On a weekend that followed the loss of 3 major entertainment icons, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson and where North Korea and Iran continued being difficult to deal with, I was ready to get out, get caught up and party down with my pals, friends, band-mates and anyone else that would have me.
I love the OB street fair! I look forward to it the way a kid looks forward to Christmas. Yesterday’s was certainly no exception. I got an early start and showed up around 10 a.m. because my plan was to catch both John Taffola‘s set and Bart Mendoza’s band the Shambles set too, but the best laid plans…. I caught one song by the School of Rock, (Somebody to Love) before I headed to the ATM to procure some 20’s.
I walked back down Newport in time to catch John Taffola‘s set and what a set it was. John’s one of my favorite local performers who many of you know played on the Rosie and the Originals hit “Angel Baby.” I’ve seen him perform solo many times so the fact that he had a group with Kenny James on mandolin, Gina James on violin and Steve Lawshe on percussion backing him up made it all the better. I hung out with one of my neighbors and we both, along with other early birds were treated to a great set of heartfelt acoustic music that featured some great alternate tunings on classic re-workings by Santana, Lionel Ritchie & Neil Young.
After John’s set I walked down towards the pier to grab some breakfast and figured a couple of Teriyaki chicken sticks would do the trick, and they did. I went over and caught a few songs by the Corvelle’s and then the Hip Replacements. Both bands were really fun and they did their best to get the early crowd rocking with them.
The cool thing about living in OB is that you can cruise home when and if you need to, and I needed to.
I got back to Newport around 1 pm and was ready to rock and ROCK I did. After a couple of cool tunes by Patrick Brown with Kenny James on mandolin, I made sure I caught Joey Harris & the Mentals with longtime OBcean mighty Joe Longa on keys. I saw a lot of good pals there and Joey was money. He’s so comfortable on stage and has such a great backlog of older material along with a brand new disc with some great tunes on it that I tend to equate him as being our Bruce Springsteen. I’m told he’s quit drinking but the last 2 shows I’ve seen him perform have been much like the 1st shows I’ve seen him perform back when he was backed up by the Speedsters. Just a great set by one of our own local treasures.
After their set some pals and I headed towards Pac Shores but decided it was too beautiful of a day to be indoors so we caught some very cool jazz tuneage from Skirt Alert, perfect mood for that time of day. Then we checked out the Blackbirdz before we caught Bad Science Fiction. Two more great bands, with some killer grooves.
The plan was to next see one of my former band-mates in his Led Zeppelin tribute band Dazed & Confused but we ended up at Shades instead. We had to put some coolant in the radiator, lol!
After that we headed down to the pier and were blown away by Superunloader. Hey any band that can have “Super” in their name and back it up the way they did gets a hardy howdy from yours truly. They ROCK their asses off and are tighter than any band should be allowed! Major props to Chuck Shiele for putting so many talented acts in one place, Nice work Chuck!
We heard that Fish & the Seaweeds were playing at a private party over on Orchard so we headed over to see if we could hear where they were because that cat “Fish” can really play a mean axe too. We found out later that they’d played earlier so we just ended up at a good pals house where we partied, jammed, shot some 9 ball and all had a really great time O.B. style.
All in all it was an awesome weekend. I didn’t get to see every band that I’d hoped to and I’m about as tired as I can be after doing a gig with one of my bands today too, but I am already looking forward to the next 30th Anniversary O.B. Street Fair which by my calculations should be in about 364 days…give or take ;)