! --- John, Doug & George

October 12, 2005:

Please forgive the lack of reports since August, so much has been happening and getting around to this monthly update hasn't happened. I will make a concerted effort from now on. Having said that . . .

First, the band was pretty busy in August and September. Our favorite gig was the party at Campland On The Bay in Pacific Beach for a group of ham radio operators, complete with full blown bar-b-que, adult beverages and many 50-plus party animals! Hosted by our old friends Myron and Nancy Balchin, it was a wonderful evening. We also returned to McP's twice (and will again this Friday, 10/14). Drop by if you can!

Second, OKTOBERFEST is now over, and was a great success! Many of you know I have been the coordinator of this massive event for 13 years. The two weeks surrounding it are always hectic (which is partly the reason this update page went unattended) and I can now take a deep breath and relax until Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, I will be working with Richard Felix on the Old Fashioned Christmas Village in La Mesa again this year, which will be December 9, 10, 16 & 17. Watch this page for the details!

Third, there is a new event being planned in Benson, North Carolina for the Spring of 2007 called "Goodstock." Both The Offbeats and The Grapes of Wrath are planning on participating. Our friends from Charlotte, NC, The Spongetones, may also be there. Get the details at We're talking a HUGE event here! I'll keep you posted!

Finally, work is still progressing on my studio project. I'm hoping for an official release of my Anthology next January. Until then, stay tuned!

See you all next month! --- John, Doug & George

August 1, 2005:

Wow . . . It's been a busy summer and it's already August? Geez! I guess I shouldn't be shocked by that, the preparation for Oktoberfest is well under way, the band has been busy and I've been gigging with Blue Current and The Noise Boys as well. So much going on!

This month The Offbeats celebrate two birds with one stone on Saturday the 13th -- Happy Birthday to Andy & Susan!!! We're back to McP's on the patio, Sunday the 14th from 4 to 7. On the 20th, a concert gig at the Ascention Parish in Tierra Santa. Back to McP's on Friday the 26th from 9 to 1. The 27th ComeTogether (the hosts of the San Diego Beatle Fair) is throwing a party, and I'll (acoustic guitar in hand) be making a musical appearance there.

Our own George Lewis has a Birthday on August 4!!! Happy Birthday, George!!! Patty O'Reilly of the La Mesa Arts Alliance also celebrates a birthday on August 20. Happy Birthday, Patty!!!

Musically, run to your music store and get a copy of Ringo Starr's new album, "Choose Love". It has all the Beatle hooks and is quite good.

By the way, speaking of Oktoberfest, those of you who know me know this is a big deal in La Mesa, with an annual attendance of nearly 200,000. This is my 13th year as coordinator, and I'm always looking for people who would like to earn a bit of money and have some fun working at the event. If you or someone you know have an interest, e-mail me at The dates are October 7, 8 & 9. Thanks!

That's it for August, see you next month! --- John, Doug and George

June 1, 2005:

Hey Gang! A lot is happening this month! In addition to our regular performances at McP's on the 17th (Friday) and 26th (Sunday), we also return to the Richland Schoolhouse in San Marcos for the Palomar College Annual Fundraiser on the 11th (Saturday). I will also be gigging with the Blue Current Band on Saturday the 25th at the VFW in Spring Valley.

GREAT NEWS! Doug's company, Virtual, will be manufacturing a custom guitar amplifier! The prototype is in the works, and it sounds GREAT! It will include some features no other guitar amp has. Be watching his website for the details!

My old friend Tokeli will present a wonderful jazz program at the Coronado Community Theater on the 10th (Friday) at 8 p.m. Get the details at Tokeli. She's backed by a GREAT quintet under the direction of pianist Ed Kornhauser. Don't miss this show!

Happy Birthday to Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson and Ray Davies this month! How's that for a triple whammy?

That's it for June, see you next month! --- John, Doug & George

May 1, 2005:

Welcome to May! The Offbeats are working less this month as a result of other obligations all three of us have. Sometimes life gets in the way, lol! Still, we return to McP's on the 6th, and auditions for a 4th member and rehearsals are ongoing.

Congratulations Sandi & Ann! The CD "Touch Me" is completed! The CD release party will be at Humphries By The Bay on the 14th from 5 to 8. Doug and I will be performing one last time as members of Azariah's Dream. The opening act will be the Dave Humphries Band. For details on how you can get a copy of the album, visit!

Don't forget your Mom's on the 8th and enjoy your Memorial Day weekend! - - - John, Doug & George

April 1, 2005:

Yikes!!! Taxes are due!!! LOL!

We're busy this month --- we return to McP's on the 9th and the Witchcreek Winery on the 30th. The studio is where it's really happening, however, with sessions on the 2nd (The Offbeats record the Spongetones tune "Oh Yeah!" for release in June) and 9th, 16th and 23rd (the mix down sessions for the Schena-Heller album finally happening!). Our ZD has a birthday on the 8th and Geo & Shelley celebrate 13 years on the 4th. There's been talk of a group caravan to Disneyland . . . .

Here's the news I promised . . . Now out . . . The Spongetones #9!!! Check it out at, you will be amazed at this GREAT new album by one of the best retro bands in the country. Nuff said :)

With the completion of the Schaner-Heller album, I'll be resuming work on my own project which will hopefully see a release by the time my birthday rolls around in July. I'm making a special effort to get it done since it's been sitting on the back burner forever.

Have a GREAT April, Earth Day, Arbor Day and Passover (did I miss anything? LOL!). See you all next month --- John, Doug & George

March 1, 2005:

Welcome to March everyone! This month we will return to McP's on the 5th, but the focus will be in the recording studio putting the finishing touches on the Schena-Heller project, now titled "Casualties Of War," with sessions on the 12th and 26th. Making a special appearance on the album is Todd Hidden (Rockola/Cool Rays/Silver Springs Band) on percussion and vocals. Also featured is Howard Kantorowski (The Original German Band) on accordion. Paul (bass) and Mike (drums) from the Silver Springs Band and our own Doug (amazing guitar work!) form the rhythm section. In addition to sitting in the producers chair, I make an appearance on bass, piano, synths and vocals. There are, of course, the ladies . . . Sandi and Ann :) We're getting close to wraping things up, and hope to master the project by April 1st. We've been working on this album for over a year, and it will be good to finally get it released!

I don't want to sound like a broken record, but The Vinyl Kings have finally released their new CD, and it's FANTASTIC! Get the details at If you like The Beatles and The Beach Boys, this new album is for you!

We want to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Easter Holiday :)

See you next month! - - - John, Doug & George

February 1, 2005:

It seems like Christmas was just yesterday, and here we are looking at February! We'll be busy this month, beginning with a Schena recording session on the 5th; I'll be playing a jazz engagement with the Witchcreek Jazz Ensemble (Ted Best, drums; Howard Duncan, piano) on the 12th; the Offbeats play at the Vista Optomist Club on the 18th and return to McP's on the 25th. We're back in the studio on the 26th. As always, everyone is welcome at our public events, and we hope to see you there!

This past month I moved from La Mesa to El Cajon. The new base of operations is located at 862 S. Mollison Avenue, #17, El Cajon, CA 92020. I also joined the 21st Century and got a cell phone. Get me (and information about the band) at 619-889-9101 any time. My special thanks to bandmate George for the help with the move. I couldn't have done it without you, mate!

There is a new Spongetones CD out soon! I'll keep you all posted. The new Vinyl Kings is also out, and you can get the information by visiting! You won't be sorry :) See you all next month - - - John, Doug & George

January 1, 2005:

Welcome to 2005! Much happened in December . . . some highlights:

The La Mesa Old Fashioned Christmas In The Village was a bust the first weekend (it was rained out!) and a GREAT success the second weekend (the weather was perfect!). The band played several holiday parties, and of course we also appeared at McP's, our club of choice. Work also continued on the Schena-Heller album.

January we will return to McP's (watch the schedule for the date). I play a gig with The Orbitz on lead guitar at the San Diego Moose, Ruffin Road & Aero Drive on the 8th. Doug, Sandi, Ann and I will continue work in the studio. I've also been comissioned to produce an album of accordion music featuring Howard Kantorowski of the Original German Band, one of the two great polka bands that play at Oktoberfest every year. Finally, the Offbeats have been asked to contribute a recording (we'll record it at Hit Single Studios in El Cajon) to a special CD release next summer by the El Cajon Downtown Management District which will feature the bands that perform at the Summer Concert On The Green Series. We've done that gig for several years now, and will again this year during August or September.

January has traditionally been a slow month for us since the world is recovering from the holidays. We take advantage of this and focus on rehearsing new material.

2005 is looking like it will be a year of change. This can be a good thing! We look forward to it! More next month - - - John, Doug & George

December 1, 2004:

This month's entry will simply be our wish to you for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Stop by the La Mesa Old Fashioned Christmas in The Village Friday & Saturday, 12/3 & 12/4 and Friday & Saturday, 12/10 & 12/11 from 6p to 10p all four nights if you can. Also, New Year's Eve will be special this year at the Christ Ascension Catholic Church (they're throwing up a big circus tent and inviting the neighborhood to an evening of fun with The Offbeats!). A good time is guaranteed for all! --- John, Doug & George

November 1, 2004:

Welcome to November! The night air is crisp, the smell of the holidays is in the air. We love this time of year!

The band will be busy this month. In addition to private parties, we'll be doing a holiday mixer for Jasmine Creek Florist in El Cajon on the 18th (we'll be playing in the parking lot from 6:30p to 8:30p, so come by if you can) and returning to McP's on the 20th. Work continues on the Shaner-Heller album (we're getting close to a wrap up!) and I've started producing a Christmas CDEP for Ann Heller. The performance of this special holiday material written by Ann, will be in Carlsbad on December 16. Watch this newsletter for the details on December 1!

Doug and I will be appearing at the La Mesa Old Fashioned Christmas Village acoustically next month with guest artist Andy Phemister on guitar and trombone as we have for the last several years. We always have a great time performing Christmas classics around the bonfire, and everyone is invited to attend. This event is FREE and wonderful fun for the entire family. I'll post the details on December 1.

As Americans, we have much to be thankful for, including the privilage to live in the most incredible country on the planet. We're not perfect, far from it. We're blessed to live in freedom, have the right to differing opinions and somehow manage to co-exist in spite of them. In the Spirit of Thanksgiving, may your families and homes be blessed with prosperity, serenity and love :) See you next month! --- John, Doug & George

October 4, 2004:

Oktoberfest is over! Ooomm-Pahh! Sigh :-)

There is life after Oktoberfest, as this months activities will certainly show. On Friday the 15th, we return to McP's from 9 to 1. On Saturday the 16th, we play a private party in El Cajon, and on Saturday the 30th a private Halloween party, again in El Cajon. On Saturday the 9th (John Lennon's birthday) we're back in the studio working on the Shaner-Heller album project. I'll be producing a Christmas CD for Ann Heller this month. During the course of the next couple of weeks, I'll be auditioning musicians for the the elusive 4th Offbeat position. Hopefully, one of them will fill the bill.

I've also started on the remix and mastering of many of my original recordings. This project has been placed on the back burner for ages, but I finally decided the time has come to complete it.

Here's this month's reccommendation: Go directly to and place an order for Brian Wilson's new release SMILE! This is the album that was started in 1966 and never finished. During the past 37 years, it has taken on legendary status as the "album that never was." Well, now it's the "album that definately is." Even at 62 with a considerably mature voice, Brian Wilson will stun you with this album. Get it :)

Happy birthday to Andy on October 6. Good friends Drum and Jane tie the knot on October 23. Happy birthday to Sandi on October 24. Happy Fall to everyone! --- John

September 1, 2004:

It's already September . . . unbelievable! Before I get to the news about what's coming up, I wanted to tell you about an experience we had at El Cajon's Concert On The Green. The Offbeats were hired to play an all Beatles show for that evening, but we decided to pay tribute to Mike Smith and The Dave Clark Five as part of our second hour. We played "Glad All Over," "Do You Love Me," "Over And Over" and "Anyway You Want It," and the audience response was incredible! A reaction like that tells me two things: 1) The Dave Clark Five are not as "forgotten" as people sometimes think, and 2) a great song IS truly a great song in anybody's book :) It was a heart warming experience, especially in light of Mike Smith's current condition (see the post below for June 1st). Thank you to everyone who attended and to everyone who keeps Mike in their prayers :)

September won't be quite as busy for the band, since I'm the coordinator of the La Mesa Oktoberfest (Doug is my captain of the guard) and preparation for that event is well under way. Oktoberfest is a huge event (attendance averages 200,000 each year) and will keep us both very busy. We will, however, be appearing at the Lake Murray Kiwanis Street Fair on Saturday the 18th, returning to McP's Irish Pub & Grille on Coronado Island on Friday the 24th and playing an outdoor concert at Campland in Mission Bay on Saturday the 25th. Work also continues on the Schena/Heller recording project, both at my home studio and at Hit Single Studios in El Cajon. You're all invited to Lake Murray and McP's, the Campland concert is a private function.

While we're not in a hurry, we're still looking for a 4th Offbeat. So far the chemistry hasn't happened. We're confident it will with time. In the meantime, it's business as usual :)

One more quick item . . . Congratulations to Bob Tedde and Rockola, who will be making the trip to England the end of October to play at the Cavern in Liverpool! Hey guys, we did that gig, and IT WAS EXTREMELY COOL :)

See you all next month! --- John

August 1, 2004:

My apologies for missing the July update, it was a very busy month!

BeatleFair was a GREAT success, and our shows with
Billy J. Kramer went very well. The audience loved him, and I have to say that he and his wife Roni are down to earth and very nice people. Also sharing the stage with us were Gordon Waller (of Peter & Gordon), Tony Sheridan (who worked with The Beatles in Hamburg way back when), Jackie Lomax (George Harrison wrote and produced his first single for Apple Records), The Cast Of Beatlemania, The New Fab 40, The Baja Bugs and San Diego's own Rockola. Can you believe it? We've already started planning next years event! The band also played the annual July 4th Fireworks Show at Kennedy Park in El Cajon and the Concert At Berry Street Park in Lemon Grove on July 22. Finally, we did McP's Irish Pub & Grille on Coronado Island on July 30. All in all, July was a great month!

August will also be busy. There is a Concert On The Green ALL BEATLES Show at the Prescott Promanade in El Cajon on Friday, the 20th, and on Friday the 27th, we return to McP's with guest drummer Ted Best. On Saturday the 21st and Saturday the 28th work resumes on the Schena-Heller recording project at Hit Single Studios. This time around, the order of the day will be lead and back-up vocals.

I received a copy Of Jamie Hoover's new CD titled "Hoo-ever" this past week, and I have to say it's another fine piece of work from North Carolina's resident Spongetone. This time out, he's collected the tribute songs he's done over the years on a single disc, and the results are stunning. If you're into Beatles or the British sound, get this CD! You can find the details at You won't be disappointed :)

The search is still on for a fourth Offbeat. I've met and jammed with a few interesting musicians the last couple of months but so far, the chemistry hasn't been right. Hey Paul, wanna join our band? LOL!

That's it for this month. Remember, we'd love to see you at any of our public performances, so if you can, drop in and say hello! --- John

June 1, 2004:

Great News! On July 17 and 18, The Offbeats will be backing Billy J. Kramer at the San Diego Beatle Fair !!! Billy had many hits during the 60's, including "I'll Keep You Satisfied," "From A Window," "I Call Your Name," "Bad To Me," "I'll Be On My Way," "Do You Want To Know A Secret," "Little Children," "Trains, Boats and Planes" and "I'll Be Doggone," several of which were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Many were Number 1's in either the U.S. or the U.K. Billy was managed by Brian Epstein, appeared on BBC Television and toured with The Beatles in England. We'll be on stage with Billy both Saturday and Sunday at approximately 4p. Beatle Fair will be held at the Scottish Rite Center in Mission Valley. Be there, or be square!

On Friday June 18, Doug and I will be appearing from 7p to 9p with a special "Guest" drummer at Paul McCartney's Birthday Party held at KOOL-FM in the Clear Channel Radio Complex! Parts of this gig will be recorded and may be played back on the air the following Sunday morning. The next day, we are back in the studio with Sandi Schena and Anne Heller. We return to McP's on Saturday, June 26. The rest of the month is peppered with Offbeats performances at private parties.

For those of you who don't know, Mike Smith (lead singer and organist for the Dave Clark Five) had a serious accident last September which has left him much like Christopher Reeve . . . paralyzed from the waiste down with only slight mobility in his arms. George and I had the pleasure and honor of meeting Mike last August in Las Vegas at the Cannery Casino after he performed with MSRE (Mike Smith's Rock Engine), and I have to say that I've never met a more congenial and humble man. Mike was burning up the comeback trail with MSRE, selling out concerts from coast to coast, and his accident is a real tragedy. While he is still quite well known in some circles 35 years after the fact as a former member of the Dave Clark Five, he is not a wealthy man, and his medical expenses have been overwhelming. The British Royal Theatrical Fund (RTF) has set up a special trust to help with Mike's medical expenses, and will gladly accept your tax deductable donation. For information on how you can do this, visit the Bits & Pieces website. Mike is so deserving of our help, and even a small donation when added to many others can make a difference. Consider all the pleasure we have received from the music of Mike Smith (Glad All Over, Can't You See That She's Mine, Because, Catch Us If You Can, Anyway You Want It, Do You Love Me, Come Home, I Like It like That, You Got What It Takes, Reelin' & Rockin', Everybody Knows, Look Before You Leap, Nineteen Days, Over And Over and so many more for which Mike DOES NOT receive publishing royalties) and consider making a donation. Thank you :)

There's another band I want to tell you about . . . The Spongetones! These four guys hail from Charlotte, North Carolina, and they are an incredible Mersey-Styled band. The cool thing about them is, they speak Mersey with all-original music. Check them out at Drop their leader Jamie Hoover a line and tell him John from The Offbeats in San Diego sent you. I promise you, you won't be sorry!

One more thing . . . Gene Rochambeau (of the Noise Boys), Todd Hidden (of the Cool Rays) and I will be doing a special concert in the park to benefit the fire victims of Crest, CA on Sunday, June 13 from 2p to 5p at Nancy Jean Park on La Cresta Boulevard. If you're anywhere near there that day, please stop by and say hi :)

That's it for June . . . see you next month! --- John

May 1, 2004:

Welcome to May! We open the month with a great party at the Witchcreek Winery on the 1st. This is one of our favorite places to play, these folks REALLY love their oldies. The wine helps a little, too (grin). On the 8th we will be appearing at both Lemon Grove's Old Time Days from noon to 3, and the Palomar College Annual Silent Auction and Banquet, held in Carlsbad at the Four Seasons Resort from 9 to midnight. We've been the featured entertainment at this event for the last 5 years, and again, it's a GREAT gig. On Friday the 14th, we return to McP's on Coronado Island. Don't forget, you're always welcome at any of our public performances :)

The search for a fourth Offbeat is officially under way. I've received quite a number of e-mails from you encouraging the idea since I first raised it last March, and frankly I'd love to have another instrument and voice to give us the ability to stretch a little and give Rockola a run for their money!

We're still busy with the Schena-Heller sessions. By mid-May we will have the rhythm tracks (instruments without vocals) on all 14 songs recorded. We will start on the sweetening (lead and backup vocal over-dubs, lead guitar, keyboards and various other instruments) by the end of the month. Engineer Randy at Hit Single Studios has proven to be a great guy to work with, and Doug and I are looking forward to the next batch of sessions (I love the producer's chair, it's the most comfy! LOL!)

I've started work on two more studio projects, the first a second anthology styled album by The Grapes of Wrath to be released around Mid-November and the second, a similar album of my solo material scheduled for release just before Christmas. Once the Schena-Heller album is completed, I will begin work on a brand new solo album, which I plan to release by March of 2005. The kid is prolific!

The audition at Dad's Cafe & Steakhouse was a success! Thank you to all who showed up to support us, it was really appreciated :) We'll be going back there in August. In the meantime, see you here next month! --- John

April 1, 2004:

Spring...Easter...Daylight Savings Time...TAXES! Yeah, it's April!

Don't forget we'll be at Dad's (12735 Poway Road) in Poway on the 7th . . . The Chula Vista VFW (corner of 3rd & I) on the 10th and the ALLIED GARDENS SPRINGFEST on the 24th! Springfest is a great family event held in the park near Waring Road and Zion Road in Allied Gardens. It's an all day event, with food, arts & crafts and other activities. We'll be headlining on stage from approximately Noon to 2. This will be our third year, and we're looking forward to the best event ever. Make plans to bring your family and have a ball!

Work continues on the Schena/Heller album. On Saturday, March 27, Doug, Sandi (guitar & vocals), Ann (keyboards & vocals), Paul (bass), Mike (drums) and I went into Hit Record Studios in El Cajon to lay down the first six tracks for the new CD. Both Sandi and Ann have written some fine tunes for this project, which will see a release in the fall. Doug is playing some GREAT guitar and I'm Producing. I'll keep you posted as the work progresses.

I've also had the pleasure of working on another studio project the last couple of weeks which involves some VERY LEGENDARY British lads from the 60's! When I am able to tell you more about it, I will, so stay tuned!!! In the meantime, Happy April :) --- John.

March 18, 2004:

The Offbeats are always looking for new and interesting places to play, and we've scored an interesting new venue: Dad's Cafe & Steakhouse in Poway (12735 Poway Road). Dad's is legendary for its party atmosphere and promises to be a fun gig. They have great two for one menu choices and kids under 10 eat FREE! You can't argue with that! We'll be there on Wednesday, April 7 from 9p to 11p. We hope to see you there!

Also in the works is the possible expansion of the band. We're thinking about adding one, or possibly two, members to the band to flesh it out and give us more versatility. Being a trio is sometimes musically restricting, and there are styles of music we simply avoid because they are not realistic for a trio. We're wondering what you think about this. If you have an opinion, please e-mail us and let us know: Would you like to see us expand beyond our current 60's / 70's British Invasion format? Drop is a line at

We hope you all had a GREAT St. Paddy's Day . . . Begorrah! --- John

February 20, 2004:

In addition to the usual gigs, the big news in February is our appearance at Leap Into The ARTS! on February 29, which IS Leap Day. This event is sponsored by the City of La Mesa and the La Mesa Arts Alliance, whose sole purpose it to support the re-introduction of the arts in public schools. It's no secret that public schools have been eliminating the fine arts a little at a time, due to budget constraints (they say) and there are many people who feel the fine arts are an important part of the education of all children. So the La Mesa Arts Alliance was born, and I have had the pleasure of serving in its steering committee. The event on the 29th will be its first, and will be a fund raiser and membership promotion. It will be held at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive from 6p to 9p. We hope to see YOU there! --- John

January 28, 2004:

January has been much busier than usual, both in the studio with Sandi and around town with various live performances including a gig with special guest drummer, Ted Best. I've also begun work on a solo studio project which I hope to have completed by the fall. Doug's company, Virtual Toad, had a great showing at the NAMM show in Los Angeles, and is now distributing product to Guitar Center! The Death Rattle Rocks!

If you've been here before, you know that one of my fave bands is The Spongetones from Charlotte, North Carolina, and their leader Jamie Hoover. GREAT NEWS! Jamie has just released a new album with Bill Lloyd (of Foster & Lloyd fame) and it's an absolutely outstanding Beatles influenced album. It's called "Paparazzi" and you can get it at both and I promise you, you won't be disappointed!

If you get the chance, make the trip to El Centro on January 31 for our show at the Farmer's Market. It will be a tribute to the British Invasion you won't want to miss! Get the details on our Gig page. See you next month! --- John

December 13, 2003:

Welcome to our news page!

December has been quite a month! In addition to the ongoing sessions with Sandi Schena and Ann Heller, Doug and I have been preforming at La Mesa's Old Fashioned Christmas In The Village. We dress up in Charles Dickens era costumes, strap on acoustic guitars and hit the streets! They call this "busking", and we've had a great time jamming Christmas songs with the help of Andy Phemister on trombome and vocals.

Speaking of Christmas, Doug has recorded two special pieces for the holidays, which I hope you take the time to download and listen to because they are AWESOME :) Go back to our Home Page and look for the links just under the photograph of the band at The Cavern in Liverpool, or just click here and here.

We're playing a great gig on December 20 at The Witchcreek Winery in Carlsbad. This is one of our favorite places to play, these folks really get into their oldies! The wine is pretty good as well :)

You are all invited to our New Year's Eve Party at Mc P's Irish Pub and Grille, Wednesday, December 31 from 9p to 1a. Mc P's is located on Coronado Island at the corner of Orange and C Streets, just a bit before the Hotel Del on the opposite side of the street. For more information, call 619-435-5280.

Finally, George, Doug and I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Check this page often for updates!

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