Berkeley Enough?

famous musicians from Berkeley, California (Blog entry)

Am I Berkeley Enough?  Famous Bands and Songs From Berkeley 

He’s been known to sport a Cal Bears hat with an Oakland A’s jersey. He professes great love for the giant burritos at Gordo and Cancun taquerias. And he still gets his coffee at Peet’s — just not the one at the corner of Walnut and Vine streets.

Does all of that make David Wittman “Berkeley Enough”?

Wittman, a Berkeley native long living in Los Angeles, has been asking himself that question for years. His answer, thus far, has been anything but conclusive. So, the DJ/vocalist has turned the debate over to the online community — in the music video “Berkeley Enough,” which has become something of a water-cooler sensation in the Bay Area.

The tune is as intelligent as it hilarious, a well-crafted slice of satire that gently pokes fun while celebrating both his hometown and L.A. Watch the video once, and it’s easy to understand why the song’s title has become a kind of catchphrase in these parts — and why there is now a market for “Berkeley Enough?” T-shirts.

The catchy, comedic tune is a duet between Wittman, who is better known online as simply DJ Dave, and East Bay rapper LaeCharles Lawrence Jr. The ample humor comes from a back-and-forth between Lawrence, who contests that Wittman is no longer “Berkeley Enough,” and Wittman, deflecting those charges with varying degrees of success.

“DJ Dave, you’re not Berkeley Enough,” Lawrence says in the video.

“What you mean, dude?” DJ Dave responds, as a rhythmic rap starts to rev up:”I told you before, you know I still eat organic food.

“I might live in L.A., but I can still wear a Cal hat and (represent) the Bay.”

“I’m just trying to do L.A. with a Bay twist.

I ride my bike a lot and drive a Prius too.

I guess I can’t be down like you unless I drive a Subaru.”

Although written by and starring Wittman, “Berkeley Enough” is really a collaborative achievement that comes courtesy of Wittman’s Fog and Smog, a video arts collective that includes a number of former Bay Area talents now living in L.A.

Fog and Smog is less than a year old, but it’s already an online sensation. It’s produced four independent videos, all of which gently poke fun at West Coast culture. Together, they have totaled some 5 million views on YouTube and other sites.

It all started with “Whole Foods Parking Lot,” the first Smog and Fog video, which went viral within days of posting to YouTube.

“The reaction was really beyond our expectations,” Wittman says during a recent phone interview. “It got a million views in a week. It was crazy.”

That first video remains DJ Dave’s calling card — and he’s often introduced, even in Fog and Smog’s own videos, as “Dave from that Whole Foods song.” Yet, he seems even more passionate about “Berkeley Enough,” a tune that allowed him to explore his own mixed feelings about leaving the Bay Area for L.A.

Wittman, of course, is aware that many Northern Californians love to hate all things L.A. This video cleverly, yet far from viciously, plays into that intrastate rivalry — which, Wittman says, seems to matter far more to people in the Bay Area than to those in L.A.

“It is sort of a one-sided rivalry,” says Wittman, 37. “I’ve seen it from both sides for so many years now. L.A. is almost like the pretty older sister who just doesn’t even notice that someone is mad at her — like, ‘Huh? I wasn’t paying attention. How’s my hair?’

“Not to say that the Bay is the ugly-duckling little sister. (But) L.A., because of the nature of Hollywood, can be slightly self-involved and dismissive.”

Wittman, a vocalist, composer, DJ and drummer, graduated from Berkeley High School in 1992 and credits his continued passion for making music to his involvement in the school’s fabled jazz program. That’s why he decided to sell “Berkeley Enough?” T-shirts and donate the proceeds to the Berkeley High jazz program.

“It was just an inspiring thing to be around,” he says of the jazz program. “There was a lot of really high level playing that you had to measure up against. You had to work really hard to make it. I think that kind of motivation for kids is really valuable and amazing.”

After Berkeley High, Wittman ventured south to study at UCLA. He graduated with a degree in economics in 1996, but he had no real design to put his studies to use in the so-called “real world.”

“I actually kicked around for a little while, trying to figure out what to do,” he says. “I was like, ‘I’m going to be a bohemian DJ/drummer and figure out artistic stuff to do.’ But I didn’t do well without some sense of structure.”

He eventually landed a job doing musical scores for TV commercials and, 12 years later, he still works there. The job reignited his interest in music, leading him to again pick up the drumsticks and do some DJ work. He wrote the “Whole Foods Parking Lot” song on a lark and then decided to do a video for it. So, he linked up with some pals, many of whom also hailed from the Bay Area, and the video-arts collective Fog and Smog was born. The name, of course, is a nod to both the Bay Area (fog) and L.A. (smog).

Besides “Whole Foods” and “Berkeley Enough,” Fog and Smog has also generated clicks with DJ Dave’s come-on to a pretty “Yoga Girl” (sample lyric: “Well anyway I guess you better be going / The last thing I want to do is stop your Vinyasa from flowing”). Then there’s the plea, aimed at Mr. Android or Mrs. iPhone, to “Put Your Phone Down” (best lyric: “You’re in public man, you’re being kinda rude / Your text messages are not that important, dude!”). All of these videos boast a delicious, self-effacing humor.

“I think Fog and Smog’s videos resonate, because our fans are a very self-aware bunch who are happy to laugh at themselves if and when the comedy originates from a credible source,” says Fog and Smog’s George Woolley, a rapper and video director who graduated from Berkeley High in 1994. “We poke fun at social trends that we engage in ourselves, and I think that is very palpable in the lyrics and video aesthetic we strive for.”

The success of the YouTube videos even caught the attention of Hyundai, which hired Fog and Smog to do some clever car commercials. Wittman, however, isn’t giving up his day job — he says it’s still unclear if Fog and Smog can become a true moneymaker. He knows that the videos have tallied an impressive number of views online, but he’s also aware that Fog and Smog is hardly setting YouTube records.

“There is lots of stuff that gets more clicks,” he says. “Cats, man. You got to do something about a cat, because that (expletive) just blows up.”

berkeley maps

growing up in Berkeley
back in the day
we still were allowed

to free roam
and so I went
everywhere on foot

or bus
walking to Solano avenue
drinking coffee

at Peets coffee
eating Chinese food

in Berkeley’s china town
walking downtown

walking to CAL
eating top dog

experiencing the late 60’s
transforming Telegraph

and walking in the woods
in tilden park

high up in the hills
overlooking the bay area

674 Santa Rosa

my childhood home
for almost 10 years
was 674 Santa Rosa
Berkeley California

A five bedroom
adobe California home
on the side of a hill
at the bottom of the Berkeley hills

you entered on the top floor
across the street you entered
on the bottom floor
thus it was in the Berkeley Hills

the house had a large deck
with a perfect view
of the golden gate

we used to sit outside
watching the sunset
as we ate dinner

my Mom and Dad
would have their nightly cocktails
on the deck

before retreating inside
to continue
their nightly fights
and arguments

I grew up
downstairs
hearing their constant words
of hatred, dismay and outrage

my parents were the proverbial
odd couple
perhaps never should have married

but despite the hate
there was still some love
that kept them together

we had a red room
with a pool table
and I hung out there
with my friends

my mother tolerated my friends
most of the time
she would be somewhat sober
until after they left

and the madness came
over her
as she drank her whisky
and wine

the basement room
was added later
was my younger brother’s room
later was my room
whenever i visited
from college days

my old room lay abandoned
filled with books
thousands of books
that I had read
over the years

when she died
I should have taken
all the books
instead I took
about one hundred

just no space
for the books
of my childhood memories

National Poetry month day two prompt specific place poem 674 Santa Rosa Berkeley California

berkeley time travels

growing up in Berkeley
in the 70’s
one would be drawn
to Telegraph avenue

down the street from Cal
to a particular corner
Dwight way and Telegraph

catty corner to People’s park
a corner sacred to the hippie
vendors who were always there

down the street from Moe’s bookstore
I would often walk back
occasionally talk to the vendors
about the latest conspiracy theory

about the latest conspiracy theory
and the latest political gossip
as the vendors
loved to talk shit

as they sat on their seats
selling their t shirts
filled with anarchistic sayings

and political rage
against the machine of hate
they saw all around them

as the man tried to keep them down
that was Berkeley
my sacred homeland
stuck forever in 1969

This is a shout out to the many musicians in my home town, Berkeley, California which is as all people know, the center of the cosmos.

There have been so many great musicians who grew up there, many learning to play at Berkeley High school.Here are some of the famous groups – just to name a few

Two of my favorite Berkeley Songs, are by Fog and Smoke 

NY Your not Berkeley enough

LA Your not Berkeley Enough

Berkeley Enough

some famous bay area bands and musicians

Jon Adams 

Peter Apfelbaum 

Alex Carlin – currently playing in Eastern Europe

Creedence Clearwater Revival

counting crows

 

 

 

Tommy Dunbar 

John Fogerty

Tom Fogerty

Earthquake

Green Day

 

 

 

 

Jim Davidson – my buddy

Jimi Hendrix – last high school was BHS

Phil Lesh

 

 

 

The Rubinoos

 

 

 

Psychotic Pineapple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And so many others

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

R

S

T

V

W

And still more Artists from Berkeley, CA

And still more

Artist Active Genre & Styles
A Cid Symphony 1960s Pop/RockCountry-RockFolk-Rock,Psychedelic/Garage
Akiva Schaffer 2000s Stage & ScreenComedy/Spoken
ALBINO! 1990s – 2010s InternationalAfrican TraditionsAfro-beat
Alex Skolnick 1980s – 2010s Pop/RockJazzGuitar VirtuosoHeavy MetalSpeed/Thrash MetalGuitar Jazz,Neo-ProgProg-RockFusionJazz Instrument
Anders Nelsson 1970s – 1980s Stage & ScreenPop/RockContemporary Pop/Rock
Andy Samberg 2000s – 2010s Comedy/SpokenComedy
BARR 2000s Pop/RockRapAlternative/Indie Rock,Post-RockAlternative RapComedy Rock
Billie Joe Armstrong 1990s – 2010s Pop/Rock
Bird by Bird 2010s Pop/Rock
Black Lab 1990s Pop/RockPost-Grunge
Blatz 1990s Pop/RockAlternative Pop/Rock,Alternative/Indie RockPunk Revival
Brett Deubner 2010s – 2020s ClassicalVocal Music
Brett Turner Pop/Rock
Bridget O’Flynn
Bruce Barthol 1960s – 2000s Pop/Rock
Counting Crows 1990s – 2010s Pop/RockAdult Alternative Pop/Rock,Alternative Pop/RockAlternative/Indie RockAmerican Trad RockAlternative Country-Rock
Crimpshrine 1980s – 1990s Pop/RockAlternative/Indie RockPop PunkPunk Revival
Daryl Coley 1970s – 2000s ReligiousBlack GospelContemporary GospelGospelContemporary Christian
Dave Tull 2000s – 2010s JazzPop/RockVocalVocal Jazz,Straight-Ahead JazzTraditional Pop
David Denny 1990s Pop/Rock
David Murray 1970s – 2010s JazzAvant-Garde JazzExperimental Big BandFree JazzPost-BopJazz InstrumentMainstream JazzModern CreativeModern FreeSaxophone Jazz
Debbie Poryes 1970s – 2000s JazzVocalPost-BopMainstream Jazz,Standards
Denise & Company 1960s Pop/RockGarage Rock,Psychedelic/Garage
Dick Latvala Pop/Rock
ElDopa 1990s Pop/Rock
Eric Peterson 1980s – 2010s Pop/RockSpeed/Thrash MetalHeavy Metal
Erik Jekabson 1990s – 2020s JazzPost-BopStraight-Ahead Jazz,Modern CreativeJazz InstrumentTrumpet Jazz
Eugene Blacknell 1960s – 1980s R&BBluesFunkModern Electric Blues
Fender IV Pop/RockGarage Rock,Psychedelic/GarageSurf
Gabriela Lena Frank 2000s – 2020s ClassicalOrchestralChamber Music,ChoralKeyboard
Ginny Tyler 1930s – 1990s Stage & ScreenChildren’s
Grant Geissman 1970s – 2010s JazzClassicalNew AgeContemporary JazzCrossover JazzSmooth JazzPost-BopGuitar JazzJazz Instrument,Show/MusicalVocal Music
Herb Pedersen 1960s – 1990s CountryPop/RockFolkBluegrass,Progressive BluegrassTraditional BluegrassCountry-Rock
Idiot Flesh 1990s Pop/RockAlternative/Indie Rock,Experimental RockHeavy MetalIndustrial MetalAlternative Pop/Rock
Jed and Lucia 2000s – 2010s Pop/RockIndie ElectronicIndie Folk,Indie PopAlternative/Indie Rock
Jim Greer 1990s – 2000s CountryPop/RockAlternative/Indie Rock,Indie PopIndie RockSinger/Songwriter
John Cipollina 1960s – 1980s Pop/RockBoogie RockHard RockRock & Roll
John Fogerty 1960s – 2010s Pop/RockRock & RollRoots Rock,Contemporary Pop/RockHeartland Rock
Jorma Taccone 2000s Comedy/SpokenComedy
Joshua Redman 1990s – 2020s JazzPost-BopModern CreativeStraight-Ahead JazzJazz InstrumentNeo-Bop,Saxophone JazzTrumpet JazzFusion,Jazz-Funk
Joy of Cooking 1960s – 1970s Pop/RockCountry-RockSoft Rock
Kela Parker 2010s FolkCountryPop/RockContemporary Singer/SongwriterAmericana
KSHMR 2000s – 2010s ElectronicClub/DanceEDM
Kyle Vincent 1980s – 2020s Pop/RockAlbum RockContemporary Pop/RockPower PopSoft RockAdult Contemporary
Laurie Lewis 1980s – 1990s CountryFolkClassicalBluegrassNeo-Traditional FolkProgressive Bluegrass,Contemporary BluegrassTraditional BluegrassChamber MusicOpera
Lee Mallory 1960s – 2000s Pop/RockSunshine PopAM Pop,Baroque PopSoft RockPsychedelic Pop,Psychedelic/Garage
Lil B 2000s – 2010s RapAlternative RapUnderground Rap,Pop-RapLeft-Field RapSpoken Word
Lonnie Turner 1960s – 1980s Pop/Rock
Lunchbox 1990s – 2010s Pop/RockAlternative Pop/Rock,Alternative/Indie RockIndie PopIndie Rock
Mad River 1960s Pop/RockCountry-Rock,Psychedelic/GarageAcid Rock

That’s if for now. Please feel free to send in more Berkeley bands

and some more sent it thanks Kristen and Bob

 

  • Kristien Freedman
    Great poetry! I didn’t see Lenny Pickett up there, also Michael Wolff, Jonny Otis, Steve Gaboury, I’m sure there are many more. We had a crazy talented school district in so many ways!
    Thanks Jake, you could probably do another whole article about jazz musicians who attended Berkeley High School. Will Bernard, Charlie Hunter, Colin Hogan, Dave Ellis, Josh Jones, Robbie Kwok, Steven Bernstein ……

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