Manual Scan

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Manual Scan
Genres Mod
Years active 1981–1991
Labels various
Associated acts The Shambles
Kenny Howes
Wendy Bailey & True Stories
Members Bart Mendoza (vocals, guitar)
Kevin Donaker-Ring (guitar)
Jarrod Lucas (drums)
Tim Blankenship (bass)
David Fleminger (keyboards)
Past members Bobby Allend
David Anderson
Ron Friedman
Morgan Young
Yvonne Simon
Anthony Suarez
Thomas Ward
Brad Wilkins
Ritchie "Rooster" Brubaker

Manual Scan was an American mod and power pop group from San Diego, active between 1981–1991.[1][2]

Manual Scan released numerous CDs, LPs and 7-inch singles, in England, Spain and the U.S. .[3] They toured in the USA, England (including a 1986 appearance at the 100 Club in London), and Mexico. The group’s song, “Nothing Can Be Everything” was included in the 1990 Columbia Pictures release, A Girl To Kill For.[4]


The founding members of Manual Scan were guitarist / singer Bart Mendoza, guitarist Kevin Donaker-Ring, bassist David Fleminger and drummer Paul Kaufman, though within a few months of the band's formation Kaufman was replaced by Paul Brewin and singer Yvonne Simon was added on backing vocals and guitar. All except for Fleminger were former students of La Jolla High School .[5] The band's lineup changed frequently during its existence, with Mendoza and Donaker-Ring as the core members. Other notable players included drummer David Anderson and Tom Ward, both formerly of Voxx Records group Gravedigger Five.[6]

Guests of note include Anthony Meynell, frontman for British mod revival trio Squire, who the band backed in 1985 and Jeff Conolly of garage rockers Lyres who sat in with Manual Scan for six shows in 1989.

Post-split activities and reunions[edit]

Following the demise of the band Donaker-Ring co-founded power pop group, The Shambles in 1992, with Mendoza joining shortly after. Manual Scan has reunited several times since 2005, recording a live session on 28 January 2010 with producer Alan Sanderson for San Diego-based radio station, KBZT (FM94/9).[7] A best of collection, All Night Scan, was released only on vinyl and as a digital download, in September 2013 by Texas-based Cheap Reward Records.

Meanwhile, the band, now featuring original members Mendoza, Ring and Fleminger with the addition of bassist Tim Blankenship (formerly of Atlantic Records artists, Rust and indie rock band, Creedle) and drummer Jarrod Lucas (formerly of the Dragons) reunited in late 2014 for a show in San Diego promoting their appearance on the box set, Millions Like Us - The Story of the Mod Revival, released on December 6 by British label, Cherry Red Records.[8] During the same time frame Manual Scan entered the studio to record a theme song / jingle for San Diego radio icon Tim Pyles, heard at the beginning of his weekly show, Loudspeaker, on 91X XETRA-FM [9]

In mid 2015 it was announced that Manual Scan would be one of the acts at the annual Purple Weekend Festival, held in Leon, Spain on Dec 4-6.[10] A new album, The Pyles Sessions,[11] composed of radio sessions recorded for Pyles show as well as demos was issued by Spain's SNAP! Records, to coincide with the show. Meanwhile, the bands "Tim Pyles Theme" has been released on a five track 7" EP, Sounds of the Stratosphere, issued by Blindspot Records.[12]

Manual Scan staged a 40th Anniversary show, celebrating the 1976 meeting of the frontline team of Mendoza and Ring, at the 2016 Adams Avenue Steet Fair, with guest performers including Johnny Vernazza (The Elvin Bishop Group), Chris Davies (The Penetrators) and Samuel Martinez (The Bassics).[13][14]

In Popular Culture[edit]

In 1982, Kevin Ring, alongside guitarists Jennifer Batten and Gilbert Ardilla, was featured in a television commercial for the San Diego-based music instrument shop, Guitar Trader.

In 1990, the band's song "Nothing Can Be Everything" was included on the soundtrack to the Columbia Motion Pictures film, A Girl To Kill For, directed by Richard Oliver.[15] The song plays on a jukebox during a pivotal coffeehouse scene.

In 1995, issue #1 of Lowlife, a comic book by Ed Brubaker, featured Manual Scan frontman Bart Mendoza as a background character, as well as band graffiti.

In 1998, the artwork for the band’s 1982 E.P., “Plan of Action” was included in the book, The Album Cover Art of Punk Rock, from Gingko Press. The E.P. itself was re-released by Spanish label Munster Records in 2006.

In 2000, the song “Plan of Action” was covered by Canadian ska band The Kingpins on their album of the same name, released in Canada and Germany.[16]

In 2003, The Lolas version of "I Can't Don't Want To Faster," was released on their album, Silver & Gold, issued in Spain.

In 2007, New Jersey trio Mod Fun recorded the song "Nothing Can Be Everything," releasing it on their album Now... and Again. [17]

In 2004, Los Angeles based combo, The Eddies, released a version of the bands song, "Jungle Beat" on their album, In The Sunshine.[18] They later rerecorded it, alongside another Manual Scan song, "Don't Know Where To Start" for their 2007 album, Twice Around The World.[19] In 2012 the two songs were also released as a CD single.

In 2008, blues guitarist Anna Troy included her version of the song "I Can't Don't Want To Faster" on her album, Wait Another Day.[20] That same year she also released two further albums, Live which included a version of Manual Scan's song "31968", and A Long Way From Home which included both the aforementioned tracks, plus a studio version of "31968."

In 2010, Spanish group, The Paff Boom's, released a version of Manual Scan's instrumental song, "The Bird," on a self-titled EP. They retitled the song, "El Pajaro."

In 2015, the band was included in a pair of books: Getting Nowhere Fast,[21] by author Ray Brandes, detailing some of the key bands of the 1976-1986 San Diego Music Community and Let It Rock - Live From San Diego State,[22][23] by Seth Malios and Jaime Lennox, a four volume set, covering music concerts at San Diego State University, 1931-2014.

Partial discography[edit]


  • 1986 One (England / Hi-Lo)
  • 1988 Down Lights (U.S. / Susstones)
  • 1997 Plan of Action (Spain / Snap!)
  • 1997 All Night Stand (U.S. / Get Hip Records 1043)[24]
  • 2013 All Night Scan (U.S. / Cheap Rewards Records CRR-009) vinyl and digital only
  • 2015 The Pyles Sessions (Spain / Snap!) 10" Vinyl and CD

7-Inch E.P.’s[edit]

  • 1982 Plan of Action (U.S./ Dance & Stance – PS) reissued in 2006 by Munster Records / Spain
  • 1989 The Lost Sessions (U, S. / Get Hip 116 - PS) Commercial copies available on black vinyl. Promo copies are blue vinyl
  • 1991Days & Maybes (U.S. / Susstones IMS 548 -PS second print with over sleeve)[25]

Flexi Discs[edit]

  • 1986 "And We Still Feel The Same” and “Plan of Action” were included on a cover mounted flexi disc with British modzine, In The Crowd No.18, alongside a track by the Risk.

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • 1985 The Cutting Edge (England / Razor S16, LP) – Jungle Beat (remix)
  • 1986 American Heart & Soul (England / Hi Lo Records LO-6, LP) – New Song
  • 1987 The Phase III Mod Bands (England / Unicorn, 7" EP)[26] 31968
  • 1997 It’s A Mod, Mod World (England / Antenna Records, CD) – New Song, Confidence and Love
  • 1999 This Is Mod Volume 6 (England / Cherry Red, CD) – American Way, Nothing You Can Do, Jungle Beat, Anymore, New Difference
  • 2014 Millions Like Us: The Story of the Mod Revival (England / Cherry Red, CD Box Set) – Nothing You Can Do [27]
  • 2015 Sounds of the Stratosphere (U.S. / Blindspot, 7" EP) – The Tim Pyles Theme + tracks by Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra, Blaise Guld, Pony Death Ride and Super Buffett
  • 2017 Staring at the Sun XII (U.S. / Blindspot, CD) – The Loudspeaker Theme [28]


  1. ^ "Manual Scan info page from". San Diego Reader. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Manual Scan All Music Guide listing
  3. ^ "Manual Scan Detailed Release Info". Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  4. ^ Manual Scan Soundtrack at IMDB
  5. ^ Manual Scan and The Shambles Early Days Interview at The San Diego Troubadour[dead link]
  6. ^ "Manual Scan Gravedigger Five San Diego Reader Article". 15 March 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Manual Scan Index of Live FM94/9 Recordings". Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
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  16. ^ The Kingpins. "Kingpins Plan of Action Album Info". Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
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  24. ^ Manual Scan’s All Night Stand CMJ Review. Google Books. 3 May 1999. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  25. ^ "Manual Scan on Susstones Discography". Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  26. ^ "Manual Scan in Complete Unicorn Discography". Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
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External links[edit]