Greg Douglass probably has more songs than he’ll be able to play Sunday, June 17, at the Belly Up, where he will celebrate his 50th year as a professional musician.
I”'m pretty excited about this one — 50 years — that's a lot of music!” said the veteran guitarist, a longtime North County resident. “It was actually the Belly Up's idea to do this, which made me one very happy battle-scarred old picker.”
Douglass co-wrote the Steve Miller Band’s multi-million-selling 1977 hit, “Jungle Love.” His songs have been recorded by everyone from Eddie Money and Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan to Gladys Knight & The Pips.
As a touring guitarist, Douglass has worked with Miller, Money, Van Morrison, the Greg Kihn Band, Hot Tuna, Big Brother and The Holding Company, the Doobie Brothers’ Tom Johnston and many more.
A 27-year San Diego resident, Douglass currently leads the Miller tribute band The Pompatus of Love. They’ll be with him at the Belly Up show. Douglass speaks very highly of them.
“I have the good fortune to have bass virtuoso James East as a permanent member of the band,” Douglass said. “Hector Toro, one of San Diego's best-kept percussion secrets, has been with me for years and he and James locked it in from the first downbeat.
“Our keyboardist is Mark Knoll, who is a monster on his instrument and an astonishing singer. Our lead singer is Tyler Buckley, who is primarily known for his drumming. He's been saying for years: ‘Man, I want to get out front with you guys!’ Freeing him from his drum stool was a brilliant idea. He's a world-class singer and a strong front man.
For his Belly Up show, Douglass will perform his own songs and chestnuts from his tenure with many of the above artists.
“We'll be doing 50 years of all kinds of music that I've been involved with — and there's nothing these guys in The Pompatus of Love can't handle,” Douglass said. “I considered bringing in some ‘name’ players but there's a chemistry with this band that I would not dare to mess with.
“Plus, we’ll do music by the guys who made me want to play guitar in the first place: Dick Dale, The Ventures, and — of course — The Beatles.”
Greg Douglass 50th anniversary concert, with Michael Muldoon, Caroline Martin and other guests: 8 p.m. next Sunday, June 17. Belly Up, 143 South Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. (858) 481-8140. bellyup.com
--George Vargas is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune