Following the tragic passing of Steve Rodriguez -- the bassist for the much-loved San Diego band the Dragons -- on July 21, the Casbah has announced a special memorial benefit show in his honor on Sunday, Aug. 2.
The show, dubbed "Welcome to RockNRoll Heaven" on the official Facebook event page, gathers many of his friends and band mates onstage and off to celebrate his life. The surviving members of Rodriguez's band, the Dragons and Saint Shameless, as well as Steve Poltz and Uncle Joe's Big Ol' Driver are set to perform; Louis Mello and Dennis Borlek will DJ; and there will be food and pictures of Rodriguez set up in the back-bar area.
The Facebook event page reads: "Steve Rodriguez touched so many people with his music and his charm. Please join his wife Jamie and his son Jesse and The Dragons family and music community at The Casbah. We want to celebrate his life, say goodbye and welcome him to RocknRoll heaven."
Doors will open at 6 p.m., and tickets are $15 at the door (no advance tickets will be sold). Memorial begins at 7 p.m., and all money raised from the door and from Dragons/Saint Shameless merch sales with go to a college fund for Rodriguez's son.
If you're unable to attend though, the family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the memorial expenses and for donations to the aforementioned college fund. Please visit the page here, and donate if you can.
Over the years, the Dragons, who performed a mix of punk and rock to packed houses, toured extensively around the U.S. and also played shows in Japan. The band was formed in San Diego in 1991 by frontman Mario Esovedo, lead guitarist Ken Horne, drummer Jarrod Lucas and Rodriguez. The Dragons released seven albums, including 2000's "Live at the Casbah," which was recorded at San Diego's classic music venue, before disbanding in 2005, though they did reunite for several shows, including in 2014 for the iconic club's 25th anniversary.
On Wednesday, Escovedo posted a tribute video to Rodriguez on YouTube, sharing, among other things, that Rodriguez "always made an impression; beautiful, sexy, fashionable, loud, dangerous, funny, hilarious, a hugger, and compassionate. He was all that and more.... He was the 4th of July all year long."
The bassist also had stints in the seminal West Coast punk band the Zeros, Mad Juana and MEX, according to a Escovedo. Most recently, Rodriguez was playing with Saint Shameless, performing in June at Art Around Adams Avenue.
Rodiguez grew up in San Diego, attending Mount Miguel High School in Spring Valley, although in recent years he was a resident of El Cajon. Rodriguez is survived by his wife, Jamie and son, Jesse.