Like the Stray Cats and the Polecats, the Kingbees revived rockabilly with an ’80s new wave flavor.The band was formed by Jamie James (vocals, guitar) in 1979. Born in Toronto, Canada, James started playing guitar at the age of 13. He relocated to London, England in the ’70s and released the single “Hello Little Girl.” In 1973, he joined an R&B group in Detroit, Michigan.
By the late ’70s, James had moved to Southern California and became part of the area’s rockabilly scene. With Michael Rummans (bass) and Rex Roberts(drums), James helped to return rockabilly to the pop landscape. The Kingbees signed with RSO, and their self-titled debut LP appeared in 1980. The album was initially a commercial bust until the track “My Mistake” hit number one in Detroit.
It became the Kingbees’ first of two singles — “Shake Bop” was the other — that penetrated the Billboard charts. The Kingbees also recorded material for the soundtrack to 1980’sThe Idolmaker. However, RSO went defunct just when their follow-up, The Big Rock, came out.
James started performing with former Stray Cats members Lee Rocker and Slim Jim with regular gigs at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, California. In 1993, James released Cruel World, followed by Crossroads in 2000. An expanded edition of the debut Kingbees album was released by Omnivore Records in 2015.
Now the Kingbees come to Don the Beachcomber, making their return to the B&B’s Musical Thrills stage with another seminal SoCal band, the Sun Demons.
Led by Jeff West, who started the group and is their main songwriter, along with Link Rayford of the Rayford Bros., The Sun Demons were known for their long tenure at Linda’s Doll Hut, and are making a resurgence of late.
This is your chance to see two bands with an amazing history in the comfortable environment of Don the Beachcomber.
Doors open at 7:30pm, music usually at 8:30
This is an all ages show
Advanced seating reservations highly recommended.