years for the band, Sunday afternoon and Thursdays, when they play
"unplugged." The Missiles have a faithful following -- an eclectic
crowd from bikers to beach bums to yuppies of all ages come weekly to
hear them play what the band calls "American music."
"We play American music," Poul Pedersen, the band's founder,
singer and songwriter said. "It's a melting of all the music that's
American -- blues, rock, country and jazz."
He said that it has a roots kind of feeling with all various
flavors. The Missiles have two CDs, their first, "Tropic of
Soulfolk," and "Hope," which was released about two years ago. The
band plays a lot of their own originals as well as popular covers.
The music draws in the fans, who are either singing along, dancing
or just enjoying the music -- often there is a line outside the
Bryan and Debora Buljat used to come every weekend when they lived
in San Diego. They were home from Boston for the holidays and had to
see the band. They even had friends drive two and a half hours to see
them. Debora said she has seen them more than 20 times.
"We have a buffer crop of fans," Pedersen said. "We're really
fortunate to have a following -- and to last this long, bands don't
usually stay together that long on this level.
The band is composed of musicians in their 40s looking the part of
Bob Dylan or Van Morrison, two of the singers they borrow from when
they're not playing their originals. Pedersen is wearing a weathered
black leather coat, jeans and a cowboy hat.
"They're the tops, they're the best," fan Theresa Puiak said.
"They run the gamut of blues to rock to western and they become finer
the more they age."
The Laguna band has four members, bassist Jimmy Perez, drummer
Frank Cotinola and Richard Bredice on guitar.
Perez said the best thing about the band is the camaraderie
between the players. It's an essence easy to notice.
"We have a camaraderie, an understanding when we play," Perez
said. "It's a real easy band. We've been together for so long, and
you don't get that unless you've played together a long time."
Perhaps what keeps the fans steady is that the band is always
evolving and adding something new.
"We change from year to year, which revolves around a big part of
the music," Perez said. "It's really song oriented, and the
musicianship is such a good quality."
They'll be playing at the Jazz Festival in New Orleans. Their next
endeavor is to make a live CD.
"I think a live CD is probably what everyone is waiting to hear,"
Perez said. "We owe it to our fans to record a lot of it here."
Besides playing at the Marine Room, the band has been known to
play fund-raising concerts for Lagunans in need. Sadly, this time
they will have to raise money for one of their own -- Jimmy's wife,
Darnell Perez, who has lymphoma.
The concert is Jan. 31 at the Coach House.
"It's really heartwarming, Perez said. "It's really cool when
people come together. We try to do as many benefits as we can."
For information, call the band at 322-7008 or go online to
* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline
Pilot. She may be reached at 494-4321 or email@example.com.