yesterday was Steve Coulter’s birthday

Coulter, when he isnt a gullible San Francisco police detective, is the finest rock drummer in all los angeles. he’s also and excellent bartender, hilarious drunk, and semi-secret genius oil painter.

steve and dan and greg and keith brown grew up together in manhattan beach, california and went to high school there and everyone came up to Santa Barbara to go to college.

Except Steve.

I’ve never asked him why, but Steve stayed in LA and went to Cal State Northridge, which i didnt know for the longest because everytime i turned around i saw him standing next to me in line at the keg. Infact, my favorite Isla Vista band, the Wonderfuls starred Keith, Dan, Greg, and Steve.

Indeed, Coulter played drums with two of my other favorite IV bands, Mons Pubis and Truck, and probably played in more but my memory isnt so good when it comes to Isla Vista rock n roll history– which our belated birthday boy is firmly entrenched.

Another interesting little tid-bit about our pal is that of all of our friends who are famous writers, Coulter is the only one with a journalism degree, which he got at Northridge.

And did you know that before Ken Layne married her, Steve dated the lovely and talented Laura Crane? Yes, for a long time. Infact im not so sure any of us would have ever met or known Laura if Coulter hadn’t plucked her out of that sorority and showed her the magic of rock.

But the coolest thing I ever remember Steve do is join Tsar.

At the time Steve was in another band signed to A&M Records and Tsar was starting to hit their stride. Everyone knew that Steve belonged playing with the Jeffs and Dan. They played a show or two with him as the “special guest” and then he played with them when they appeared on KXLU on a midnight radio show.

Tsar had had a nice drummer before Steve, but he wasnt the wild man, the animal, the fall-over-the-drums keith moon john bonham alex van halen who was only missing the flaming gong that Coulter is.

I don’t know how he broke the news to his old band but he got the courage and jumped ship.

And on that night rock and roll was ripped a new bunghole, thanks to a painfully shy native californian named Steve who was born 23 years ago.

you go, girl.

83. clifton gray

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