The New York Dolls (New York), Supersuckers (Seattle), the Chesterfield Kings (Rochester, N.Y.), Davie Allen & the Arrows (Los Angeles), and the Charms (Boston) all converged on the West Coast to
Sunday November 5th: Day One
Departure from Rochester, NY. We left for San Diego, as did all the other boss bands on the Little Steven’s Underground Garage Tour -- much like the T.A.M.I. show of 1965, which had a similar vibe, as Jan & Dean sang in the original show "...they came from all over the world." In this case, the New York Dolls (New York, obviously), Supersuckers (Seattle), the Chesterfield Kings (Rochester, N.Y.), Davie Allen & the Arrows (Los Angeles), and the Charms (Boston) all converged on the West Coast to commence with another of Little Steven's dream sequences-come-true, the third of three in the 2006 concert series. Of note, every show was opened by some local heroes of some sort -- too many for me to recall...
Arrival: We just hung out at the pool all day, watched football and celebrated my birthday with Hari Rogulj and his son Miki of Big Star Entertainment, who arranged for all the travel arrangements and accommodations for the tour. As the consummate pro in his field, Hari always finds the grooviest hotels within minutes of the venue in every city. Needless to say, we had a great time. We actually arrived a day early due to airline arrangements.
We wanted to see what we had heard was an outrageous sight: The "Little Steven’s UNDERGROUND GARAGE presents the ROLLING ROCK AND ROLL SHOW delivered by the AT & T Blue Room" buses (three in all). Upon exploration of the western parking lot of the hotel I ventured out to find what looked like either the circus was in town, or Little Steven taking over! The buses look great: artistically, a cross between the old West’s Barnum & Bailey Circus posters and the Rolling Stones Rock 'N' Roll Circus.
Monday November 6th: Day Two
Hung out by the pool most of the day again. A great thing to do. I was out at least 7 hours by the pool in the California sun, as a result some slight sunburn on my ankles and of all places, on my nose! Andy Babiuk (bass) would emerge shortly after, a slight time later Paul Morabito (guitar) and Mike Boise (drums) made the scene as we listened to "Exile On Main Stree" on Paul's Hi-Fi set-up while checking out a go-go girl or two at the same time.
Showtime: Belly Up (Solana Beach). A real surprise as the great and legendary Davie Allen & the Arrows were on the bill. I was totally floored by his intense, and ever-imitated style. One of my heroes from day one in the mid-60’s, Mr. Allen delivered the punch necessary to jump-start the opening of the November tour. Davie did tracks from several of his classic soundtrack recordings, a great blend of all sorts including the greatest song ever written, "Blues Theme," from the fantastic "Wild Angels" flick. He closed with a cycle-delic version of "Shakin’ All Over"... TOO COOL...
We (The Chesterfield Kings) did our set as usual with the maximum volume closing with "I'm So Confused" along with the exotic presence of the Garage Girls A Go-Go, which gives the show the authentic "Hullabaloo"/"Shindig!" vibe. The girls would do their thing in between groups, as well as the closing number with each group every night of the tour. A real workout, baby!!!
The Supersuckers were next with an unforgettable sonic assault, and the NY Dolls winding the show up, like, way up, tearing things up to the max. The Dolls do a killer blend of the classic first two albums, as well as their dynamite new album on Roadrunner Records. This day would set the pace for the remainder of the tour to come. Rather than repeat myself in the next days to come, I will only include highlights and not describe the intensity of the shows which will emanate throughout.
Tuesday November 7th: Day Three
Great venue, The Avalon. I was floored by the fact that this is THE PLACE where the Hollywood Palace and Lawrence Welk show were filmed among many other things (located across the street from the amazingly cool Capitol Records building)... you can feel the vibes... you can almost hear the clinking of Dean Martin’s martini glass... a great scene. The temperature was near the mid-90’s in L.A. this day, an unusually high temperature for November. The show was just as hot as well. When the Dolls tore through their set, high profile cats like Joe Perry (Aerosmith) and Slash (Guns N' Roses) could be seen on the sidelines paying homage.
After the show our pal Ron Mesh threw an after-hours party for us at his new club, the Vine Street Lounge which lasted until about 4:00 am. A lot of our pals like comedian/actor Bobby Slayton made the scene until everyone (band members that is!) was piled onto the Little Steven Go-Go Express and sent to the next destination: San Francisco.
Wednesday November 8th: Day Four
San Francisco. Man, Frisco is always a gas! One of my fave places. Weather is always great -- sunny but cool. The show was another Little Steven Blitzkrieg a Go-Go as usual. We were graced by the presence of the legendary Cyril Jordan of the Flamin' Groovies, along with our fave-rave pal, Big Beat Records icon Alec Palao. Cyril and Alec are in the fab Magic Christian in case you didn't know. They are working on a new recording out soon. The Charms arrived from Boston for the remainder of the tour.
Thursday November 9th; Day Five
Travel day. A long haul. From San Francisco to Portland, Oregon. Lots of CAR 54, 3 STOOGES and BILKO were on the TV screen on our bus. As you know, television is very important for one’s sanity!!! Andy and I hung out with guitar slinger Steve Conte from the N.Y. Dolls. Amazing how many of our war stories cross paths!
Friday November 10th; Day Six
Portland, Oregon Berbati's Pan. Non-stop sheets of rain. Andy and I spent most of the day with Steve Conte at our pal Terry’s historical record store Music Millennium. A GREAT place, the way a music store should be organized and run. Every cool thing you can think of is here! If in the Portland area, by all means make this scene! Our pal Mark Lindsay was to make a guest appearance at the show, but due to the intense rain he had to evacuate his house (it’s ok -- the water didn’t invade our hero's property!) and couldn't make it, understandably. Another groovy night.
Saturday November 11th: Day Seven
Seattle, Washington; El Corazon. Great city. Wall-to-wall insanity at the home of the Supersuckers. The sun actually came out! Glad to finally play in this great city after all these years of "almost" making it. Thanks to the Little Steven Express we made it. It was worth it. A dynamite experience on all accounts.
Sunday November 12th: Day Eight
Travel day. A long trek to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Part One. Lots of CAR 54, BILKO, 3 STOOGES, FRANKENSTEIN, HAMMER Films...
Monday November 13th: Day Nine
Travel day. A long trek to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Part Two. FOOTBALL all day! Alright! We finally got the Direct Satellite to work in our bus. Watched the Buffalo Bills lose again. Business as usual. Great to watch football though. Made the day and the drive go by faster than usual.