JOEY VERA Interview Page 2
By Diego Negrete
DIEGO: Do you remember your first set-list?
JOEY: I remember some of the songs. Lets see...we played "Feels Like The First Time" by Foreigner, and "Smoke On the Water"...of course. It was awesome. Channing on bass. Mark Patton played keyboards. He had this horrible sounding keyboard. It was classic! I mean we were in the 9th grade!
DIEGO: I remember hanging out with my friends who were all younger. We got to know you guys through our friend Ronny. He was probably one of the funniest guys I've ever known. He used to tell us about you guys in school. He'd call you guys "The Gods", and would tell us stories about how he used to watch you jam. We all wanted to be like you guys. Ronny got us charged on starting our own band...seems like everyone started in the 8th grade. Do you remember Ronny calling you "The Gods"?
JOEY: (Laughing) Ronny was classic!
DIEGO: Where did you go after Rhapsody?
JOEY: Well, Rhapsody was the first, but it was short lived, it lasted about a year. At that time we were into the first 'Kiss Alive' record, Queen's 'A Night At The Opera'. That's what was out at the time. Then Van Halen came out in '78 which changed a lot of things. After Rhapsody broke up, John and I wanted to form a new band. We needed a bass player because Channing wasn't playing with us anymore. At the time, John thought he wanted to be a bass player so his Mom bought him a brand new Fender P Bass at Pedrinis Music in Alhambra and a little amp. He played it for about a month and that was it. It was under the bed. We still needed a bass player so the idea came up that I would play bass and David would play guitar. So, that was it. I became a bass player. And that bass is my P Bass. It's the same bass I play today. I'm glad I never got rid of it 'cause it has so much significance. I bought it off John's Mom.
DIEGO: (Interrupting) Did you take her?
JOEY: (Laughing) For $200. We got into arguments a lot with David for some reason. I think it was over what to do musically. So, eventually John and I split. Phil and Gonzo had been playing instruments for about a year or two so we started playing with them. The four of us had a band called 'Royal Decree'. We were together for about 2 years, that was in the 10/11th grade. We played a lot of backyard parties in El Sereno. Did nothing but covers songs, we had one original song. We did this battle of the bands at Wilson High and won first place. It was a big thing for us because Zarate, getting back to Zarate, was the big band, and we beat them out and we thought it was the raddest thing ever; to beat out the best band in El Sereno (laughter erupts). The other cool thing about that night was that one of the judges was Rodney Bingenhiemer...you know, Rodney On The Roq from KROQ radio?
JOEY: Well that was a huge thing too...we thought 'Wow! Rodney on the Roq here at our high school in El Sereno!' We were freaking out!
DIEGO: Yeah, I bet he was too! (laughs).
JOEY: I would love to meet him again and ask him if he remembered judging a talent show at Wilson High back in '79....(laughing) He'd freak!
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