Two sides of the coin

Brian Sheil, the performer, singing parody songs at Comedy and Magic Club last month. Photo by Kevin Cody

Brian Sheil works on and off stage for the South Bay’s most important club owners

by Garrick Rawlings

When Brian Sheil moved to Hermosa Beach in 2000, the aspiring musician and comedian began working with four seminal Hermosa Beach entertainment figures. The first was Allen Sanford, who would soon open Saint Rocke, and today is a founding partner of the BeachLife music festivals. 

Then he met Adam Goldberg, founder of Fresh Brothers Pizza, and today a partner in The Brews Hall. 

Next, he met Comedy and Magic Club owner Mike Lacey.

And finally Sheil met Paul Hennessey, owner Hennesey’s Taverns in Hermosa, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach.

Two decades later, Sheil is still working for all four.

On a recent Sunday, he played guitar at the Hennessey’s on Pier Plaza in the afternoon, and, that evening, played guitar at the Comedy and Magic Club. His comedy routine includes accompanying himself on guitar while singing parodies of songs, such as “My Sharona” (“My Corona”) and “??” (“Fauci’s got a  job”)..

Sheil also performs the first Saturday of the month at The Brews Hall, on Pier Plaza. That slot traces back to the early 2000s, when he worked as a sound engineer for Goldberg, then a director of photography at ABC Network News and later MTV.

When Goldberg decided to leave broadcasting to open Fresh Brothers Pizza in 2008, he offered Sheil his broadcasting equipment on “pay when you can” handshake.

To return the favor, Sheil wrote a jingle for Fresh Brothers. 

Brian Sheil, the sound engineer, at the BeachLife music festival in Redondo Beach. Photo courtesy of Brian Sheil

“I thought I was going to be a songwriter. Like Bon Jovi, I had the mullet and ripped jeans. But the Fresh Brothers jingle is the best thing I ever wrote. Adam liked it so much he told me he wrote off what I owed him for the broadcasting equipment. That’s  how I was able to  start Entertainment ServiceLA.

Among his  audio and video clients today are Sanford’s  BeachLife and Lacey’s Comedy and Magic Club.

Sheil met Sanford when Sanford was starting out as manager of Patrick Molloys, on Pier Plaza.

“Allen  gave me my first shot at performing. I didn’t have a band so I would show up with my guitar and invite the audience to sing along, and play bongos. It was like a rock n’ roll sing-along with a drum circle. Then, when Allen opened  Saint Rocke, I started helping him with live streaming. And now I’m working with him on the BeachLife Festivals.

“I am the only artist who gets to play BeachLife every year. It’s during the soundcheck, but still…” Sheil quipped.

Sheil circled back to working with Goldberg when the COVID restrictions were relaxed to allow outdoor dining and live music. During COVID, Sheil had begun playing guitar at the Hermosa pier. Hennessey noticed the crowd he attracted, and invited him to play on Hennessey’s patio.  

“One day Geoge Lopez, the comedian, sees me playing and says, ‘Hey, you’re a comedian aren’t you? I know you. Why don’t you do comedy nights at The Brews Hall?’”

Lopez is a partner in The Brews Hall with Goldberg.

“I also started playing music there, and that developed into my becoming the booker for Brews Hall, and the Rock N’ Brews in El Segundo and Redondo.” Lopez is also a partner in Rock N’ Brews. 

“I do my rock and roll sing-along/drum circles at The Brews Hall the first Saturday of every month. I pass out tambourines and drums, and we jam along to “American Pie,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Margaritaville,” and “Sweet Caroline. It turns into this beautiful craziness,  just like it did at Molloy’s when I first started working for Sanford.”

Sheil’s next rock n roll, drum circle performance at The Brew Hall is Saturday, March 11. ER


comments so far. Comments posted to may be reprinted in the Easy Reader print edition, which is published each Thursday.