Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Crawling King Snakes


Los Angeles Night #3 The Viper Room

This club is legendary for all the wrong reasons. Johnny Depp used to be the co-owner but sold his portion in 2004 in a lawsuit having to do with the disappearance? of other co-owner Anthony Fox. The club opened in 1993 and on Halloween Night of that year, actor River Phoenix snorted a speedball in the bathroom and died on the sidewalk outside of the club.

Inside it's dark. Darker than the night outside on the Sunset Strip...foreboding and ominous. There were thug like ghosts,spirits of vulturous cretins awaiting our arrival, in pounce mode. When our contact/stage manager at the club met us inside, he showed us to what might be considered a green room. But he called it Johnny's room and said Unspeakable things have happened in here, unspeakable."

The stage was small, jutting out in a semi circle, surrounded by a black curtain..that closed around the bands in between sets..for secrets to be exchanged, rules to be broken. We went on after another tip top performance by Leslie and a fine band from Jersey called The Parlor Mob. This was the last show of the tour ...a performance percolating from the culmination of emotions, road residue, exhaustion, tour stop peaks and valleys and hard earned recognition. We were feeling the pressure....we were preparing the final release. The crowd was a packed in mix of LA's finest tattooed service industry turned rock wannabe folks, gamers who had traveled from two states away, and guest list fans.

We gave it our all and purged demons that drove the ghost of every back room drug dealer or bad businessman that inhabited that space right the fuck out of there.
Bang Camaro brought the faithful to fever and entranced those on their fences.
After the show, Alex was approached by a slightly portly blonde gentleman who introduced himself as Tom Zutaut, who said he really liked the band and what we were doing with it. For those of you who don't know rock like Alex and I know rock....Tom Zutaut signed Guns N' Roses and Motley Crue to major labels. He's probably a good person to know. We will see....

We were kicked out of the club at 2 am and mulled around out front for a while with the gaggle of hangers on, well wishers and street people in turbans playing Smoke on the Water(the shred version). I stood by the garbage can on the corner of West Sunset and Larabee where Mr. Phoenix took his last breaths at 23 , and thought about how lucky I was. Lucky as a living breathing person at 40, when so many never made it that far. I'm lucky to have witnessed real crowds, real fans and to be a part of a band that has a future. I'm lucky to have band members who take this crazy life seriously, with dedication and direction.

I'm lucky to have come through six weeks of a nationwide tour unscathed, full of knowledge and with a renewed sense of why I need to create. It is who I am. I will use my time wisely.

We decided to go back to the hotel..believe it or not. There was no climax to this night. I originally planned to stay with the Leslie boys at the legendary Riot House on the strip. This used to be the Hollywood Hyatt where John Bonham rode a motorcycle down the halls of the sixth floor, Keith Richard threw a TV out the window of room 1015, Robert Plant raised his arms out on a balcony overlooking Hollywood exclaiming "I am a Golden God" and Jim Morrison hung out of windows. But the hotel in Culver City was closer to LAX where I was to fly out from in mere hours. Besides, they enclosed the balconies in glass, renovated and renamed the place to attract anything but rock stars. Fuck That Noise! I stood outside the van in front of the hotel and closed my eyes hoping that when I opened them, it would be 1975 and I would have sideburns and bell bottoms to die for as I entered the RH's famous halls. Instead I found myself half asleep and ready to get back in the van.

It is here we said our goodbyes. I hugged the Leslie boys. I will be friends for life with those three...Jonathan, Jason and Sadler. We taught each other so much about rock. The sing a longs, karaoke duets and trivia we passed around really forged our friendship. That album will be finished soon and I will be waiting...singing along to every word of Rescuer.

I said goodbye for now to the choir...Rod, Rich, Morgan, Nick, Steve and Andre (and Zach and Glen included back in Boston)...it was a revelation and a privilege standing shoulder to shoulder on that stage with them every night, bringing the energy no matter if five or five hundred in front of us.

And of course, I shared sentiments with Bryn, Alex, Doz and Pete...the masterminds and the men with the instruments. It was made clear to me that I was a "member for life, for better or ill." by the boys and I will do what I can to be a part.

I would like to end this lengthy submission by expressing to you what a wonderful feeling seeing my wife and son after six long weeks was....the look on my son's face and his little wave as I weaved around the slow bodies at Trenton Station to greet them.....the way my wife looked with her new blondeness and summer dress after picturing her in my mind for all of those miles out in middle America....is something I'll never forget. It is also for them that I took this journey. It was not easy..there is much work to be done, but they are worth it. They waited for me. They love me. They need me.

I'll be playing with Bang Camaro again in May in Jersey and NYC....but for now...domesticity awaits. I can still rock while I mow the lawn...watch me!

Thanks for following along for these six weeks. I'll slowly put pictures up, and get back to the regularly scheduled bitching and moaning(and even praising)passages about the world of Rock and Roll...........


  1. Shedding a few tears as I read this....I am linking here today because my post is about "the heart-stopping, pants-dropping, hard-rocking, booty-shaking, earth-quaking, nerve-breaking, history-making, legendary BANG CAMERO band with SEAN BARRY"

    (I don't think Bruce wouldn't mind me borrowing his words, do you?)

  2. Very cool. I have been reading these updates and smiling at many of the reports from the road. I hope that a break is forthcoming, as you guys have certainly put in the work. Must be good to be home with your family, too. Good luck.