Category Archives: music

another part of what I do for fun

ML’s 50th

Got to hand it to them, my brother Mark and his wife Suzanne throw a mean party. These photos are mainly from the band’s perspective…

Return to Monaghan’s 2012

Our gig coincided with a partial solar eclipse.  We had a great crown this particular day.


Surf Tahoe

It’s been 30 some years since I saw Sammy Hagar play. If I recall, it was a new years eve show at the Cow Palace, but there’s a good chance my recollection of the date and venue are off by years, miles, or both.

I got an email recently from the manager at the Cabo Wabo Cantina in South Shore Tahoe, one thing led to another, now Trivalve will be heading up there to play 2 dates for the launch of Sammy’s most recent distilled product, Beach Bar Rum.  If you’re in Tahoe on May 4 (Friday) or May 5, come on out to our show, we’re hoping to do a shot or 2 with Sammy himself!

Couldn’t finish this piece without giving props to Ronnie Montrose, R.I.P.  I clearly remember seeing Gamma play at Justin Herman Plaza right around 1980, that much I’m sure of.


we played Whole Lotta Love with Sammy, cousins Cher & Ed showed up, along with Sammy Rose & family

Battle of the Surf Bands

(Listen) Last time I played in something like this was back in ’79 (whew).  Ferenc of Pollo del Mar and DJ Cousin Mary of KFJC lined this one up and all the bands knocked it way out of the (menlo) park.  If you couldn’t be at the British Bankers Club in person or listen to the live broadcast, we have 3 songs from the event posted at Enjoy!

too loud for neighbors, just right for channel 2

newscastThe Grand Avenue Business Association co-sponsored a street event on October 23 to celebrate the repeal of evening parking meter enforcement. One of the businesses celebrating on Merchant Appreciation Night was Piedmont Shell, where Trivalve set up to play at 6pm. Unfortunately, a small but persistent contingent of residents surrounding the intersection of Grand and Wildwood complained that there was a bit too much volume (we can’t help it) and we had to cut the set in half. But we cut through enough to attract the attention of a KTVU mobile unit, see the televised report here!

friday night rock jam

I met Ralph after one of Eric’s jazz club rehearsals, he first invited me over to an informal jam at his house last year, and I’ve been to 2 or 3 since then.  With Nat out of town on a school retreat, I asked Eric if he wanted to come along last night. The fact that his friend Devin would be there helped seal the deal (Devin’s dad Matt plays drums).  I had no idea how much he would enjoy it.

It reminded me of one of my first jams, when I was about 15, at Lyle Wing’s duplex on a warm day after school in 1976.  It’s likely that we sounded like shit, but the sheer thrill of making music was enough to set the hook firmly.

Now Eric wants to know if we can do this every Friday night…

that oaktown surf sound

Trivalve opened a very rockin show at Hotel Utah on April 25, on a bill that included The Attack Plan, Chief Enables, and headlined by Slipstream Sparrows, three very fine local bands. What a phenomenal first gig! Here’s a blow by blow account…

I arrived at Gene’s with an empty vehicle, ready to haul gear up the stairs and into the van.  What I hadn’t counted on was Gene getting a head start on me, the amps and speakers all in the driveway by the front door.  I’d planned on leaving his place by 6, but it turned out that we got the Utah by 6, an hour earlier than we needed.  It turned out to be a good thing, I was able to park right off the side door, we took our time bringing in gear and having a bite from the kitchen. All the while, Leslie is snapping some great photos, we talk about plans for promoting the band over burger, fries and buffalo wings.

Dave from the Sparrows showed up soon, and the guys from the other bands filtered in by around 7:30. Danny was told to bring only his cymbals, sticks and snare, the idea being that all 4 drummers would use the same kit and save a lot of set up/break down time between sets.  Since the three of us are alumni of the BCO, I peeled a sticker and affixed it to one of the posts downstairs.   As we saw some of our people enter the club, we ran through a couple of brief sound checks, it consisted of the first verse of “Lullabye of the Leaves.”  In a fair indication of what was to come, we got a surprisingly warm response from our SOUND CHECK! Cool!

At 8:40 we’re ready to play, our friends are in the area in front of the stage, as well as in the balcony. (Dave and Marie, you guys ROCK!) It’s great to look out, lock onto faces and see that they’re enjoying themselves.  Mary Ann was all smiles (was it the martini?), Kati and Sjimon just to my right, Lisa dead center, Ron, Rain and Mindy off to the side and  a short way back, every time I looked their way I saw them giving us great support.

Our M.O. is to play a lot of songs with as little interruption as possible, we’ve got 4 blocks of about 5 songs that we’ve timed at just about 45 minutes.  Here’s a song – boom.  Here’s another, and another, and a 4th and a 5th.  Money.  I say a few words, here’s the next block.  The beauty of a 3 piece band is that the fewer of you there are, the more responsive and agile you can be.  Part of that is working out a smart set list and sticking to it, not having to rely on a larger number of players to prepare for the next tune.  Even though we’re buzzing through our set, the short (I’m talking 3-5 seconds) breaks in between allow the audience to briefly express their approval with a burst of whoops and whistles.  And I can see that the guys from the other bands are watching and offering their support as well.  Good karma.

I’m loving it.  Our breaks were tight, the drums drove hard, the bass growled and the guitar cut through the club like a sabre.  The fact that we worked hard in rehearsal showed – we’ve made all the songs our own, we now know them and can as easily breath them as play them.  And they’re fun. The set FLEW by, before we knew it, I’m thanking the crowd, acknowledging the club, and telling people to stick around for the fine acts that followed. We broke down our gear, Ron helped me load it into the van, and I enjoyed the next acts.

Chief Enablers are a very entertaining group, their songs have a great sense of humor (“I lost my iPod, it was worse than losing you” – “Somebody stole my parking space, hit ’em with a rock in the face”).  Terbo Ted is a very natural performer, their whole band was very tight.  The Attack Plan followed with a high energy, hard edged set, reminiscent of bands like Iron Maiden.  Great material, well executed.  Finishing the night was Slipstream Sparrows, their repertoire consisting of intelligent compositions laden with guitar effects in a variety of tempos and treatments.

So, there you have it, Trivalve out the gate and running.  We have a few other engagements lined up, next is June 20 for the Laurel Solstice Music Festival, then the  July 4 parade and picnic in Orinda.  Get all the pertinent information at or

trivalve photos from hotel utah

Saturday night’s gig was superb! Check out a small sampling of photos

We opened at about 8:40, and busted through 21 tunes.  The Chief Enablers followed with a lively set, followed by the hard rocking Attack Plan. The show finished up with the very talented Slipstream Sparrows – thanks go out to Dave and Brian for bringing us onto the bill.

The house was definitely rockin’ – HUUUUGE thanks to our loyal fans!

Here’s a link to Leslie’s full set of photos on flickr

trivalve gigs and related surf news

Saturday night’s the night!  We open at the Hotel Utah on a bill that includes The Attack Plan, Chief Enablers and headlined by Slipstream Sparrows. (If we weren’t playing, I’d be going to the KFJC 50th anniversary party in Redwood City – alas…).  The band is money – the breaks are tight, the beat is driving and the set list is dialed in.

More gigs are on the horizon: June 20 at the Laurel Solstice Festival in Oakland, July 4 at the Orinda Community Park, and a couple of private parties with dates in negotiation

And just in time for our DEBUT GIG –  I put this site together in the past week, we’ll be making many additions to it in the very near future.