Eat at Joe’s: John Wayne Special

plateI saw Mike Watt on Friday night, June 7th, opening up for Fear. Great line up with a keyboardist (Hammond B3?), and a spitfire of a drummer! Rocked. I see an old friend up there doing what he does best, the only thing he can do, play the bass – just gets up there and plays the fucking bass, like he has for almost 40 years. It was a great show, Fear put on a great set as well, with Lee Ving looking slightly frail, but he gave it his best, like he always has.

I saw Mike Watt again on Saturday night, June 8th, with the Stooges. He was up there doing the only thing he knows how-playing the fucking bass. The thunder could be heard over a mile away… 2 massive Ampeg SVT stacks, like I’ve never seen. So, I began to think of old times, when I would sometimes see Mike Watt, D. Boon and George Hurley play 2-3 times a week. How fantastic that was. How young they look in those photos people put up on Facebook®. I never got tired of seeing my beloved Minutemen.


I had many occasions to accompany the band on trips up to San Francisco. None of them owned a reliable van at the time, and I had a good truck. D. would call me on a Saturday morning and ask, “Kurt, do you want to go to Frisco?” Off we’d go. Watt or Hurley sitting in the back of a open pickup truck loaded with gear, driving up I-5 at 85 mph. We’d always stop at Anderson’s Pea Soup, and for my services, I’d get a meal “I’ll buy you a meal” D. would always say.

After the shows, we’d pile back in the truck and off we’d go. 2:30 am. There was no stopping the fucking Minutemen, not even for a hot minute!!! I’d be sitting in my truck chain smoking, and Watt would be chain talking. His musings on math, art, random shit. For hours. It was good. D. would be sleeping in between us. George sitting in the back of the open truck, freezing.

Back at SST, we’d drop off the gear. D. and I would head to “Eat at Joe’s” located at 400 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, CA (310) 376-9570.


D. and I would each order the “John Wayne Special” 2 eggs over medium, with cheese, on home fries and a corn tortilla, smothered in a secret spanish sauce and corralled by sausage patties. I ask my waitress, Karen, about the spanish sauce and if it comes from a can. She informs me that it is a secret recipe that is known only to the head cook, who’s worked there for years and the owner. There are a few diners around the Southbay which also serve “John Wayne Specials”. These diners were opened by cooks who once worked at “Eat at Joe’s” They are not on par with the original. This breakfast dish is sloppy and delicious, not for the shy or timid patron. Hung over or not, you must try a “John Wayne Special” if you are ever in the neighborhood.

I finish my plate, and get my check. I pay for two.

D., this time it’s on me.

joes_mug (Custom)


This entry was posted in Food, Music. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Eat at Joe’s: John Wayne Special

  1. David Armstrong says:

    Excellent story! Thank you.

Leave a Reply