Let's face it: San Diego rules. We don't get the America’s Finest City nickname for no reason. Whether you grew up here, transplanted here or simply visited for a minute, few leave without wanting to come back, and those who stay know they have it pretty good. So it’s no surprise that people of all walks of life -- including some pretty big-name musicians -- either soak up the SD sun or did at one time. In fact, while we were digging around, we found a few musical artists that you may not realize share your same love of everything San Diego. Everyone knows about Eddie Vedder and Jewel (we’re reminded pretty much every day), so here are 12 musicians with San Diego ties that may have flown a bit under the proverbial radar. If we forgot anyone, let us know in the comments!
- Matt Cameron: Vedder may get all the love, but folks don’t realize the guy straddling two grunge powerhouses as the drummer for both Soundgarden and Pearl Jam was born and raised in San Diego -- he went to Bonita Vista High School -- before moving to Seattle in 1983.
- Eric Clapton: There’s a reason why Clapton’s 2006 collaborative album with J.J. Cale is titled “The Road to Escondido” -- both of 'em lived in North County at one time or another. J.J. Cale’s hometown is Valley Center, while Clapton owned a mansion in Escondido in the '80s and '90s. “Clapton is God”? Nah, he probably just felt like it after eating a Peterson’s donut (dude, check 'em out for real).
- Ace Frehley: “Spaceman” lives in San Diego! For the past few years, the famed former guitarist (and founding member) of Kiss has been masquerading (sans makeup) around town and popping up unannounced at gigs now and then -- he most recently performed at the Casbah for Steve Rodriguez’s "Welcome to Heaven" memorial show. Let’s hang out, Ace!
- Janet Jackson: Yup, you read that right: Janet (Ms. Jackson, if you’re nasty) lived in Rancho Santa Fe from 1990 to 1997 in a $4.5-million, 10,000-square-foot mansion that perhaps inspired her best work (ahem, “Janet”).
- Leroy “Lonnie” Jordan: Everyone’s favorite can’t-we-all-get-along tune, “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” was co-written by Jordan and his band War. Jordan was born in San Diego in 1948.
- Jim Morrison: Yes indeed, the Doors' good ol’ Lizard King spent some of his childhood living in San Diego while his father was in the U.S. Navy. Our beautiful city must've been the inspiration for “Hello, I Love You,” right?
- Linda Perry: Perry spent a large part of her teenage years living in San Diego, trying (unsuccessfully) to start several different bands. Apparently, it took her making a move to San Francisco to snag it with 4 Non Blondes. It’s been all world domination ever since: Perry’s responsible for some of the biggest hits of the last two decades, writing or co-writing songs for Pink, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Courtney Love, Alicia Keys and others.
- Steve Perry: Journey’s ex-lead vocalist lives in Del Mar. So if you ever wanted to meet the man behind the songs “Any Way You Want It,” “Open Arms” and “Faithfully,” don’t stop believin’. He could be the guy standing in line next to you at Whole Foods buying a ton of cheese.
- Scott Weiland: Yoyeah, Weiland’s a San Diegan. Dude founded a local band called the Magnificent Bastards in 1995 with drummer Victor Indrizzo before rejoining a little band you may have heard of called Stone Temple Pilots for their “Tiny Music… Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop” album.
- Ann Wilson: When you’ve got pipes like Heart’s Wilson (who "Hit Parader" named as one of the Top Heavy Metal Vocalists of All Time in 2006), does it really matter where you’re from? Well, to us it does. Wilson was born in San Diego in 1950, when her father was a major in the U.S. Marine Corps. She joined Heart (who was called White Heart before she joined), and “Crazy on You” followed soon thereafter. The rest, as they say, is history.
- Eric Wilson: When he’s not busy practicing santeria, Wilson is the original founding bassist for your favorite skate/punk/reggae band, Sublime -- and now, Sublime With Rome. Dude lives in town, but we’re not saying where (so don’t ask).
- Patrick Wilson: Beverly Hills? Nah, Weezer’s drummer extraordinaire is a resident of Poway, California. Say it ain't so! Wonder if he actually plays “In the Garage”?
Here are a few other lists we’ve put together.