Saturday, May 10, 2014

About Last Night

So I went to this show last night....

And stuck out like a sore thumb. I came straight from work, and thus was dressed in my (admittedly comfortable) adult clothing, down (up?) to pearls and dress shoes.  There was also a guy there in a bow tie, but his might have been ironic, since he also had an urban man-purse.


It was a good night.  I got there just as the opening act began, a group called 1-800-BAND from Cleveland (I believe, based on a shouted and possibly misheard conversation with the guitarist, Rob). They were a tight four-piece, with a synth and a drummer who played like he was on fire. I got to introduce Rob to Gary Klebe and John Murphy, who he said he idolized, and had a nice encounter with the lead singer Al out by the merch table. (There is photographic evidence of this somewhere.)

1-800-BAND played mostly originals, and played the crowd like a harp.  Any doubters were soon won over.

Then the scene shifted to another Midwestern pop band, the venerable Pezband. Performing as a three-piece, they played for well over an hour, old stuff, new stuff, covers. They talked about their trip to Japan this year, and played like the devil.

Here's some footage from last year:

And then The Man took the stage: Dwight Twilley:

I've been listening to Twilley most of my life, from the early stuff with Phil Seymour, through this song (I have the video recorded on VHS thankyouverymuch: he plays a football coach) and up through The Green Blimp.

And yet I've never seen him live, never met him (still too shy to last night) and am simply in awe. It was a wonderful show: he's a total pro.

And as an extra, added bonus, his regular bass player got sick and Ron Flynt (!!!) took his place. I was gobsmacked (and noted that, had I been Twilley, I would have worked "Jet Lag" into the set, because I am that kind of dork). If you don't know Flynt's solo stuff (and to be fair, his 20/20 stuff is enough to make his rep), definitely seek out LA Story.

Another great night is coming tonight!  See you there! (But probably not in pumps and pearls...)


steve simels said...

Sounds like a blast.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your first Dwight Twilley Show! I saw and enjoyed the original band during its heydey at various Hollywood clubs like the Starwood and Roxy. I even barely met him once at the IHOP on Sunset. He was a cutie. And he’s not too geezerly now. The last time I saw him was New Year's Eve 1979-1980 after that iffy Arista album. The Pop were the opening band.

There was this psychopathic guy who would often turn up at Pop gigs just to boo and heckle them. He was rather creative with his insults and performed them in a bellowing TV announcer’s type of voice. The first time I encountered the guy was at the Whisky where the Pop were opening for the Motels.

Timeframe was probably mid-1979. It was the 2nd incarnation of the Motels just before they signed. I was with a girlfriend. Martha Davis, sat at our table to watch the Pop. We bought her a drink and generally kissed her butt. She gave us buttons and bumper stickers. Counting Martha, there were less than five people in the place. After each number there wasn’t even a smattering of applause – Only this out of control heckler with a Don Pardo voice who eloquently debased the hell out of a pretty good band. I wish I would have taped that show. It was kinda funny.

This crazy heckler also showed up at the Twilley / Pop New Year’s Eve gig I mentioned earlier. The place was packed. He was schnockered and emphasized one of his insults by hurling a heavy red glass table candle at the band. The thing hit David Swanson’s fretboard and shattered. Drunken revelers took it as a cue and threw glasses, ash trays and shoes at the band. Some fool even threw their purse. There was even a metal canteen hurled at the bandstand. The Pop had to leave the stage for their own safety. The bouncers caught the main instigator as he tried to escape through the side exit.

Needless to say, Twilley went on earlier than planned. Phil Seymour (God Rest His Soul) guested, as he had already gone solo by this time. A couple of numbers into the set, David Swanson returned to the stage to threaten “the chicken-shit mother fucker” who bashed the glass candle into his guitar. But that guy was long gone. I remember it being a fabulous show. I had a pretty heavy polypharmacological buzz going and danced like crazy all night, so I’m a little hazy. “T.V.” was outstanding and got the whole place jumping.

I went to the gig with my guy and another couple from Europe who were vacationing. We were showing them the Hollywood nightlife. The European guy took an interest in me on the dance floor, so we ended up swapping partners after the show.

Twas the Twilley New Year I’ll never forget. I don’t think David Swanson will either.

Vickie Rock

Alzo said...

I saw the DTB in the fall of '77 at B'Ginnings in Schaumburg (Chicago suburb). They were superb, of course, but soon to succumb to record label voodoo. Flash forward to around 2007 and Dwight is playing the Beat Kitchen. He's sick as a dog, but puts on a great show-- like Hank Williams, his songwriting is so natural you can sing along to a song you've never heard before. Ron Flynt was on bass and gave me a quizical look when I yelled for 'Cheri.' I even got to shake the hand of Bill Pitcock IV, now sadly departed. One of my favorite rock shows ever.

Anonymous said...

glad to hear they are good but shame about the name (1-800-Band). UGH.