Long Beach Cake is the indefinite incarnation of the band Cake, which performed at dive bars and rock clubs mostly in Long Beach and Los Angeles in the early 90's. Below is a brief overview of the rise and fall and existence of Cake.
Cake formed in late 1991 when Steve Cross (guitar, vocals) and Robin Fadtke (drums) began writing songs as a duo. We jammed together and wrote the songs Zygote / Incubation Courtship, Snake Oil, Tired of Dying and others.
We met Rebecca Lynn in early 1991 when Tim Bugge put out an add in The Recyler for a violinist / singer. We wanted someone for our band at the time: Tastes Like Chicken. Bugge ended up being too bossy about what he wated her to play and Lynn did not stick around for long. Fate had us meet again in 1992 when we ran into each other at the laundromat on 4th St near Redondo. I told her Bugge flew the coop, and I asked her if she wanted to jam with myself and Fadtke on the new songs we were writing. The three of us had a great chemistry and soon were a writing and rehearsing as a band. Much to our delight, Rebecca Lynn turned out to be not only an inventive violinist, but a talented singer and entertaining performer. The first live performance was as a 3 piece in Cindy Kona’s living room in a condo in Irvine.
We needed a bassist to complete the sound and started jamming and writing with Steve Rodgers of The Brotherhood of Death. He wrote the bass lines for songs that would become Pop Song and Snake Oil. We also wrote Kaleidesthesia, and continued to refine the older songs.
In 1992 Rodgers left the band and we hired Scott Evers (eventually known as Fever) on bass. He learned the material we had at the time and we recorded a 5 song demo on our Yamaha 4 track. The tracks were Snake Oil, Tired Of Dying, and Pop Song, plus two mostly forgotten songs: Lush and The Irish Song. We used the demo to get our first gigs at Bogarts in Long Beach, Raji's in Hollywood and some bar in a strip mall in Orange where we played the very first official show with Shovelgag and Dean Martin’s Liver.
The first time we jammed with Evers, we wrote the song Wahevers which was later released on the Lungpigs CD. By late '92 Evers left the band to join Wood & Smoke. Evers played drums when I wrote the music for La Bufadora, Butter Dish and the Shave song Drinkin & Driving (with Dave Cornblum).
In need again of a bass player, Cake jammed a few times with Phil Sevelle, a Long Beach guitar hero and old friend of Lynn’s. He played the bass lines on guitar synth. We even did a gig with Phil in Fullerton with Trip The Spring. Ultimately, this unique bass approach did not complement the songs which needed the attack and drive of an actual bass guitar.
In late 1992 we found bassist Marcus Mindte and entered into our most prolific songwriting period. This period of time is what came to define the songs and sound of the band. We wrote Ten Tongues Past The Dirtyard, Enjoy Cake, Small Giraffe, Floating Appendage, Turkish Would, Pirate Jam (Escrito En Estrellas), Maggie and really perfected the older stuff during this period. We played regularly at The Whiskey's all ages Monday night sold out shows. The Que Sera in Long Beach was another venue we used to pack in those days.
In 1993, our momentum continued and we met producer Ross Robinson who expressed interest in the band. We did some pre-production with him back at the Cake House and he decided he would to make a record with us. He had us play a showcase for his financial backer at Club Lingerie. The other band he had on the bill for the same purpose was Korn. Unfortunately, the money man wanted us to change our songs to become more radio friendly and we refused. Korn was down with the deal and Robinson went on to record their first album and several other popular releases in the following years.
About this time, the band got into some legal trouble for using the name, Cake. The singer for a different “Cake”, in Sacramento, had called us and demanded we change the name. At the time both of our bands were only regionally known so we refused. Fadtke suggested we have a “Cake Off” concert where would could let the audience decide who is the real Cake. We even offered to come to Sacramento to do it, but the guy (John McCrea) refused. A few months later they won the Cake Off by getting a hit on the radio. It became futile to continue using the name and we set about to change it.
In the summer of ‘93, Fadtke and Cross began to jam with Dave Cornblum and Dave Shea in a new group called Shave. It was a time of amazing creativity, excessive partying and frequent apprehension because the impending name change. What name could be better than Cake? It fit the music and players perfectly.
In a flash of confusion, we fired Marcus and hired a new bass player Ted Jr. in February of 1994. Robinson came to see us one more time and decided to pass on making our record because he did not like the new bass player.
About 2 months after we let Ted Jr in the band, Fadtke got a bug up his ass to record. We decided to produce it ourselves and went to a studio in Orange and recorded basic tracks for Ten Tongues, Enjoy Cake and Kaleidesthesia. We took a trip to Camp Nelson and reviewed all of our jam tapes and new song recordings to decide what to put on the record. For the rest of 1994 and early 1995 we hired Anthony Arvizu as our engineer/producer and recorded and mixed the songs that became the full length CD titled, The Lungpigs. We wrote a handful of songs during this period including Ray Mirror As, Eternal William, and Articulation which ended up on the CD. We also finished The Nanny most of which was written in the summer of ‘93.
The CD came out in 1995 and we played a few show as The Lungpigs. Confusion caused by the name change caused a precipitous drop in our crowd base. That combined with Ted Jr’s attempt to become a co- songwriter and his inability to play the same bassline twice turned the whole thing into a train wreck. Nobody came back to see us when we started replacing our “old songs” with improvised noise and erratic performances.
Lynn and Ted Jr moved to Hollywood and started a band called The Bibs and and live performances of Cake ceased to exist for several years.
In 1999 we regrouped as The Rocket Scientists with Tim Bugge on bass and played one show at DiPiazza's at Lava Lanes.
In 2005 we did a few reunion shows Billy Blaze on bass.
In 2012 we re-grouped to play at Fadtke’s 10th Birthday Bash at The Prospector in Long Beach.
We had Daniel Chavez play bass and he did a fine job.
You can currently see Rebecca Lynn and Daniel Chavez in their band, Karl?
Rob Fadtke has been known to lurk in the Davis / Sacramento / San Francisco region lately.
Steve Cross is still writing recording and playing music with Shave, Elderly Rock Opera and a “new” project called Headchanger. He built The Compound Recording Studio in 1997 and has been recording and producing music there ever since. The most recent of these releases are the Head Same Remains the Change Volumes 3, 5 and 6 series of records.