San Diego's Musical Hall of Fame

San Diego enjoys its fair share of huge musical stars (Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Jewel, Jason Mraz, etc.) -- but we bet there's a few in our hall of fame that even the most trivia-savvy may not be aware of.

74 photos
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - OCTOBER 21: Musician Dave Mustaine of Megadeth performs at the Gibson Amphitheatre on October 21, 2010 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Former Blink-182 co-frontman Tom DeLonge is a Poway native. And while Angels & Airwaves are his main squeeze now, it's not the only project he's spearheaded -- he's also founded To the Stars Academy (which researches alien technology) and co-stars/executive produces the History Channel show "Unidentified: Inside America's UFO Investigation."
You've seen her in an Apple commercial with Stevie Wonder, performing at the Grammy Awards and rising to the top of the Billboard charts: Amazing neo-soul singer Andra Day calls San Diego home (she graduated from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts!)
Growing up in National City, singer/songwriter/actor Tom Waits memorialized his time in the area in his song "San Diego Serenade" (off the classic album "Heart of Saturday Night").
La Mesa native Dave Mustaine -- founder/frontman of the thrash-metal band Megadeth -- also used to live in a sprawling 10-acre Fallbrook estate, until he sold it recently for a cool $2 million.
Perhaps our city's very first hard-rock entry in the music world, Iron Butterfly is best known for their 1968 hit "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,", which provided a dramatic sound that led the way towards the development of hard rock/heavy metal music. The band's original members were Doug Ingle, Jack Pinney, Greg Willis and Danny Weis.
Switchfoot have deep San Diego roots, and throw the annual Switchfoot Bro-Am benefit in Encinitas every year.
Saxophonist Karl Denson is a San Diego legend who has been on tour with the Rolling Stones since 2014. Enough said.
Getty Images
Jack Tempchin -- who co-wrote several hits for the Eagles (among others) including "Peaceful Easy Feelin'," "Already Gone" and "Somebody" -- is a San Diego native.
While not a musician per se, the Casbah's owner/booker Tim Mays (pictured left) has been pivotal in nurturing live music in San Diego -- either by booking local bands to play or bringing national acts through town at various venues. The state of music in America's Finest City would be vastly different if not for his long-time contributions. In this photo, he's shown with District 3 City Councilman Chris Ward as he awards Mays a proclamation declaring Jan. 14, 2019 as "Casbah's 30th Anniversary Day" in San Diego.
James Moody, a Grammy-nominated jazz saxophone and flute player, lived in San Diego for a time. He died at the San Diego Hospice on Dec. 9, 2010.
Jim Morrison -- that's right, of the Doors fame -- spent some time in San Diego while he was growing up. His dad was in the Navy.
Stephen Pearcy, cofounder and ex-lead singer of Ratt -- which was originally called Crystal Pystal, then Cherry Buster, then Mickey Ratt -- grew up in San Diego. After relocating with the band to LA, they shortened their name and worldwide rock n' roll success followed.
Joe Walsh, famous for his solo career and his work in the Eagles, has a residence in Encinitas!
New Found Glory singer Jordan Pundik (right), seen here performing during the Pop Punk's Not Dead tour at the Hard Rock Cafe in Vegas in 2011, lives in North County.
Cubbie Fink from Foster the People grew up in Encinitas and is a graduate of La Costa Canyon High School.
Famed sitarist Ravi Shankar was a longtime North County resident.
Barbra Streisand rented a house in San Diego County while her husband, James Brolin, was filming a TV series here.
Cameron Crowe -- who wrote and directed films including "Almost Famous," "Jerry Maguire" and "Say Anything" -- grew up and went to school in San Diego, and wrote about music for Rolling Stone magazine in the beginning of his career.
Country-pop crossover star Juice Newton is a resident of Rancho Santa Fe, where she enjoys riding horses.
Earthless are an award-winning psych-rock band from San Diego.
Sara Watkins, violinist for Nickel Creek, met Thile in Carlsbad through their parents. Can you think of anybody we missed? Send suggestions to
Grammy winner Steve Vaus is the mayor of Poway these days!
You may know Ilan Rubin as the drummer for Lostprophets, Angels and Airwaves, and Nine Inch Nails. But you probably didn't know he called San Diego his childhood home. Can you think of anybody we missed? Send suggestions to
Matt Cameron, born and raised in San Diego, was drummer for Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. He was . Can you think of anybody we missed? Send suggestions to
Jazz pianist Geoffrey Keezer is a North Park resident. The musician was nominated for a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist. Can you think of anybody we missed? Send suggestions to
Sean Watkins is Nickel Creek's guitarist and Sara's brother. The siblings grew up in North County.
Jewel debuted in San Diego back in 1995. She played at local venues until she was discovered and signed with a label. She comes back to visit frequently, playing at such venues such as Humphrey's by the Bay.
Pop star Janet Jackson owns a home in Rancho Santa Fe.
Getty Images
Formed in Ocean Beach, Slightly Stoopid was first signed by Sublime's Bradley Nowell and is now a mainstay of the reggae-rock genre.
Eric Wilson, the founding bass player in Sublime -- and currently Sublime With Rome -- has a San Diego residence.
Hirie grew up in Hawaii but moved to San Diego to begin her musical career a few years back -- a journey which recently found her taking home the San Diego Music Award for Best World Music in 2017!
Dum Dum Girls singer Dee Dee was a longtime San Diego resident and used to sing and drum for the local band Grand Ole Party.
Indie rockers Pinback are longtime San Diego residents.
The Rapture may now call Brooklyn home, but they fondly remember their days growing up in La Mesa. The guys recall standing outside of the Casbah to listen to shows they weren't old enough to attend.
Mexican/American singer Julieta Venegas grew up in Tijuana and in the South Bay area of San Diego. Can you think of anybody we missed? Send suggestions to
Guitar virtuoso Carlos Santana started his music career in Tijuana.
Pistolera frontwoman Sandra Velasquez is a San Diego native, and her Mexican/American musical hybridism reflects her childhood spent near the border.
Bandleader Lawrence Welk created the 600-acre resort in Escondido that still bears his name.
Patti Page owns a home in San Diego County.
Singer Jimmy Durante's connections to the area include Jimmy Durante Boulevard in Del Mar. "The Del Mar library ... was constructed in 1914 as St. James Catholic Church," according to the city of Del Mar's web site. "Parishioners included Durante and Desi Arnaz."
Jim Croce and his wife, Ingrid, lived in San Diego. After his death, she opened Croce's Restaurant and Jazz Bar in the Gaslamp District.
Singer/songwriter A.J. Croce followed in his father's footsteps. Jim Croce moved to San Diego in the early '70s.
After moving to San Diego in her childhood, rockabilly icon Rosie Flores formed her first band, Penelope’s Children, while still in high school. In the 1970s, Flores played the San Diego nightclub circuit and was the namesake of the alt-country band Rosie & the Screamers. After leaving the Screamers, she joined an all-female cowpunk band called Screamin' Sirens in the 1980s. Now a celebrated Austin, Texas resident with an illustrious career, she'll always have a place in our musical hearts.
Ace Frehley, of Kiss fame, lives in San Diego. He pops up at shows in town every now and then -- so yes, there is a chance that you can party with "Spaceman" at some point!
Originally formed by frontman Country Dick Montana (who sadly passed away in 1995), the Beat Farmers arguably started the cowpunk genre in 1983 and got their start performing regularly at the Spring Valley Inn of all places!
"Swami" John Reis is a local -- and national -- legend, having formed Rocket From the Crypt, Hot Snakes and Drive Like Jehu. He currently runs Swami Records.
Eric Clapton owned a mansion in Escondido during the '80s and '90s. Not sure if he still lives there but if anyone wants to start up a "Searching for Clapton" mission in San Diego, we're all in.
Getty Images
Journey's former lead singer, Steve Perry, lives in Del Mar. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Chris Thile, mandolinist for the acoustic trio Nickel Creek, was born in Oceanside.
Getty Images for Dolores Cortes
What's my age again? Blink-182 co-frontman/bassist Mark Hoppus went to Rancho Bernardo High School and has had reigned supreme over the band's low-end, and infinitely catchy tunes, since its inception in 1992. Dude still looks like he's 21, right?
Pierce the Veil (Vic Fuentes, Mike Fuentes, Jaime Preciado and Tony Perry) are from right here in San Diego -- and the hometown boys' 2016 album, "Misadventures," debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart!
Nathan Williams, who founded and fronts the band Wavves, is a San Diego native.
The Penetrators -- shown here accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award at the San Diego Music Awards -- were founded by guitarist Scott Harrington and drummer Joel Kmak in the late 1970s, and were one of the region's first prototypical punk groups.
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Frank Zappa attended Mission Bay High School.
Linda Perry, of 4 Non Blondes fame, spent a large part of her teenage years living in San Diego. She's written hits for Pink, Christina Aguilera, Courtney Love, and others.
Dubbed the West Coast's Ramones, the Dragons -- whose members hail from Chula Vista -- are San Diego punk-rock royalty.
Patrick Wilson -- the drummer for Weezer (shown here playing guitar at the Del Mar Racetrack) -- lives in Poway.
Scott Weiland (pictured middle), the former lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots, lived in San Diego for years. Sadly, he passed away on Dec. 4, 2015. He was 48.
Before taking the mic for Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder went to high school in Encinitas.
American Idol Adam Lambert made his hometown famous for more than just beautiful coastlines.
Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready made the move to San Diego shortly after birth.
Rob Machado -- perhaps better known for his legendary surfing skills -- is also a fine musician and hosts an annual benefit concert at the Belly Up to support environmental causes.
Singer/songwriter Jason Mraz owns an avocado farm in Oceanside.
Ann Wilson was born in San Diego. She is now a songwriter and lead singer of Heart.
In 2005, Louis XIV were named one of the Top 10 bands to watch by Rolling Stone.
Singer Frankie Laine lived in the Point Loma area of San Diego. Can you think of anybody we missed? Send suggestions to
Nortec Collective originated just south of San Diego, in northern Mexico. They have performed many times in San Diego, at M-Theory and other venues -- including SoundDiego's studio.
Composer Peter Allen, who was married at one time to Liza Minnelli, lived here prior to his death in 1992.
Bushwalla has roots in the San Diego community and pops up every year at many local fundraisers, frequently sharing the bill with Jason Mraz. Can you think of anybody we missed? Send suggestions to
Metalheads P.O.D. (Payable on Death) are San Diego natives.
Borned and raised in San Diego, singer/songwriter Stephen Bishop wrote the hits "Save It For a Rainy Day," and "On and On," among others. Eric Clapton has called him one of his favorite songwriters of all time.
"Cholo-goth" pioneers Prayers hail from Sherman Heights. Frontman Leafar Sayers (left) is now married to Kat Von D and they have a baby together! Congratulations!
Perhaps the youngest members in our hall of fame, surf-punk group the Frights (Mikey Carnevale, Jordan Clark, Richard Dotson and Marc Finn) have enjoyed a meteoric rise through the music world over just the last couple years -- signing to Epitaph Records in 2018, selling out national tours and even playing Coachella in 2019. These kids are alright!
Contact Us