Music: Q&A with George Pendergast of Dishwalla

by Megan Waldrep

It’s been 20 years since Santa Barbara’s own Dishwalla released the album Pet Your Friends, which is home to the hit single, Counting Blue Cars. Wanting to share a love of rock ‘n roll, drummer George Pendergast began a non-profit music program in 2009 called, Rockshop Academy, offering lessons to kids and adults alike. George takes a moment to catch us up on his SB life.

What is your best memory of making the album, Pet Your Friends?

They sent us to the East coast because at the time you were supposed to be angry and angst and have something to be mad about. And we’re from Santa Barbara and we weren’t mad about anything. So they sent us to Philadelphia to kind of toughen us up. There was a deli that was basically like the “Soup Nazi” on Seinfeld, where if you weren’t ready…I walked up to the counter and said, “I think I’ll have…,” and he said, “If you want to think, go to the back of the line. Next!” And that was just kinda funny. We were just a bunch of nice guys from Santa Barbara that hadn’t really been subjected to any of that before.

The people want to know! Is there a new album in the works?

There are a lot of new songs that we’re working on right now.

That’s awesome!

Yeah, it is awesome! It’s been a long time and it’s hard to get us all in one room and we find that works the best instead of sending ideas around to each other. The stuff that we’ve worked on is really exciting.

What local bands are you listening to?

There’s a band called The Caverns which 2/3 of them are kids who grew up here and literally started playing the instrument they are playing in that band here at the shop. If you’ve ever seen a band jam – and I don’t mean a “jam band”. It’s a little heavier rock than a jam band – these guys go so far out, it doesn’t seem like there’s any possible way they could land it, but they do every time. Our first band through Rockshop is a band called, False Puppet and they are on the Warp tour so I have been kinda checking them out.

Favorite part about Santa Barbara?

Right now, I live downtown so my favorite part is that I can walk everywhere. I got the beach right down the street. I’ve got State Street right up the street. I don’t have to drive, and that part I love.

Also, I was born and raised here so I didn’t really understand why everyone thought it was so amazing. Then I went on the road with the band and I went, “Wow. Even when it’s miserable here, it’s awesome!”

Rockshop Academy Studios

1109 De La Vina Street

(301) 463-3653

Instagram: @RockShopAcademy

Megan Waldrep is a freelance writer and columnist for the Santa Barbara Sentinel. She also writes under the pen name Elizabeth Rose for a dating column called I Heart.

See more interviews and check out her column here: