Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cops Called On Man Downtown With A Machine Gun - It Was A Bass

On Friday, September 2 in the alleyway next to Tampico Kitchen in downtown Santa Cruz, I photographed officers from the SCPD searching the bass guitar case of local musician Joe Munda.

When I first arrived at the scene, people on Pacific Avenue told me that "two ladies" had called the police on Munda, warning them that he was carrying a machine gun downtown. Closer to where Munda was being searched, a man I had seen playing music a few blocks down on Pacific earlier in the day was yelling at the police, saying, "It's only a bass! What are you guys doing!!!!" or words to that effect. Two Downtown Hospitality Hosts looked on from Pacific Avenue, sharing in the excitement, and I wondered if they were the "two ladies" that phoned this in, but I never found out. As I photographed the scene, the interviewing officer waved at me, and at that time I heard him politely apologizing to Munda, hoping he understood that they had to respond to the call.

I caught up again with Munda outside of Metavinyl on Maple Street. He was a little bit shaken, but mostly he was supportive of the police. One of the officers was also a bass player, which Munda thought helped moderate the situation, and they spoke about their shared taste in the bass playing of Rush's Geddy Lee. The downtown hosts were also in front of Metavinyl, and Munda recalled how when he was working at the now closed Discount Records on Pacific, a man had been threatening people with a knife at the New Leaf Market across the street. Munda had attempted to intervene, and he said that when the police arrived they had to try a variety of approaches with the man before finally shooting him with "sand" to disable him. He also recalled from that day that one of the downtown hosts with whom we were speaking had been there that day at the scene at New Leaf as well.

Joe Munda, Outside of Metavinyl

The Bass

Munda is currently playing in the band Misterioso, and when he mentioned that, I realized I had photographed him and the band at the Breast Cancer Awareness Flash Mob which was held on August 21 at City Hall.

Munda (center), playing a different bass, with Misterioso at City Hall

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