Remembering a Buddy at Buddy Blue Festival V

Categories: r.i.p.
buddy-blue-at-petes_tim-ames.jpg
Photo by Tim Ames/BuddyBlue.net
Buddy Blue strikes a chord at Pete's Place.
My, how time flies when you're missing your buddy. Bernard "Buddy" Seigal was a former OC Weekly music editor; a connoisseur of subversive comics, disturbing porn and bottomless whiskey shots; and, under the stage name "Buddy Blue," an original member of Country Dick Montana's cowpunk band The Beat Farmers.

Sadly, Buddy went, as I put it last year, to that dank club gig in the sky on April 2, 2006. I put it that way in a preview of the fourth-annual Buddy Blue Fest staged by his friends, family and former Farmers bandmates. The fifth-anniversary concert is Saturday night.

Here's the poster:

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Yep, unlike the inaugural years when the festival was held at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, like last year, it returns to Pete's Place, all the way in Buddy's transplanted home of La Mesa. As Buddy would say, "Quit yer bitchin'" 'cause it's well-worth the drive.

I caught a swingy Buddy Blue Band show there years ago and was thoroughly entertained. There isn't a bad seat in the house. The bartenders keep daddy's medicine flowing. (Uh, you might wanna bring a designated driver or book a motel room within stumbling distance.) Plus, you never know who will show up. Before his death, Buddy reunited with the surviving Farmers, as they call themselves. At another Coach House show, Mojo Nixon climbed up from his suds-soaked table to sing the late, great Country Dick's parts. 

As I mentioned, Buddy was a founding member of Montana's band, which earned international acclaim in the 1980s with songs such as "Happy Boy," "Riverside" and Seigal's own "Gun Sale At the Church" (whose title these days isn't as shocking as it was back then; God bless the teabaggers). Incidentally, Buddy loathed the "cowpunk" label applied to the Beat Farmers. But not as much as he hated an attempt by Curb Records to, as he heard it, make the band sound like Dire Straits. He left after the first two albums.

Buddy went on to win critical acclaim for his various Buddy Blue Band incarnations and awards for his music freelancing work, which appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, The Orange County Register and San Diego Union-Tribune, among other pubs. Naturally, serving as music editor at the Weekly in the early 2000s was the crowning achievement in his journalism career. (Good thing he ain't here to argue with me on that.)

At age 48, Mr. Seigal was taken much too soon from his fans, friends and especially wife Anne and daughter Tallulah. If you make it to La Mesa Saturday night, you'll discover why we still miss him just as much as ever, five years later. Just don't pour out a whiskey shot in his honor; he'll curse your wastefulness from above.
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