Another slow week in the music department. But there are a few gigs, so let’s rock:
Tuesday evening, Greensky Bluegrass will be playing the Madison Theater.
Thursday, my neighbor Ben Levin, who happens to be a blues/boogie-woogie piano wunderkind, is playing Big Ash Brewing. Big Ash is right down the street from my house, on the site of the old El Rancho Rankin Motel, so I plan to be there.
If you live in the Mt. Lookout/Mt. Washington/Anderson area, you should attend this gig too! (Sidebar: List member Whit G., who is also my neighbor, wants to rebrand Mt. Washington as “Anderson Heights” to boost property values. Kinda like when they renamed a stretch of Eastern Avenue “Riverside Drive.”) Way to sell the sizzle, Whit!
Also on Thursday, Tauk plays Madison Theater, and John Sebastian is at the Ludlow Garage. He did the theme from Welcome Back, Kotter, so I think I’ll go and ask him to sign my Barbarino puzzle.
On Friday, there are a few interesting gigs:
- It’s First Friday at the Listing Loon in Northside, meaning DJ Sean P. Hafer will be spinning some great tunes and you can get happy hour prices on Great Lakes beers from 4-8 p.m.
- Ludlow Garage hosts their 4th Annual Earthday Celebration with the Ark Band. (I thought Earth Day was 4/22, not 2/7… maybe they’re using a Jamaican calendar. Actually Bob Marley’s BD was 2/6.)
- Eskimo Brothers play Southgate’s Revival Room. Apparently “Eskimo Brothers” is also a slang term.
- Totally 80s Live is at Bogart’s, featuring The Motels, Bow Wow Wow, and When in Rome II (not to be confused with When in Rome UK or When in Rome Revisited or Farrington + Mann Original Members of When in Rome… legal squabbles are the best!) (According to the When in Rome II website, they have a new lead singer, Tony Fennell, who took over as the voice of Ultravox after Midge Ure left, and spent the past 3 and a half years playing guitar for Enuff Z’nuff!… this is the kind of research you can count on from TWILM!)
- Lee Rocker (of the Stray Cats… and Phantom, Rocker and Slick… more deep research!) plays the Fairfield Community Arts Center.
Saturday is a busy evening for live tunes. The Tillers host their 2nd Annual Stringbreakers Ball at Southgate.
Other Saturday gigs:
- The Rumpke Mountain Boys play a Fan Appreciation Night at the old Annie’s. (Uh, shouldn’t every night be a “fan appreciation night” for bands?)
- Jake Speed and Kade Puckett play the Downtowne Listening Room
- At Ludlow Garage, Freekbass & The Bump Assembly does P-Funk, featuring members of Turkuaz, P-Funk and Bootsy’s Rubber Band.
- Triiibe plays MOTR
On Sunday, Alvin Youngblood Hart plays Southgate.
Hot Ticket Alerts
Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter play Memorial Hall on Thursday, April 6th. Get tickets here.
List member Dan “The Reds are Active in the Free Agent Market… 2020 is our year!” Lewis reminds you that tickets are on sale for the July 2nd show at Great American Ball Park featuring Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Poison, and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.
Be sure to look for Dan in the front row for that gig.
So there I was holding Jakob Dylan’s phone, backstage left at the Clash tribute at the Roxy organized by Jesse Malin the other night. Butch Walker was there, Duff from Guns & Roses. Is that enough names for you yet?
I was holding Jakob’s phone, trying not think about the fact that I had no I.D. and a long drive back to the Valley after midnight in my 15-passenger Econoline van ahead of me on a weekend in L.A.
We were staying with Stephanie‘s mom out in San Fernando and as I was getting closer to the gig, I couldn’t find my wallet anywhere. Finally, I grabbed the keys and hit the road. I mean I was obviously me, right? Who wouldn’t recognize Chuck Prophet? Well, lots of people, come to think.
Thank god that when I felt around in my pocket there was a wad of merch cash from the previous gig. Cruising down Sunset I was just shy of the Roxy on Sunset, when I spotted a parking garage. And as I pulled in, I noticed a sign that said “NO VANS. NO LARGE VEHICLES. NO EXCEPTIONS.” But who wouldn’t make an exception for Chuck Prophet, right? Well, lots of people, come to think.
So I acted like I didn’t see the sign. Playing dumb, unfortunately, comes way too easy for me. Eventually there was an attendant there. A Hispanic kid. And I rolled down the window and kind of held a folded $20 in his general direction. He walked over, pointed in the direction of the next level, said “park it up there next to that Chevy truck.” And, I was like, “OK.” And yeah, I was in a little bit of a hurry, and so I did.
I started driving the van up to the 2nd level and the ceiling concrete seemed very low and I craned my neck and looked up through the windshield and there were lots of pipes and sprinklers and concrete and I was thinking, “I don’t know…” And then I looked back at the kid and he looked at me and he just kept gesturing to me, “Go ahead, Bro. You’re good, Bro.”
The ceiling seemed kind of low. (So that’s what the “NO VANS” thing was about.) First there was a popping sound. And then the roof of the van ended up getting wedged in there and it started to feel like I was inside an empty beer can getting crushed. Throw it in reverse and pull back and get out backwards or keep on plunging forward? I plunged. Next thing I hear is an even louder scraping. Excruciating. My metal beer can of a vehicle was scraping along inch by inch. It seemed to go on forever, but finally the scraping stopped.
Everybody in the lot was staring at me. Clash fans, I figured.
So I pulled the van next to the Chevy truck and thought to myself, “F*ck…How late am I? I’m playing the first damn song. Jesse said there was gonna be a curtain and everything. And that the curtain was open and I would play the opening chords of London Calling and then we would be off and running.
I jumped out of the van and I walked down the ramp and up to the attendant and we both just kind of shrugged at each other in a sort of universal no words necessary language that said “Well, that happened.” And I said to the kid, “I think we’re gonna need to let the air out of the tires later in order for me to get out of here.”
Hold that curtain!
On the way out, dude clues me in that, “Yeah bro, and don’t forget we close at midnight”.
So I ran to the club and I didn’t have my I.D. How could I prove I’m Chuck Prophet? I was carrying a guitar, but who cares? Thankfully, cool heads prevailed and they even gave me a wristband. A purple one. One of those “All Access” puppies.
I went backstage and ran straight into Jakob Dylan. He was on deck. Playing directly after me doing the second song. We’d met before so we fell into some easy small talk about how Jesse likes his strap to hang really low. And just strap pride in general.
I played my song and bam, it was over. After I played my song, I walked off stage and Jakob said something to the effect of “well done.”
And then he said, “Can you hold my phone?” And I said sure. And he said, “I don’t like having a bunch of things in my pocket on stage, right?”
So Jacob went up and killed. On “Brand New Cadillac.” It was loose and tight in all the right places.
And as he came off, I handed him back his phone. It was only later than I thought, “Oh man, I could have scrolled through his phone. Maybe memorize a couple phone numbers. But then again, it was probably encrypted or something. I mean, it was still WARM when he handed it to me. I could have searched for… I don’t know “Dad.” But why? It’s not like I’m going to text his dad and say, “Big fan. If you ever need a lift from the airport…” Yeah, right.
This is ridiculous. I would never do anything like that.
The night went by in a blur. One song and performer after another. Everybody brought something to the picnic.
And then like some animal instinct, I felt myself panicking and thought “Oh damn, what time is it? It’s like 11:58!” So I ran out of the club. And did I mention it was Sold Out? I was trying to work my way through crowd to the street exit and I bumped into Clem Burke and said, “Oh, hi Clem,” and kept pushing through the crowd.
And when I got back to the parking garage the attendant was nowhere to be found.
So I stood there not knowing what to do. Wondering if I was too late and everyone had gone home. And then I heard this hissing sound. And it went on and on and on. I looked up to where the van was and I didn’t see anybody up there. But the hissing persisted. So I walked up the ramp and there in between the cars was the attendant crouched down: he was letting the air out of my tires.
It took a couple tries and more hissing, but we eventually got that van out of there. And we shared a laugh. But, we didn’t say anything to each other. Not one word. Didn’t need to.
And then I just cruised back down Sunset going about 5 miles an hour looking for a gas station with an air pump. Thinking to myself “Oh for Christ, no license, no photo I.D., or license. And I’m in a serial killer van. Perfect!”
Well, the first place I went to said the air pump was down. Then I found a place and pumped the tires back up and got back to the Valley. And there was my wallet. In my other pants.
“How was the show,” Stephanie asked the next morning over coffee.
“Oh, you know, just another walk in the park. How’s that oatmeal coming?”