1976-1986 was a period of time in which urban tribes staked out and ferociously defended their territories; a time when San Diego began to establish for itself an identity as more than just a Navy town with a great zoo. Getting Nowhere Fast, written by Ray Brandes of the Tell-Tale Hearts, looks at the origins of this period of new music in San Diego, and provides an insider's look at a handful of bands who never quite hit the big time, but who developed cult followings around the world. The histories of the Zeros, The Penetrators, The Unkwns, The Crawdaddys, The Tell-Tale Hearts and several more groups are presented here for the first time in print.
Ray Brandes' major role in San Diego's music history is indisputable. In addition to more than three decades of his own music, he has served as both a conduit for local talent and a crucial lynchpin when it comes to the overseas reputation of our local music scene. In addition to his solo work, he has performed with the Ideals, the Hedgehogs, the Mystery Machine, the Tell-Tale Hearts, the Town Criers, the Shambles and the Sidewalk Scene. Brandes has also been a teacher in San Diego for more than 25 years, with stints at Point Loma High School, San Diego School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Montgomery Middle School, and currently, The San Diego Met. He has written for various publications, including Ugly Things and the Che Underground blog.