10 Questions: Blues and rock shaped musician Carlos Rodriguez, a life-long La Jollan
La Jolla native
Carlos Rodriguez, whose band
Stone Horse’s album “Grit” is nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2014 San Diego Music Awards, attended Gillespie Cottage, La Jolla Elementary, Muirlands Junior High and La Jolla High schools. His family migrated to Pottery Canyon in the mid 1930s, following his grandfather, master potter Cornelio Rodriguez.
“My little sister and I used to hike up and down in the canyon hills when we were young,” he said. “I got into trouble in my youth, which made the front page of
La Jolla Light(Seven boys in trouble), so I decided against a life of crime, opting instead to learn how to play guitar.”
Growing up during the Vietnam War-era, he hung out with his cousins listening to British blues/rock and the music of the era. He was influenced by Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Muddy Waters. His mother bought him his first guitar at La Jolla Music. Teacher Robby Lawrence taught him songs by Cream and Jimi Hendrix. He loved King Bisquit blues and Ruby and the Snakes, “my friends and I followed and hung out with these bands.”
In the late ’70s, his group “Salty Dogs” played concerts and parties. The band was comprised of sons of prominent local families. The Rolling Stones influenced their music. They started writing originals and received airplay on 101.5 KGB.
“Surfing and music always went hand in hand, so I worked in surf retail a good part of my adult life,” he said. “Stone Horse started as a blues outfit. When Danielle Spade joined in 2009, our musical direction changed. Without my sobriety and the support of my friends, our nomination to this year’s San Diego Music Awards would not have been possible.”
Stone Horse’s songs have been played on San Diego radio stations such as 91X, Rock 105.3, 102.1 KPRI and 94.9 FM.
Based in La Jolla, the band members of Stone Horse are Carlos Rodriguez on lead guitar and vocals, Danielle Spade on vocals and harmonica, Arthur Nobilette on lead guitar, Al Venditti on bass and vocals, and Dave Steinman on drums. Another La Jolla High School alumnus, Greg Wadsworth, also played on Stone Horse’s album, “Grit.” Listen to music samples from Stone Horse and see their show schedule at
What brought you to La Jolla?I was born Nov. 8, 1955 at the original Scripps Hospital in the Village. My family has resided in La Jolla since the mid-1930s.
What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?The La Jolla I grew up in was smaller and had more character. A lot of classic architecture was lost to overbuilding (McMansions). I wish I could bring back the look of the original “Village” community, where everyone knew each other.
Who or what inspires you?Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood (Rolling Stones) with their ancient form of “weaving” or the layering and meshing of the two-guitar sound.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?Danielle Spade (Stone Horse lead vocalist); my BFF Michael Parma; Marilyn Monroe (my date); Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood (Stones) and 1940s era Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall; and Albert Einstein, I’ve got a million questions for him!
What are your five favorite albums of all time?“Exile on Main St.” (The Rolling Stones),
“Hot Club of Paris 1935” (Django Reinhardt),
“September of My Years” (Frank Sinatra),
“Back in Black” (AC/DC) and
“Axis: Bold as Love” (Jimi Hendrix).
What is it you most dislike?Dishonesty and prejudice.
What is your most-prized possession?My guitars!
What do you do for fun?I enjoy going to the beach, locally, and Casita Parma in Baja; going to casinos and Del Mar Racetrack; making healthy dinners with friends; playing music with friends; surfing and dating beautiful women!
What is your motto or philosophy
of life?“Carpe diem” and “Sometimes you gotta take the rough with the smooth.”
What would be your dream vacation?A tropical beach with friends, warm water, killer surf, healthy food and many lovely ladies!