WELCOME TO WEBA WORLD (1993-1997)
Weba Garretson, Ralph Gorodetsky, Joe Baiza, Richie West, Diane Barkouskus & Wayne Griffin.
My primary songwriting collaborator with the SHRIMPS and my other musical work was Steve Stewart. In 1993, his wife got a job in Santa Barbara, so they decided to leave Huntington Beach and move up north. I was devastated. Steve said he needed to take 4-6 months off to make the move and I decided that the our creative relationship was over.
We had just submitted a tape to the Independent Music Seminar in San Diego and had been invited to perform. I had asked Danny Frankel if he would play with Steve and I, and Danny said he would bring Ralph Gorodetsky to play bass. I had a rehearsal scheduled with the four of us the day before Steve called it quits. My husband, Mark said to go ahead with the rehearsal anyway, and this lead to my working with Ralph and Joe Baiza. We recorded two albums together.
This was a really fun period. Steve and I had developed these spoken word/singing pieces where I set text to classics like “Highway to Hell” and “Ventilator Blues” — I would tell a story, sing a chorus, tell more story. The performances that Steve and I created went over well in coffee houses. This was in the early 90’s when women were especially fired up over the Anita Hill scandal and I was part of two political groups — The Bohemian Women’s Political Allliance and WAC (Women’s Action Coalition). I was getting in touch with my anger, my rage and these new pieces that I developed with Steve allowed me to vent.
But “Highway to Hell” and “Ventilator” really came into their own when performed with Ralph and Danny. They invited me to sit in with the Mecolodiacs, Joe Baiza’s Ornette Coleman inspired free jazz ensemble. The Mec’s were doing a regular Monday night thing at the Mint, and lots of people were coming down and sitting in.
Webaworld performed at SXSW Music Festival in 1994 & 1995 (Austin, Texas), IMS Music Festival 1994 & 1995 (San Diego, CA), Paradise Lounge, Eichelbergers, Above Brainwash, Chameleon (San Francisco), Wickiup Cafe & Casbah (San Diego, CA), Rhythm & Brew (Indio, CA), The Ark (Long Beach, CA), The Mint, Cafe Largo, Luna Park, Al’s Bar, Spaceland, Utero, Alligator Lounge, Lingerie (Los Angeles, CA).
In 1996-1997, Webaworld became Puttanesca. Ralph and I wrote a new set of songs for the band to record. These were less spoken word/music combos and more like regular songs. The combination of a strong groove, outside chord voicings and my smooth delivery created an unusual sound which is unlike pretty much everything that’s out there. We recorded an entire album at Catasonic and put it aside to pursue other projects. Joe went to Germany to record and tour with the Mecolodiacs and I got involved with the Eastside Sinfonietta.