The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk concert season has a lot of regulars coming back and one surprising new duo.
Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven will be doing their first appearances at the summer series. Why does this make a critic smile?
1. these are two once alternative bands who last times out played places such as the Fillmore in San Francisco, whose fans would hardly imagine them at a free concert series.
2. The bands started in Santa Cruz and have a song that refers to the Boardwalk. Cracker's "Big Dipper" is a reference to the historical roller coaster at the Boardwalk, the Giant Dipper. Check below for lyrics.
Y&T, from San Jose, which plays Aug. 2 were Northern California's answer to Van Halen. They have a huge international following, but aren't as well known locally as they should be. Guitarist Dave Meniketti is a real musician who is underappreciated and well worth seeing. Foghat, on Aug. 16 sound better with age. Like ZZ Top they made some great blues/rock music that will be hard not to dance to.
Other highlights include War, Aug. 9, which is only one of the original members, but still puts on a good show. With those songs, it's hard to go wrong. The other members, including Lee Oskar, play in a band called The Original Lowriders.
Blue Oyster Cult plays that great haunting FM rock that holds up. Perennial Eddie Money tries to make his songs fresh each time out.
It's amazing all this is free.
"Big Dipper" Lyrics:
"Cigarettes, and carrot juice
And get yourself a new tattoo
For those sleeveless days of June
I'm sitting on the Cafè Xeno's steps
With a book I haven't started yet,
Watching all the girls walk by...
Could I take you out?
I'll be yours without a doubt
On that Big Dipper
And if the sound of this it frightens you,
We could play it real cool
And act somewhat indifferent
And hey June, why'd you have to come,
Why'd you have to come around, so soon?
I wasn't ready for all this nature
The terrible green green grass
And violent blooms of flowered dresses
And afternoons that make me sleepy
But we could wait awhile
Before we push that dull turnstile
Into the passage
The thousands they have tread
And others sometimes fled
Before the turn came
And we could wait our lives
Before a chance arrives
Before the passage
From the top you can see Monterey
Or think about San Jose
Though I know it`s not that pleasant."