Sunday, April 9, 2017



BSC, CA – As I wind up my tenure at BSC, I hope everyone is enjoying the look back at the music scene here when it was happening, I know I am. Also though my telling of these days may be cheered, I'm only the reporter of what was around me. If my words please you, they only reflect a portion of the pleasure, laughter, intelligence, and crazy love I felt almost every night something was happening in the original music scene. Like Indiana Jones, we were making it up as we went along. And we loved it!

The history I now share with you is just a portion of the tip top highlights that I can recall. The emotions were real, raw, and rearing to go, as with any new venture. As I prepared Part 2, some research on one subject brought me to a long ago post about Bipsy. I read the comments and shed tears again for my friend, our friend who was taken during this period of the scene. The following is the comment that I left on today's comment post [Valley News]. Like Hocus Pocus, it wasn't a planned-for story, especially given my tight time frame but what can I say?

“Most of the comments here seem to be church friends, college friends, family friends, and strangers who are touched by the artist known as Bipsy. I can't speak to any of those venues because like Bruce Wayne, I only knew Bipsy as Batman. Bipsy was there the first night that the coffee shop Java Joz opened and this scene fit her perfectly. Since Bipsy worked there, she had spoken to the electrician who did the wiring and he wound up doing some stand-up comedy that night just from something Bipsy had said to him on a construction break one day. She enchanted everyone she came in contact with, and that was before we even knew she played the keyboard or sang.

It was the same way about her religious beliefs. Had I never asked her about the tattoo at the midtop of her back, I would have never known her that way because the scene at Java Joz, a coffee shop built by a Rastafarian with a stage for music, was completely free-spirited and artistically themed. Bipsy fit right in to this art scene where everyone was a character of some sort.

About 3 weeks into the shop being open on a Wednesday night, Bipsy did her first show. We were in awe. Being around music all my life one way or another, seeing a person play by ear is no great shakes. But Bipsy didn't play covers by ear, she played original music by a gift called synesthesia, perhaps caused by the electrical shock she received as a child from that keyboard rewiring. Or maybe God looked down and said, “Kid, you're having a shitty life so here's a little something to get you through the darkness.” Who knows?

After that first show Bipsy wasn't just one of the characters in the scene, she became one of the central pillars of support in the scene. The night after she did her 'mouth trumpet' at a show Bipsy became the Star. Whenever she needed emotional support for her CD, everyone at Java Joz, later Cuppy's, was affirmative without question. We all loved Bipsy and Bipsy loved us back because we got pure Bipsy, or Beatnik Bipsy. Several of us were Christian-based in Bible study and most were 'Church-ed' in this valley, but she was never 'Christian' Bipsy. I think we put that down to the Elizabeth side of her.

I remember getting the word from a music scene friend who was at the mall outside the parking garage at the time of the tragedy. It was as surreal as you see in the movies. Reading these letters here after accidentally coming across this article while researching something for the 'End of An Era' series that I am doing to document the music scene here which started around 2000 and ran until The Vault closed its doors in 2013, is also pure Bipsy.

In several of my past stories I have called Bipsy our music scene Saint, and here's why. At her funeral I found out that music promoter Bill Gould, also a guitarist, started playing again after the tragic news. Also at the funeral a major piece of scene forgiveness happened between past lovers, but that wasn't the end of things on Bipsy's behalf.

Jave Joz and Bipsy were both memories when this Temecula Music Fest happened. The second stage was handled by a second promoter and I was part of that crew because we had two of the four pieces from the old coffee shop stage to put together. Just 2 of the 4. Where my day job was I had stored the remains from the old coffee shop in a warehouse, the two stage pieces included. The other two were lost. As we set up the stage, someone noticed that Bipsy had autographed a corner section of one of these two pieces. We all stopped, got wet-eyed, and said words over this relic. Then the show went on.

That stage later became part of The Vault main stage and after a few years they covered the section with a rug pad to keep anymore deterioration from happening. All the old heads saw it and remembered when, then we marveled that this piece from our star, Bipsy, could still be part of the scene she loved so much and that loved her back as well. Bipsy stayed at the heart of the music scene she loved and rocked at every show, until The Vault closed. Arrangements were made then so the corner stage section could be removed and given to Cheryl and Mike Plato [Bipsy's step-father].

I suppose you could say that I have forgiven douche-bag in that I believe God does have a plan and knows best the reasons for all things, as it states in the Book of Job, so I have moved on [with the exception of today's tears]. Bipsy crossing over at 27 joins an elite group of other music artists that we lost at 27 so she is in a cool crowd. Where else, right? Cool past the end.

And being a romantic with a writer's imagination who has a favorite Texas blues-slinger that we lost way too soon, I tend to picture Stevie Ray having a new keyboard player for his open mic shows way over yonder. If you research it, even their style of dress is similar. But that's just me. PT Rothschild, [formally Full Value Review/Temecula Calendar]”

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