Ernesto Gardner, who passed away on May 5, was a first-rate comedian and a dedicated, loyal friend. He was also one of Tucson's finest drummers. Self-taught from the age of 11, Ernie showed astonishing talent, which made him sought after by countless local bands. On recordings by Mala Vita, La Cerca, the Red Switch and HAIRSPRAYFIREANDGIRLS (I was in the latter two bands), his unparalleled drumming was fully evident. At 9 p.m., Friday, June 8, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., Doc Hudson, Garboski, Secret Meetings, La Cerca, ... music video? and HAIRSPRAYFIREANDGIRLS will pay tribute to Ernie's legacy, and raise funds for his funeral costs. Admission is a suggested donation of $5. Here are his answers to Nine Questions, as told to his brother Charlie and his sister Maria before he passed away.
What was the first concert you ever saw?
Iron Maiden on the tour (after Powerslave was released), in 1985.
What are you listening to these days?
AC/DC, KISS, Thin Lizzy, and Jawbox.
What was the first album you owned?
Iron Maiden's Piece of Mind (on cassette). I was so intrigued by the image of the band at the large table with a brain served on a platter in the foreground.
What artist, genre, or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?
Anything your niece or gay uncle is listening to.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
Elvis in '71.
Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Anything your niece or gay uncle is listening to: George Michael, Shania Twain, Empire of the Sun.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
AC/DC's "Ride On."
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
AC/DC and Morrissey. I learned more from Phil Rudd than any other drummer, especially not to constantly crash the cymbals. I first saw Morrissey in 1991. He was hours late to perform at Compton Terrace, only to play about an hourlong set.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?