By Dave Pehling
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Noted local songwriter Tom Heyman hosts a special edition of his regular Sad Bastard Club at Mission District club the Make-Out Room Monday night that will benefit the San Francisco Tenants Union.
A veteran musician who first came into the public eye as one of the principles in Philadelphia-based band Go To Blazes in the late ’80s, Heyman put out five albums and toured extensively on both sides of the Atlantic up until the band split in 1997. He would relocate to San Francisco the following year, quickly settling into the local scene with stints playing guitar and pedal steel with such renowned local acts as alt-country outfit the Court & Spark, songwriter Chuck Prophet and X bassist John Doe’s solo band.
Heyman also started recording his own roots-oriented songs as a solo artist, tracking a series of albums including the live covers collection Ballads, Blues and Union Dues and his latest effort, the pub-rock inspired new collection Show Business, Baby that came out in October on the Bohemian Neglect imprint. With his recurring Sad Bastard Club night at the Make-Out Room, Heyman regularly features like-minded local songwriters performing their songs in a stripped down setting.
Heyman additionally works as a doorman and bartender at the 22nd Street club, a vantage point that has given him a unique perspective on the rash of fires that have displaced so many people in the Mission District. He was frequently asked questions by patrons about what happened to the building that burned at 22nd and Mission building several times before eventually being demolished, leaving the gaping hole in the block that is set for a new development (he wrote the “gentrifire” anthem in the above featured video, “The Mission Is On Fire,” in response).
For this fourth annual Sad Bastard Club benefit for affordable-housing champions the SF Tenants Union, Heyman has put together a stellar cast of local players including respected songwriter Peter Case — the onetime member of early San Francisco punk band the Nerves (“Hanging On the Telephone”) and the Plimsouls (“A Million Miles Away”) — original Flamin’ Groovies lead singer and solo artist Roy Loney and a rare appearance by Sacramento-based alt-country songwriter Stephen Yerkey, who originally made a name for himself leading the band Nonfiction before finding solo success with the acclaimed mid-1990s effort Confidence, Man that had echoes of Townes Van Zant and early Tom Waits with its gritty tales of nightlife’s seamy underbelly.
Sad Bastard Club Benefit For the SF Tenants Union
Monday, Dec. 18, 7 p.m. $10
The Make-Out Room