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Archive for May, 2018


David Crosby and band

As a sustaining member of KXT 91.7, I opt in for all of the drawings they have. Occasionally, I win. As in the case of the drawing a few months ago for tickets to see David Crosby on Sunday the 20th at the Granada Theater. I received an email from Lauren Menking in the marketing and communications department at KXT, saying that myself and the others blind copied on the email had won two tickets each. With the show on May 20 and our 26th anniversary on the 25th, Cyndy and I thought it made for a good time to go ahead and celebrate.

Cyndy and I saw Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young at Texas Stadium in 1974. We were there with other people, but we were all friends. Cyndy and I were friends in high school and dated after I graduated and she was a senior. The story of the years between then and when we got married is a story for the actual anniversary post.

I’ve seen the different formations of the band over the years. I’ve seen Neil Young  numerous times. I’ve seen CSN when they were at the top of their game. I’ve seen them when they had to prop Crosby up and have someone sing for him backstage. A friend of mine was the sound man at Cardi’s. I was there before David Crosby’s show the night he was busted. I got a weird vibe about the situation – wasn’t hard to do at Cardi’s – and I left. I wasn’t wrong.

Cyndy and I didn’t know exactly what to expect this time, but we knew it would be a good show. Again, I wasn’t wrong. You would be hard pressed to find a show that was so complete. At least as complete as only two hour long sets can be.

They played songs that punctuated David’s life and career. He played Guinnevere in the first set. He also played a song by his son, James Raymond, who was playing keyboard and adding vocals. We didn’t know until the end of the show that he was David’s son. Jeff Pevar was on guitar and vocals, Mai Agan on bass, Stevie D on drums, and Michelle Willis on keyboard and vocals.

The second set was better than the first. No doubt planned that way. They played more songs from the CPR band and David’s newer songs. As I was wondering when he was going to play the song, he put on his Stratocaster and began playing Wooden Ships. A short while later, Crosby said he “loved [his] country, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and the whole thing.” Then they played My Country Tis of Thee, a patriotic song he did with Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

He ended the show by saying, “we’re borrowing a song from a friend.” Then they played a great version of Neil Young’s Ohio, with all of us singing along.

An excellent show and perfect ending to a 26th Anniversary evening – having started with dinner at Desperados.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

 

 

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Dweezil Zappa and Ryan Brown

I had been waiting for Dweezil Zappa to play at House of Blues since November. Which was when Dweezil’s drummer, Ryan Brown, played on my songs when I recorded in LA in November with my son, Conner, producing.

Not so incidentally, the first of two five song EPs that we recorded will be released within the next few weeks – Hello Out There. Ryan did a great job on my songs, as did Lou Castro, L.A. session bassist, and I was looking forward to seeing him play the massive drum set he plays with Dweezil.

I, and the rest of those in the audience, were not disappointed. It was an excellent show. And Ryan was impressive on the drums, as the other performers were on their respective instruments. The songs they played of Frank’s I recognized. But all songs were played exceptionally well. It was a kickass show.

When I walked into the room before the show, I was getting ready to send Ryan a message to let him know I was there. Before I had a chance to get my phone out, I looked up and there he was with his friend, Collin, who had also come to see the show. We talked for a few minutes before Ryan had to go get ready. He was going to come out when the show was over. But when they played a two song encore, it was getting late and I didn’t want to hang around until the after show backstage activities were over. I sent him a message telling him the show was excellent and I’d see him later.

On my way back to my car – as I do every time I’m down there – I remembered that HOB is in the old White Swan building. When I was working at Famous Ramos Hot Dog Place that was in mall food courts in the early 80’s, when the stores needed more pretzels, I would drive down to the basement dock at the White Swan building and get as many boxes as my car would carry. Famous Ramos, and other companies, paid them for freezer space. That was when the only thing in what would become the West End was the Old Spaghetti Warehouse.

Things change. But sometimes it’s kind of nice to remember what it was like then. I know the memories floating around in the ether would appreciate it.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

Kelley as Auntie Em (center)

Anyone that knows me, knows that when things get weird, I’m apt to look up and say “Auntie Em, Auntie Em.” Mainly because I would feel pretty damn stupid clicking my heels. Neither of which proves to be very effective. Things still get weird.

That said, wouldn’t you figure that my granddaughter, Kelley Strockbine, would play Auntie Em in The Wizard of Oz at her school, Homestead Elementary on Saturday, May 5. Encore Kids is a company that teaches acting to elementary students in schools which lack the resources.

Kelley also played one of the Lullaby League Munchkins and part of an Ensemble. All the kids did a very good job. The sound could have been louder, but everyone got the gist of it. After all, we’ve heard the story. It was a cute interpretation.

The Lion was a substitute from another school. The girl that played the lion at Homestead woke up with appendicitis and had to be rushed to the hospital. By show time at 4:30 p.m. (I understood why it was that late on a Saturday, but still wasn’t real pleased), she no longer had her appendix and was doing well.

As I said, it was a cute interpretation of the Wizard of Oz. All the children did a very good job. And kudos to Encore Kids for helping to keep arts in the elementary schools.

Cast of Oz

Peace be with you.

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