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NIGHT LIFE

What's in a Name? Nasty Jack Means Solid Rock : The band sounds off with strong '70s-style rock 'n' roll that's reminiscent of the best groups of the era.

March 17, 1994|BILL LOCEY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

In the rock band Nasty Jack, there's a Dave, a James, a Jon, a Bryan and an Armando, but no Jack. As to the adjective, well, this is a family newspaper, and we don't mean the Borgia or the Manson family, either.

Name confusion should come as no surprise. After all, there were considerably fewer Maniacs than 10,000 and all the Ramones have the same last name. It's just rock 'n' roll, not truth, or even math. In any case, Nasty Jack will be playing at the Midnight Hour in Ventura on Saturday night.

Nasty Jack has been around since late 1990. Founding members Bryan Peiffer (guitar) and Dave Greene (voice) were in the military and played at a retirement party on the base at Port Hueneme.

Since the first gig, a few members have come and gone, including the last bass player, who is going to become a police officer, and may some day be pounding on the door to rehearse his turn-it-down-or-else speech. In addition to Greene and Peiffer, Nasty Jack these days is James Hairabucci on drums, Jon Raffetto on bass and Armando Moreno on guitar.

Together, they play tight '70s-style rock, which Hairabucci finds altogether appropriate.

"I think the attraction of '70s style rock is the fact that is has never really gone away," he said. "You can always hear Aerosmith, Bad Company and Zeppelin, always. Dave and I pretty much grew up with that stuff. It's more early '80s stuff for Bryan and later '80s stuff for Jon and Armando. I think we sound like all the '70s super groups."

If you need proof as to the year you are living in, just ask those radio programmers who play "Stairway to Heaven" every hour whether anyone needs it or not. Since '70s-style music won't die, there must be a lot of people out there embarrassing their pets in the privacy of their own homes by playing air guitar even as they wear out both Boston albums.

"I think Ventura is a closet rock 'n' roll town," said Hairabucci. "Sometimes people dance when we play, but basically, I think people are too shy to dance to rock 'n' roll, except for those upbeat dance bands. We don't do Chuck Berry or Jerry Lee Lewis rock 'n' roll; we're a heavy, guitar crunch, big downbeat kind of band, which is kinda hard to dance to. But I can see a lot of people nodding their heads when we play."

This is not to say that Nasty Jack doesn't have fans. They do. The band has a mailing list and a monthly newsletter, a hot line number (659-6652), and plenty of short-haired followers who work for Uncle Sam.

"We've got about 200 people on our list right now," said the drummer, "even though it's sort of a hit or miss thing. I think some people just want to get something in the mail, but it works really well for the Navy people."

Nasty Jack is working on a CD that they hope to issue later next year. Meantime, they have a couple of tapes, with the latest, "Naked," nearly a year old. They're considering doubling that one by adding four more songs and reissuing it.

There's no shortage of Nasty Jack songs to choose from; they have some 45 originals. Live, one of their few covers is a reverential rendition of "I'd Love To Save The World" by Alvin Lee and Ten Years After.

Also on the bill at the Midnight Hour is Aerial, formerly Ariel, then Blender. In any case, it's Eric LeMaire doing some serious alternative guitar rock that really rocks.

Details

* WHAT: Nasty Jack and Aerial.

* WHERE: Midnight Hour, 281 W. Main St., Ventura.

* WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday.

* HOW MUCH: $5.

* PHONE: 641-2112.

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