Beyond Belief

By Andrew Gilhooley / 411

Three stages, more than 25 bands and an art exhibition - all for only $10! The sixth annual Monterey Rock and Art Festival takes place Saturday at the Monterey County Fairgrounds.

The Fairgrounds has its own place in rock music history as the home of the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival, which brought to the public's attention such seminal '60s acts as Jimi Hendrix, The Who and Janis Joplin.

Rock and Art Festival organizer Brad Mallory sees his event as performing a similar function.

"It's designed to promote emerging local and regional artists, and to give them a chance to perform at the 'next level'," he said.

The festival runs from 11:30 a.m. to midnight Saturday and features performers from across the musical spectrum on its three stages. The Patio Stage will feature primarily acoustic acts, including solo sets by Diane Wegner and Salinas native Eddie Gutierrez. Also appearing on this stage will be the Monterey-based band, ADHD.

The indoor Turf Club stage and the main Garden Stage will host rock bands throughout the day and into the evening. Many familiar names from the Monterey area will be there, including Dog Loves Girl, Red Light Nightmare and Liquid8. Visiting from outside the area are Cat McLean, Los Angeles based Hutch and this year's headline act San Francisco's The Gun and Doll Show.

The Gun and Doll Show is currently one of the most talked about bands in San Francisco.

Combining elements of punk, pop and rock music with surreal theatrical stage shows in the tradition of The Tubes and Alice Cooper, its act defies description and has to be seen to be believed.

Formed in 1993, the band consists of Killian McGarrity (a.k.a. Killer Mac) on guitar and vocals, Megan McCoul on guitar, keyboards and vocals, Darren Cassidy on bass and Iohnny Layout on drums. The Gun and Doll Show has made it its business to entertain and to redefine what is expected of a modern rock band.

Recent live performances have included dancing with cheerleaders dressed in military fatigues, popping out of a 6-foot cherry pie and even performing with an orchestra of fifty naked guitarists. The band has released two CDs and a third, entitled "Thank Girls for Guns, God and Guitars," is in the pipeline. The show on Saturday promises to be a highlight of the festival.

After The Gun and Doll Show the outdoor stage closes and the action moves inside for a final set by local band Red Light Nightmare. Following that, there will be a chance to "meet and greet" the day's artists, and an All Star Jam closes the festival.

First published in "411", The Salinas Californian, July18, 2002

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