More fun facts pertaining to San Diego's rich musical history and musicians:
* Juan Croucier of RATT auditioned for the role of “Ace” in KISS when original member Ace Frehley first departed in 1982.
* Frank Zappa was Overseas Representative for Trade Tourism and Cultural Matters for Czechoslovakia.
* So. Cal. punk favorites the Muffs covered “Beat Your Heart Out,” the song by Chula Vista punk legends the Zero's, on the flip side of their 1992 Sub Pop single “I Need You.” Collectors should be aware that it originally came on green or blue marble vinyl and had a picture sleeve. Otherwise, the track can be found on the Muffs' CD anthology Hamburger Collection, issued in 2000.
* San Diego will always be special to '70s greats Supertramp. On April 11, 1979 the band was scheduled to play at the Sports Arena, but the show was slightly delayed when at 7:45 p.m., Heidi Hodgson, daughter of lead vocalist Roger Hodgson, was born aboard a tour bus backstage.
* R&B legend and band leader Jimmy Liggins, whose many hits during the '40s included classics like “Tear Drop Blues” and “I Ain't Drunk,” got his musical start in San Diego alongside his slightly better known brother, Joe. Jimmy was also a professional boxer who trained with Archie Moore, another local legend.
* Legendary orchestra leader and North County resident Ray Conniff-who recently died-was the guest conductor at last year's wedding of Liza Minnelli and David Gest.
* According to the Sports Arena's website, when Elvis Presley played there on Nov. 15, 1970, he met a security guard from his hometown. The pair exchanged friendly banter for a few minutes and Elvis went off to do his show, leaving immediately afterward. The next day, the Arena employee was shocked when a brand new Cadillac arrived for him, courtesy of the King.
* Matthew Sweet, James and The Smithereens have all released tracks recorded at SDSU's Open Air Theatre.
* If you were in the audience of Aerosmith's August 3, 1993 concert at the Sports Arena, then the next time Wayne's World II comes on cable TV, check out the concert crowd scenes-you're in there somewhere.
* The soundtrack for Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, the legendary b-movie spoof written by current local politician Steve Peace (the man in charge of cleaning up Gray Davis' budget mess), contains a pre-Wellwater Conspiracy/Pearl Jam/ Skin Yard/Soundgarden Matt “Foo” Cameron. Though better known for his drumming, the Chula Vista native sings on the song “Puberty Love.” Cameron also played in a local KISS tribute band during his high school days here.
-Alan “Scoop” Stevens