If you have been to a rock show here in the desert within the last… hhmm… let’s just say… 10 years then you probably know who Ming Bob is. And if you don’t know who Ming Bob is, then that is probably due to the fact that he is the man behind the curtain, booking the talents and throwing the shows.

Rocking shows from left to right and right to left, Ming has been the middle man between bands ranging from soft rock to punk rock and bars/venues for a decade. A decade? Yeah, a decade ago when the scene was raw – a time before cell phones, before myspace, and this here blog. How he did it, we really don’t know…. but the Coachella Valley Art Scene got to take some time out to interview Ming Bob and find out how he holds it down for the rock scene of today.
So, without further ado, I bring you the man that the artists know personally and the party goers know virtually – Ming Bob.
Name: Bob Ming Tan
Astrological Signs: Gem-to-the-eye (Zodiac) and the Earth Horse (Chinese Astrology)
When did you start throwing shows in the Coachella Valley and what was the scene like back then?
Wow… going back to 1996, I started with throwing house parties. The scene back then was the best; going to The Sports Fever Days, Rhythm & Brews, Futon Oasis, Bobby C’s, Nona’s Pizza Kitchen, The Platue, The Nude Bowl, Apache Corral Pool Hall, Aloha Billiards, Hot Pockets Pool Hall, John Stanley Kings Place “The Prospector” The Peanut Gallery, Ale House, Buckets (was “shady like an old lady”), Flaherty’s, Kickstands, Elizabeth’s House, and desert generator parties. The scene believe it or not was a handful of Punk , Ska , Rock Bands, Underground Break Dancing, Hip Hop & DJ’s…and I really mean a handful. Anyone in a band or in a crew, or was into music at all, was hungry to get out and make music or find where the next show was no matter where it was or play anywhere we could. Back in the day we had nothing to do; no skate parks, no myspace, no cell phones, and for all the clubs we had to be 21 to get in. The only way to find show was fliers at your local record store & around town by word of mouth (which travels like the speed of light out here). So, mad respects to The Record Alley. And if you think the desert is small now go back 14 years this place was straight dunes and dirt with a lot of bored ass kids looking for anything to do at all. I know we all miss those days, and some of us hate what music is today, so I try to kept it tight & support everyone I can keeping updates on everyone I can. It’s always cool to see and talk to the guys that rocked this scene Fatso Jetson, Ming Tran John Stanley King Band, Lung Cookie, The Agents, Unsound, Kyuss,Solarfest, Jodi’s House, The Annorexixs, Willfull Failure, Allied Elements, The Jawas, ESC, Seven Four, Jovian System, The Wreckage, The Traces, Mobius, and many other bands I can go on all week….
What are you up to these days in terms of booking and promoting shows?
I been working with a lot of bands, just trying to keep the desert fresh every weekend with new music. Also, I have been taking care of the local bands. I have booked a lot of the desert bands their first shows. Really, just booking as many shows as possible and getting the music out there is important for me. I did rock night with a DJ and it rocked my pants off. Your welcome ladies! I do my best to help out in everything associated with music. Some bands love me and some bands hate me – can’t win them all, but they do call me for shows in the end. I have been booking them with open arms and everyone knows I work really hard to put a show together. I have been printing up flyers with money I don’t have, myspacing “the crap out of everyone”, emailing, news paper, texting, and radio ads. I spend my entire day and my whole life beating the streets telling everyone about upcoming shows, always networking, keeping a pulse on the desert at all times. I have been doing my best to get shows for all bands depending on the rules of the bar or venue….until, of course, I open up a real venue myself !!
How would you describe the rock scene of the Coachella Valley today?
To be honest, the music scene out here is kicking ass! There is a lot of great talent out here that will blow your mind when you see them live! Get out there and check out the shows. If you support it in person then it can grow into a bigger music scene. The only downfall is that there are not many places to play. All our cities officials are always cracking down and getting rid of places that have live music. I feel bad every time I have to say “no” to the kids that just want a play a show for their friends.
What encouraged you to start booking and promoting talent in the first place?
What started it off was when I was in a band called Mingtran. We used to play so many shows locally and also toured in and out of town often. So, I know what it takes to rock a show and deal with all the business aspects. So…I can relate to the bands when it comes to the shows and what it’s like being in a band and that just makes it all things easier. It gives bands a peace of mind that a fellow artist is running the show who understands the stress of every show and allows then to have a blast no matter what. I love what I do & I will do it till I die.
What do you look for when booking a band?
Good, honest people that have a drive to play music and not let it get to their head. The sound is always important. I can pretty much work with any band. All the bands have to do is hit me up and I’ll get on the show right away or put them on a show. Really easy, right?…
What do you think makes a band successful in the Coachella Valley?
Having a good, positive attitude and a strong following of friends and family. Making sure to meet and greet everyone at every show and always networking with the other bands. Keeping a good up-to-date Contact List and schedule. But, most of all PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!
What other projects are you currently working on?
Right now I am getting ready to Tour Manage the band SNOT from October to January. We will be doing some where around 78 shows across the United States with Devil Driver & Mudvanye. I am really hyped on that this would be my second times going out on the road. Also l been working really hard on new venues for all ages and trying to make a mark in this town.
How can we contact you?
Add me drop a message keep intouch:www. myspace. com/mingbobproductionsinc
Email all contact info including name of the band & phone please and dates you would liked booked:mngtran@hotmail.commngtran@aol.com.com