Band to Know

Band to KnowLech Wierzynski of The California Honeydrops shares stories from the band's early days and how they got their start busking in Oakland, and then he shares the places he recommends visiting and buying records at in Oakland and Berkeley as part of the Dirt Road Travels city travel guide for Oakland.

Oakland, California

The California Honeydrops

"For years, we'd play in public train stations and bus stops."

Recommendations:
Dave's Record Shop
The Down Home Music Store

The California Honeydrops

"For years, we'd play in public train stations and bus stops."

Recommended by:
  
Recommended in:
Oakland, California
 

Our Story

"I moved to Oakland to play music, and for years we'd play in public bus and train stations. We’d come in during rush hour and play on the street to make a bit of extra change. We weren’t always that good, but we were having fun, and that’s what people responded to the most, was us having a good time and bringing a little joy.

When you’re playing on the street, you’re free-forming, you’re taking requests and you’re interacting with the crowd. It’s spontaneous and  it's so rewarding."

My Advice for Others

"Follow what you love. Stay inspired, and stay as close as you can to your inspiration at all times.

There’s a lot that can drive you away from that - the desire to make more money, to become famous, or to prove to people that you’re good, and all those things can take you away from your real love. So regardless of what you do, stay true to that thing that makes you happy and stay as close as you can to that source. It's like my buddy always says, 'Don't get famous doing something you don’t like.'"

 

What I Love Most About Oakland

"The people. Oakland’s a refuge from cities like San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, where the art scene is more about people trying to become famous. In Oakland, people are interested in doing things differently, and not about trying to get big. They just want to do their thing, have an affordable place to live and create a little art. It’s nice folks, doin’ it for the love."

 

My Oakland Must

"I'm not gonna tell you that, man! I don't want to give up my spots. Instead, I'd just say support our local music vendors. There are great stores like Dave's Record Shop and the Down Home Music Store, where you can get a lot of cool, old records. Stop by those places. And if it's a weekend, head to the Ashby Flea Market." 

 

My Oakland Listen

"If Freddy Hughes is playing anywhere in town, go check him out. He’s great. I got nothin' but love for the OGs." 

 

More from The California Honeydrops

 
 
 

The California Honeydrops

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The California Honeydrops
 Location
Lech Wierzynski
The California Honeydrops
Oakland
 Map
Dave's Record Shop
"Go support our local music vendors. There are great stores like Dave's Record Shop."
-122.28880909999998
37.858155
The Down Home Music Store
"Visit Down Home Music Store, where you can get a lot of cool, old records."
-122.30586169999998
37.9068176
The California Honeydrops
"For years, we'd play in public train stations and bus stops."

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