Bands come, and bands go, but for over 35 years, Thief has been the undisputed "7th best band in Covina." That designation did not come easily, nor is it easily maintained. Some people joke that there are only seven bands in Covina, but even if that were true, it merely reaffirms their standing. For those who mock them (and there are many), Thief offers this challenge: They will buy a beer for anyone who can name seven bands in Covina that are better than Thief. Of course, prior to any beer being purchased they will require irrefutable proof that those bands are superior to Thief (including tamper-free recordings and sworn affidavits from sober ear witnesses).

 

Thief is a "classic rock" band. What that means is, they still play the same songs they all learned in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s when they played in "top 40" bands. In other words, yesterday's top 40 are today’s classics (please don’t call them "oldies" as it hurts Dave’s feelings). This makes it convenient for the band since they never have to learn anything new. Also, after consuming five beers and four rounds of whatever their fans have sent up to the stage in those tiny little glasses, it’s much easier to play a song they’ve been playing for 35 years than something that they only learned a mere five years ago. This is especially true for their keyboard player, who is barely adequate even when stone cold sober.

 

Felicia Cain

(Lead and harmony vocals)

Felicias’s singing career got off to an inauspicious start as a member of the choir at the Chapel of the Sister Pointer home for wayward nuns. She was forced to “kick the habit” after being escorted off the premises following her raucous and soulful rendition of “Ave Maria” (which bore an uncanny resemblance to Tina Turner’s version of “Proud Mary”).   Felicia decided to try her hand at opera but unfortunately couldn’t speak a lick of Italian or German (plus, she refused to wear the stupid Viking helmet as it gave her “helmet hair”).  Working her way to Scotland on a smelt boat, she enjoyed regional success with songs such as “Boot Scot n’ Boogie,” “Your Tam is Gonna Come,” and “Plaid All Over.”

 

After returning stateside, and wanting to catch up and coming new act The If, she misread the marquee and ended up at a Thief show.  Her immediate reaction was, “This band is amazing!”  Not because they were particularly talented, but because they consumed more alcohol on stage than the entire audience.  After sitting in for a song or two, she was asked to join the band.  This allowed Thief to accomplish two objectives: break the shot glass ceiling and stop Dennis from bleeding internally from having to sing all the high parts.  

 

Dave Demerjian

(Guitars, keyboards, vocals)

 

The other original Thief member, Dave is a study in perseverance as he has never allowed his obvious lack of musical talent to keep him from attaining his life-long dream of playing in a third-rate local rock band. The resident smart-ass, Dave can often be heard making up obscene lyrics, rudely interrupting the between song banter of his bandmates and shouting out over the P.A. system whatever lurid thought happens to pop into his deranged brain. Whenever the other members threaten to take his microphone away, Dave is quick to remind them that: 1) it’s his microphone; 2) that he is the only one who knows how to work the P.A. system; and 3) that he is the fifth-best singer in the band and that their "sound" will surely suffer if he is not allowed to add his special vocal stylings.

Little known fact about Dave: for the past 30 years he has seriously considered embarking on a solo career. (Actually, the other members of the band have been begging him to go out on his own for 29 of those years, even offering to finance his first tour).

 

 

Dennis Demerjian

(Drums, vocals)

 

Some would call Dennis quiet and reserved. Others have said that compared to Dennis, Marcel Marceau was a chatterbox on a meth binge. When asked his thoughts on the issue, as expected, Dennis refused to comment.

Just prior to Dennis joining the band, Thief had a veritable revolving door of drummers joining and quitting the band in quick succession (probably because the band wasn’t really very good). In fact, the scene in the movie This Is Spinal Tap, where the band keeps losing and replacing drummers, was actually based on the experiences of Thief*.

At any Thief gig, Dennis is easily recognizable on stage. Most obviously because he will be the only one pounding on things with sticks, and more subtly because he will be the one with all of the unconsumed shooters sitting next to him (note to fans: don’t waste money buying Dennis drinks, instead, buy more for the rest of the band). Dennis is a member of that radical cult of musicians that doesn't believe that alcohol improves one’s performance. Thank god he just sits in the back and keeps his mouth shut instead of trying to convert the weak-minded to his extremist views.

Little known fact about Dennis: Like all other Thief drummers before him, he has attempted to quit the band on several occasions. Each time, his older brother Dave threatens to tell mom and Dennis backs down.

*The Spinal Tap movie was originally about Thief and the working title of the film was This Is Thief. Original director Alfred Hitchcock cast Cary Grant to play the part of Dennis, but when it was discovered, purely by accident, that Grant was woefully inadequate on the drums, Hitchcock changed the title of the film to To Catch a Thief, rejected the band concept completely and turned it into a romantic crime thriller.  As a result of studio politics, when the idea for the original rockumentary resurfaced, Spinal Tap was chosen as the band in the film.

 

Danny Hesse

(Lead guitar, vocals)

Danny’s first musical endeavor was as the lead tuba player in a Sheboygan, Wisconsin metal/polka fusion band, Lederhosen Zeppelin.  As a result of several issues: chronic lip chafing, hyperventilation, a persistent hernia and finding a car large enough to transport his tuba, Danny switched to guitar.  Also, as Danny discovered, tuba players get zero chicks. 

 

Deciding to “sell out” and join a classic rock cover band, Danny relocated to Southern California, where he made every effort to find a talented, successful cover band in need of a guitar player.  When that didn’t pan out, he lowered his standards and decided he could settle for a moderately talented, kinda successful cover band to throw in with.  Still having no luck, and discarding any standards whatsoever, he found a Thief business card stuck to the bottom of a homeless wino’s shoe, and made that fateful call.  Noticing the advanced age of the band members during his initial audition, Danny’s first question was, “How long have you guys been around?”  To which Dave responded, “You want to buy us a round? You’re hired!”  And the rest, as they say, is history.

 

Javany Martinez

(Bass, vocals)

 

Because of their inability to keep a bass player, THIEF was becoming the laughing stock of the local band scene.  The other bands continually made rude Spinal Tap references, such as, "Did your last bass player spontaneously combust?" Bringing Rudy back one more time proved economically unrealistic because we would have to pay him his share of the gig money plus continue to pay his generous THIEF retirement stipend.

We, of course, wanted to maintain the THIEF tradition of bass players with the letter Z in their last names (Lopez, Scalzi) but we wanted to shake things up and go in a totally different direction.  We needed a new look.  Then it came to us...we need a bald guy!  Our initial plan was to shave Terry's head but his wife objected.  So the search was on for a bass playing, singing bald guy with the letter Z in his last name!

Fortunately for us, Javany fit the bill and was also available, having recently been passed over for the role of Curly in the upcoming Three Stooges sequel.  Doug was sold immediately, as he was no longer the most follically challenged guy in the band. You may have seen Javany doing regional theater, in classics such as "Yul Never Walk Alone- The Life and Times of Yul Brynner," "Dome and Domer," "Roller Bald," and the off, off Broadway musical, "Hair....NOT!"

Like Dennis, Javany initially subscribed to the “no alcohol while playing” theory, especially after the unfortunate incident involving a Capuchin monkey, a bottle of Vitalis and three circus midgets. That radical attitude lasted until he heard the rest of us play.  Apparently we actually drove him to drink. After his therapist suggested music therapy, Javany picked up the bass and joined Thief. While it is argued that Thief does not qualify as “music,” Javany fits right in nonetheless.

Little known fact about Javany- he and Dennis played in a band called The Drive in high school.

 

Rudy Lopez

Bass, vocals, keyboards

Prior to joining Thief (the first time), Rudy was a mainstay on the Los Banos mariachi circuit in a group called Ladron, where he played one of those weird giant mariachi guitars with the fat floppy strings. Then, one day he had an epiphany: Why should he perform for a bunch of drunks in a Mexican restaurant wearing tight pants and lugging a weird giant guitar around when he could be performing for a bunch of different drunks while playing a proper bass guitar (and drinking beer and wearing whatever the hell he wanted to) in Thief. So, he sold the weird giant guitar to a developer (who quickly turned it into a six-unit condominium in downtown Merced) and hitch hiked south to replace departing original Thief bass player Gale Scalzi.

Rudy retired from THIEF, only to liquidate his entire THIEF retirement pension (i.e., a six pack of Bud Light) in a single afternoon.  After playing in other bands, Rudy longed for a gig in which he wasn't under so much pressure to remain sober, play the correct notes or even tune his guitar.  His return to THIEF was inevitable.

Little know fact about Rudy: He also plays the congas and the saxophone. His proficiency on the congas will definitely come in handy if he’s able to land the plum role of Ricky Ricardo in the upcoming John Lennon/Lucille Ball bio-flick "I Love Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds."

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