Posts Tagged ‘virginia’
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was living in Western Branch off of Taylor Rd with my cousin. I don’t remember exactly what day it was on but it was Jan/Feb 1991 only weeks before my 21st birthday. I believe it was a Saturday and I was driving home from somewhere listening to Z-Rock and the local affiliate comes on the air to interview Don Dokken and Mikkey Dee about their concert that night at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA. A former friend from high school and I had tickets and were pretty excited about the show. I had been listening to Up From The Ashes since it came out a few months prior.
So as I am listening to them interview Don and Mikkey, I pull over to a gas station a few miles from my house and try to call the station to see if I could talk to them. I was so damned excited that I kept fat fingering push buttons on the pay phone. After about 3 or 4 tries I got through off air and got to talk to Don and Mikkey. I asked if there was a way to meet Mikkey prior to the show and he told me what time to be at the Boathouse (super early). I told him that I was a huge fan of his from the King Diamond days. He said make sure I don’t have more than one person with me and everything would be cool.
So at this point I am flipping out (of course not on the phone but internally). I get home a few minutes later and told my buddy what the plan was and that he had better be ready when I came by to get him. He was notoriously slow at everything. I told him if he wasn’t ready when I got there that I was leaving his ass behind. Fortunately he was ready when I got there and we headed to Norfolk to the Boathouse.
We’re the first people in the lot along with the staff cars and Dokken’s bus. Some dude came to the door of the bus and said they were coming from the hotel in a few minutes and to wait. So we waited only a short amount of time and a minivan with Don, Mikkey Dee, John Norum and Billy White in it. Mikkey gets out of the van and asks, “Are you Sean?” I acknowledged and we were instantly escorted onto the bus. So Don hands me a band photo which was already signed by Baltes (who was inside the Boathouse already). So Don and the rest of the band sign it along with some other stuff like cassette covers and such (I hadn’t gotten into CDs yet). He stood with us for a few minutes then hightailed it to the back of the bus to take care of stuff. At this point I am freaking out because one of my all time favorite drummers and musical influences and standing next to me. I don’t get start struck easily as I’ve met a lot of musicians over the years but this one was different. This was Mikkey Dee…the guy who played drums on King Diamond’s Abigail.
We hung out for what seemed like an hour but was likely a lot less. Talking with John Norum and Billy White was pretty neat. Unfortunately in my giddy starstruck state I had forgotten that Billy White played on Watchtower’s debut. To this day in my head I still hear my inner voice say, “You’re an idiot.” Kelz reminds me of this regularly and he pointed out after the show, “Dude, how was it to meet Billy from Watchtower?” Ummm…D’oh! I am a Watchtower fanatic as well. What a doofus.
But all in all, I was there to hang out with Mikkey which was the first of 3 times that I got to spend time with him, the other 2 being with Motorhead in 1993 and 2000. Will post about those meetings some other time.
In my conversation with Mikkey, I noticed he was wearing an Abigail backstage pass. It had one of the heavenly aura’s around it. haha. So being the fanboy that I was that night, we talked about drums and about some certain aspects of his playing that I tried to emulate. I asked him if he was going to do a drum solo and he said there would be one. I asked him if he could incorporate the intro to Welcome Home from the Them album. He said, “That’s a good idea, we’ll see.”
So the opening act was on the stage at this point and it was time for us to get off the bus so they could get ready. I can’t overstate how accommodating these guys were. I honestly didn’t even need to see the show after that! But we went in and caught the 2nd half of the set by The Blonz. Wow. They were just awful. One of the worst bands I have ever seen.
So we make our way towards the front of the stage and got on the barricade at stage left which ultimately was in plain view of Mikkey when he was on the kit. Perfect!
So out comes the band and they rip into their set. They were absolutely incredible and it was one of the tightest sets I have ever seen by any band. Watching Mikkey slay the drums and both Norum and White manhandling their guitars with such precision was pretty incredible. Definitely one of the best shows I have ever seen. Don’s vocals were clean and clear and he was an excellent frontman.
So I guess this blog is really about an album review, eh? I’ve seen this one get trashed in many a metal review and I could never understand why. It’s easily Don’s second best album behind Tooth and Nail and pretty much the last album that he actually sounded really good on. Initially the main reason I bought the album was because I had read that Mikkey Dee was drumming on it.
Even with some of the slightly cheesier songs like Mirror Mirror and Stay, it’s an album of which I don’t ever feel the need to skip any of the tracks. Good production as well.
This one gets 10/10.
As you may know if you’ve either known me for a while or read back through some of my ramblings, I am a huge Stones fan. My #2 band of all time actually, only to be beaten out by Iron Maiden. I finally got an oppurtunity to see them in 2005 at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, VA. I originally bought 5 tickets, 3 nosebleeds and 2 good ones. I planned to use the good seats for myself and whoever I decided to bring along with me and resell the other 3 for a profit. Yep. Capitalist pig I am! But…I ended up selling the 2 good seats to my friend Jeanne as she wanted to take her mom to the show. No profit to be made.
Right about a year or so before I got the tickets, I started to frequent the Taphouse in the Ghent section of Norfolk, VA. I had been there before with friends but never really “hung out” much there. I liked the place and started going there mroe often for shows and such. I lived about 25 minutes away so I didn’t do much of my partying there because of the drive. As I was sitting at the bar one afternoon, I was talking to one of the owners, Al, about how I had some spare tix for the Stones show if he knew anyone that wanted them. He said he’d buy them and take his guitarist along. Done deal. We ended up going to the show together with his brother as his guitarist bailed at the last minute.
I didn’t really know these guys that well but what the hell. I knew a lot of people who knew them and they were good to me as a patron in my early days there. These 2 guys play in a band called Rylo. Rylo is a boogie/honkytonk/jazzy/upbeat type band. Hard to classify really but they do what they do very well. Of course in my car I only brought metal stuff to listen to. Maiden, Dokken, Mercyful Fate, KISS, etc. Ended up that these 2 dudes were metalheads. It was the beginning of a wonderful relationship.
We drove to the show, a 3 hour trip, and had a blast. We met Jeanne and her mom in town for some Italian food then parked and walked to the stadium for the show. We parked in some dude’s yard for $20 and walked about a mile. No biggie, the weather was perfect.
We definitely had nosebleed seats. Trey Anastasio of Phish opened up. B O R I N G. I was amazed at how many people left after Trey played. Whatever. The Stones were the Stones. Sloppy. Energetic. Funny. To be honest, I shed a tear when they hit the stage. Lifelong dream for me to see them.
Halfway through the set, Mick stops and does introductions then says they need to take a break per the “authorities”. We figured someone called and complained or something. Turned out to be a bomb threat. They cleared the floor for the first 40-50 rows and brought in bomb sniffing dogs. No bomb. Of course. The big treat for me was that they played Sweet Virginia. They NEVER play that song.
They came out and finished their set. From what I understand we only lost 2 songs…Infamy and The Worst. No big deal.
We decided to drive back to Norfolk that night. It was slow getting out of there but we had a blast. Mountain Dews, beef jerky and Doritos all around for the ride home. It was a blast, almost as fun as the show.
Soonafter that I moved to Ghent and the Taphouse became my place. I ended up working there as a doorman as needed and loved every moment of it. I made some friendships there that will last forever. I miss that place a lot and when I go to visit Virginia, it’s usually the first place I stop in.
- Start Me Up
- It’s Only Rock’n Roll
- Tumbling Dice
- Rough Justice
- Ruby Tuesday
- Sweet Virginia !!!! with additional sing-along after the song had ended
- All Down the Line !!
- Night Time is the Right Time
— band intros, thru Ronnie.
“We have to take a 10 minute break, according to the authorities”. Band leaves the Stadium, they bring in bomb sniffing dogs, clear out the stage people entirely, and vacate everyone in the first third of the field and the seats at the ends of Mick’s catwalks.
- Miss You (to second stage)
- Oh No, Not You Again
- Get Off My Cloud
- Honky Tonk Women (from second stage)
- Sympathy For The devil
- Midnight Rambler!
- Paint It Black
- Brown Sugar
- Jumping Jack Flash
- You Can’t Always Get What You Want (encore)
- Satisfaction (encore)