Plan B makes good on plans at Derby’s

Rock n’ Roll/country tribute band Plan B performed inaugural sets at Derby’s Bar and Grill

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Plan B played their first show at Derby’s Bar and Grill on March 11th.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

Many musicians get their start playing local bars and taverns. For Tom McMullen of Riverside, Roy DiVittorio of Menifee and Blair Bannon of Corona, Saturday night saw them follow in that tradition. And they have one key thing in common with Marie Osmond: they’re a little bit country.
The trio known as Plan B played a free show for patrons of Derby’s Bar and Grill in Hemet on the evening of March 11. And even though business was a little slow that evening, those who came to see their performance caught a great show and found a new band to follow.
Lead guitarist McMullen, bass guitarist DiVittorio, and drummer Bannon shared the role of lead singer, each song selection reflecting their individual styles. The playlist included the best of Andy WIlliams, Don Von Tress, The Georgia Satellites, Funk 49 and a splash of the Beach Boys, just to name a few.
“We’ve been playing together for years,” said McMullen.

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Derby’s patrons watch Plan B as they make good on their plans for the evening.

The trio has played in other bands, often overlapping in their careers, but tonight was genuinely their first time playing together.
“How lucky can we be?” McMullen said, before going on to joke that gigs like this pay what he calls “gas money.”
Derby’s owner, Jesse Vivanco, says he was instantly impressed with their musical background when they met: “(The band) stopped by one afternoon and caught me when I was in the facility by myself. I had a few moments to sit down and talk with them, and when I heard about their musical experience I said ‘Hey, let’s give it a shot!”
And thanks to Vivanco’s appearance on Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue,” many more fresh acts like Plan B will have their chance to start at Derby’s.
“A great, steady clientele has been coming in,” many of whom have tried and loved the new menu.
And the band has nothing but good things to say about Vivanco.
“We stopped by (and met him)… he’s a real nice guy,” said McMullins. “He called me up a couple weeks later, said he had a slot open and asked, ‘can you come play?’” Of course they obliged.
For Plan B, their next plan takes them to The Ponderosa in Sun City this Saturday, March 25th at 9 p.m. And from there, assuming they can muster a decent following, maybe plans will work out… “to become Plan ‘A’,” as DiVittorio joked. Perhaps Hemet will be credited as where the band got its start.
On March 24, the Just-in Comedy show starring Johnny Herrera comes to Derby’s with Anna Valenzuela (yes, the one from Comedy Central’s “Roast Battle”) as the headliner. Follow Derby’s on Facebook and at www.derbyshemet.com. Find Plan B on facebook.com/tomroyblair17.

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