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BROKEN TOYS-30 Years in the Making Live at the Gallo Center July 18th | Arts & Culture

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BROKEN TOYS-30 Years in the Making Live at the Gallo Center July 18th
BROKEN TOYS-30 Years in the Making Live at the Gallo Center July 18th

     Moving to a town that only had 8 exits off the Freeway(what kind of cultural wasteland was my parents moving us to) was a pretty big shock for a teenager from LA(and what classic 80 movie plots seemed to be all about.) What did this "hick town" have to offer to a Modernist Punk from the "Big City." I remember the first High School dance I attended the DJ had a list of bands not to play, no Bauhaus, no Cure, no Blondie, not even the B-52's. I noticed in a box a 7" a band that wasn't on the list The Dead Kennedys so I had him play Holiday in Cambodia(a small win for my rebellious soul.)  I was a stranger in a strange land being assaulted by Jocks and Cowboys for the clothes on my back and the way I wore my hair.

     Scrolling south of the dial, like I was tuning in Radio Free Europe for  glimpse of good news from the Allies. I ran across low powered stations out of Stockton, Turlock and Berkeley playing the sounds of the Underground, the sound the man didn't want me to hear, the darker side of what was coming out around the US and Europe. Watching late night cable gave me a visual to the audio that crackled out of my speakers. I knew there had to be others out there just like me. Slowly I surrounded myself with like minded outcasts with a common bound of music and ill lit cafes.

     Seeing bands perform live was a rarity especially "New Wave" bands and usually hosted at pizza parlors, Vet's Halls and the YMCA along with the occasional college gig. It was in these dark rooms and basements that I heard the rumblings and rumors of a band that would soon become a fixture in not just mine but so many others lives. A dark shadowy symphonic sound. This band couldn't have spawned from Stockton. This was not the harvest the bounty of the Central Valley. Yet there they were playing another show in this musical wasteland. When I would see the band name BROKEN TOYS on a flyer it would seem to explode of the page. I knew I would be surrounded by my kind, friends that I had not made yet. By the end of the night I would be drenched in sweat from dancing and swirling  and coughing up second hand smoke from to many cloves. This was not LA, this was not San Francisco, hell this wasn't even Athens, GA; this was the Central Valley and like an Oasis in the desert, BROKEN TOYS gave us a reason to DANCE.

      Broken Toys, Kelly Foley, Marie Santelices, Thom Calhoun, Jim Sampson and Stev Rehn began life in June of 1984 and like most bands, started out playing covers. Gigs followed and soon they were one of the most sought after bands in Northern California playing close to 600 shows between the Summer of 84 and New Years Eve 1989/90. They recorded one album at Studio C in Stockton CA "The Cut of Memory" in 1987 and it quickly gained Cult Status and the band was seen supporting bands like The Damned, The Church, Modern English and Flock of Seagulls.

      The Cut of Memory had remained long out of print when Wire and Wood Ltd released the XXV Anniversary edition in 2012. BROKEN TOYS played to a sold out crowd at the Stockton Empire Theater for the release, the show was filmed and will be released as a special DVD/CD concert video.

      July 18th Underground Concerts and Beat Happy! Music Presents BROKEN TOYS at the Gallo Center for the Arts 1000 I St Modesto, CA. to celebrate the release of the Concert Video and celebrate 30 Years. This is going to be a very special performance with special guest Willie Hines, Eric Westphal and Keith Boggs. Tickets will most likely sell out in advance so get yours now, they are available for $20 at the Modesto Visitors Bureau or though PayPal from wireandwoodltd@gmail.com $20 each or $30 for ticket and DVD/CD preorder.