A Fan's Eye View
I first saw the original incarnation of The Sneaks in October 1980 at Arcadia High School. But discussing that version of the band is like discussing The Beatles “pre-Ringo”. It was when Rob took over on lead guitar full-time from Jim O’Toole in early 1981 that the band really hit their stride. Brett, Rob, Pat and Greg shared a special communication that transcended the stage into life, and it still does to this day.
The concerts were actually more like dance-concerts because most people couldn’t help it. The music was electric. It was raw power-pop with catchy lyrics. It was pure fun. And the fact that they recorded two EPs meant we could also listen at home!
Sneaks fans were a community unto themselves (sort of like the “KISS Army”). You know you were part of the Sneaks community if any of the following random thoughts resonates with you:
Slam-dancing to the “Fly Boys Theme”, any show at Pookie’s, backyard parties, The Ice House, Dillon’s in Westwood, Roxanne’s, Santa Anita Racetrack and the phrase "Taste!".
And if you were lucky enough to be a Sneaks “insider” the following things will resonate with you: “Mylar beer”, the Burgie Army, “OHP” and the phrases “Lordy, what a mound”, "Carlos, bring me some bacon in lines!", "Snow!" and especially “Aye, laddie!”
After Pat left the band in early 1984 things weren’t the same, and a short time later, the band “retired”. They have never in my mind “broken up”. They reunited for the first time in 1987, but for true fans, it was almost as if OUR Beatles had reunited. This led to a few other reunion gigs over the years, typically billed as “The last, last, last show”.
In a weird way, I feel bad for the Sneaks because they never got to SEE the Sneaks. On the other hand, they got to BE the Sneaks, so I guess it was an even trade. On behalf of Sneaks fans everywhere, thank you guys for such great memories.
As to the next “last, last, last show”? It will happen…One Day!
Jorge Mena, Jr.
San Gabriel, CA