Broken Spectacles rocks on despite band members’ visual impairment

Broken Spectacles probably isn’t all that different from other rock bands. Its members rehearse hard (four times a week for a couple hours at a stretch), play well (mostly in an alternative/rock/pop vein), and have a cheeky, even bawdy sense of humor that emerges once the music stops and they revert to being just a bunch of guys who love to make music.

And that they all are legally blind? That just makes the band’s name a little more witty and them a lot more cool.

Broken Spectacles grew out of the Blind Center of Nevada’s music program, and they’ve played the at Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the Suncoast and the House of Blues. On June 3, they’ll play the Local Brews, Local Grooves event at the House of Blues, and continue to represent the Blind Center of Nevada at such events as the organization’s recent groundbreaking for a new facility.

And if the music that audiences hear is the most obvious product of what they do, members would agree that it’s the purpose amid the beats that’s their most important quality.

Musical mission

Broken Spectacles is made up of Gus Garcia on guitar and lead vocals; Aarius White on keyboards; Horatio Turner, percussionist and rapper/vocalist; Anthony Andrews, aka Dr. Keys, on keyboards and vocals; Ivan Delgado on drums and vocals; and Christian Anorve on bass.

Each band member received services through the Blind Center of Nevada before joining Broken Spectacles. Some had previous music experience and others didn’t, but all found music to be a welcome outlet for their creative inclinations.

How would they describe the band? “We crazy,” drummer Delgado yells, to laughs from his bandmates.

Broken Spectacles was formed three years ago, but, “in fairness, it really is a new band,” says Garcia, a self-taught guitarist who lost his vision to detached retinas suffered in separate incidents.

“The essence of this band is really like two years old, maybe a little less. And the way we’re playing now, we’ve dropped some bad habits on the way,” Garcia says.

“Yeah, we used to be a Barry Manilow tribute band,” adds Delgado, who’s been playing drums for about 20 years.

Others were new to music. “I came in as a complete blank sheet of paper,” says bass player Anorve. “I was taught how to play bass by the maestro (Garcia).”

“I had, like, two weeks learning how do a simple stroke on the bass and I was tossed into my first gig and I played the easiest song for me to play.”

“And that was the first one you messed up,” Delgado jokes.

Anorve laughs. “That first gig, I messed up so bad,” he says.

“Still can’t play it,” Delgado says.

Fun but focused

Don’t let the good-natured joking make you think they’re not serious about music. “They rehearse several times a week,” says Cory Nelson, the Blind Center of Nevada’s executive director. “They work really hard, three to four hours, three to five days a week to get it tight, working it over and over.”

“They all have natural talent,” Nelson says, “but they work very hard to capitalize on that.”

Their compromised vision does make performing tricky. There is, for example, the practical problem of tripping over cables they can’t see in a darkened venue. Garcia admits that he’s knocked over his guitar stand a few times onstage and has hit his head on the microphone.

Playing on an unfamiliar stage can pose challenges for Delgado if his drum kit isn’t set up in the way he’s used to. And Garcia notes, playing anything with a fretboard or a piano — where the musician uses his sight to position his fingers or move up and down to specific keys — can be more difficult.

“You’d be surprised how much of that relies on vision,” Garcia says. “Thank God there’s a lot of muscle memory, and once you get used to the instrument, you kind of rely on that.”

Nelson recalls a previous Broken Spectacles lead singer who performed on a local morning show. “We set him up and the cameras started rolling and we walked away, and somehow he turned to the side and didn’t know, and he sang the whole song sideways on the TV show,” he says.

The band erupts in laughter. “No, we did that on purpose,” Delgado says. “You see he’s no longer with us.”

And the hardest part of being a vision-impaired musician? “Trying to look at the groupies, dude,” Delgado says.

The real deal

Garcia says he hopes audiences see that “the main point of the band is, don’t let your present circumstances dictate your future or what you’ve got to do. If you want to achieve something — in this case, greatness in music — you can achieve it. You just have to work hard.

“So really the beauty of this band is every single one of these guys, they weren’t afraid to face the disability, to face the obstacle. They’re running the race and they’re jumping every obstacle along the way.”

“I want to see people inspired by that,” Garcia says. “It doesn’t matter if you’re able or disabled. You can learn something from this band: If you want it, fight for it and you can get it. And that’s what it’s all about.”

Maybe the mood has turned too serious, because Delgado, in mock seriousness, is compelled to offer: “And you know what the Beastie Boys said. You’ve got to fight …. “

“For your right … to party,” everybody responds, cracking themselves up.

Contact John Przybys at reviewjournal.com. or 702-383-0280. Follow @JJPrzybys on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
You can visit the speakeasy in The Mob Museum's basement... if you know the password
6 new foods hitting movie theaters in 2018
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like