On Saturday, Scary Little Friends plays a tribute set to the late, great David Bowie. It’s a fitting show for the trio, which has members that hail locally and from San Francisco. Early ’70s rock ’n’ roll is the group’s bread and butter.
“That’s the deepest influence we have,” says guitarist/vocalist Chris Jones. “My friendship with [bassist] John [Payne] goes back to 13 years old. I came from Georgia and was into all this early ’70s rock ’n’ roll. We discovered that music together, and always really loved it.”
Of course, this is a special set. Anyone familiar with the group knows their original music is a bit harder to classify. The chord structures and energy of ’70s rock is there, but rather than going over the top with studio production and stage flamboyance, Scary Little Friends keeps it simple and honest.
“I love the fact that I don’t have to pretend to be somebody, or wear an outfit that’s not me, put on a costume or act like somebody that I’m not. I never could do that,” Jones says. “I always was just me, no matter what. I never really felt like a rock star.”
In the early days, they drew criticism for not being marketable enough. Some audiences and venue owners reacted unenthusiastically to the band, saying they didn’t understand it. Eventually, as more folks gave them a shot, they got a lot of press and became a popular draw in the bay area.
“The music that I make isn’t necessarily the music that I would listen to. It’s more just what comes out of me. The truer I am to that, the more I feel that something good comes from it,” says Jones. “So many people offer marketability with no substance. We’re all substance and no marketability. We just are.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.