Apr 7, 2016
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Pinole Valley High School has produced so many successful musicians, a feature story in SF Weekly Wednesday calls the school “Hitsville High.”

Famous musicians to come from the high school include Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt of Green Day; Larry La Londe, the guitarist for Primus; Jeff Becerra, vocalist for Possessed; Jocelyn Enriquez, a 1990s Top 40 pop singer; and all four founding members of the Heart Break Gang, including Iamsu!

SF Weekly points out that’s more music hit-makers than El Cerrito High, where members of Creedence Clearwater Revival attended.

The article also names a current junior at Pinole Valley High — Laconte Watson — as an up-and-coming rapper and producer who grew up in South Richmond.

Writer Jessie Schiewe attempts to get to the bottom of why Pinole Valley High produces so many great musicians.

Principal Kibby Kleiman says it is common to hear students rapping during lunch:

“I don’t know why [music] is such a big deal here, but those things tend to be self-fulfilling prophecies. Once you have somebody good come out of the school, people aspire to do the same.”

We encourage our readers to read SF Weekly’s full report here.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.