Have you seen this band?


POSTED: Friday, October 23, 2009

“;You were jamming!”;

Brian “;Cajunlightning”; Johnson gave a sheepish look in response to fellow guitarist Keith Monzen's enthusiasm for Johnson's solo on the Alice in Chains fave “;Man in the Box.”;

“;I was just ad-libbing,”; he said.

Johnson and Monzen are past and present members, respectively, of the longtime local rock band Missing Dave. The two of them—along with drummer Josie Cristobal, bassist David Letarte, substitute bassist Jenine Goto and newest singer Cathy Lowenberg—were gathered in an Aiea rehearsal studio last week to prepare for their ambitious 10th-anniversary bash in Waikiki.

Missing Dave was missing rhythm guitarist Erica Aloang that night, but the remaining band members carried on, considering that 12 other musicians who have been part of the musical family over the past decade will be guesting throughout tonight's three lengthy sets.





        with special guests Pimpbot and Lovechile

» Where: Red Lion Waikiki, 2424 Kalakaua Ave.


» When: 8:30 p.m. today


» Cost: Free


» Call: 926-5466




But Letarte, the initial inspiration for the band's name, was there. If no one else, he's representative of the rather fluid lineup changes that have happened with Missing Dave—people who have come and gone, all with day jobs but united in the love of playing music that ranges from Alanis Morissette to Tool, Rage Against the Machine to Melissa Etheridge, and up through recent acts like the Killers and Paramore.

The band is also injecting more original material into their club sets, with the majority written by Monzen and Cristobal, who've been in the band since 1999.

“;Bottom line is, we play what we like and don't feel any need to limit ourselves to one style of music,”; Monzen said. “;If we feel like writing a metal song on this day, we will. If we feel like covering an ABBA song this week—incidentally, we play 'Dancing Queen'—we will.”;

CRISTOBAL FIRST heard of Monzen through a mutual friend, after listening to a CD of covers he made with some former Saint Louis School classmates of his while he still the girls basketball coach at the University of Hawaii Lab School.

Cristobal was looking for a change of pace, since she felt she was languishing in a country cover band. Typically, she was the only Asian face in a nightclub filled with military of white and Latino descent.

Ten years later the band is still going strong. Thanks to the help of their Facebook page, Missing Dave has been able to round up most of their alumni for the party and reunion. The lone exception is singer Noelle Poole, who is now working on her acting career in Los Angeles.

“;We've always been in touch with everyone,”; Monzen said, “;making the occasional call when we needed a fill-in, like Jenine, when Dave can't make a gig. The band's motto has always been 'Once in the Missing Dave family, always in the Missing Dave family.'”;




        MySpace: Missing Dave

Facebook: Missing Dave


Except for two months of medical leave from the band, Cristobal has been a constant and steady presence on drums. Monzen, on the other hand, has never stepped away from Missing Dave because, basically, “;no one has ever been found to replace me!”;

“;As far as the longevity of the band, I myself am pretty surprised and feel very lucky that we've been able to survive this long,”; Cristobal said.

Missing Dave has also served as a base to farm out members to other local bands, like bassist Toni Wong, now with She Can Devour, drummer Rob Logan with the No-No Boys and Mel Azama, currently playing guitar with Satellite Grey.

“;It's the fans and friends that have kept us going throughout the years,”; Monzen added. “;Their support and friendship makes you want to keep going. I've had many heart-to-heart conversations with people telling us that sometimes Missing Dave was the only thing keeping them going in their lives. Many of them were either military kids just out of training, still wet behind the ears with no friends or family around. For others, they were having hardships in their lives, like fractured marriages, lost jobs and bad health.

“;Coming to the shows was their only escape, and they did so faithfully each and every show. Over the 10 years we've been playing, many of these people leave the island, and you think you'll never hear from them again. But years later they will return to the island on a vacation, specifically to visit Missing Dave! Of all the places and people to see, they came back to see us.

“;When you hear stuff like that, it just motivates you to keep rocking,”; Monzen said.