It's finally here- the last long weekend of summer.... and I have a full schedule- woo hoo! But I digress, I should start with a look at this past week.
When we parted ways I was heading out to the Bleeding Through, Slayer and Marilyn Manson concert in Irvine. Bleeding Through was decent. I appreciate this band's musicianship even though I am not that into their music. The crowd was small during their set, but gave them a nice round of applause.
Slayer was awesome. They put on a powerful and emotional show that left fans wanting more. Manson left many of his larger stage antics behind for a simple set and an ongoing series of costume changes-- also simple, such as a coat or hat, which he would toss off after a verse or so.
The crowd was actually the most interesting part of the entire concert. There were Slayer fans in black t-shirts and jeans, many with long, wild hair and then there were Manson fans in total goth gear, including makeup (which was surprising considering the heat). I like both artists, so I dressed in a plain tank top and jeans, as to not take sides. The Slayer fans headbanged and hollared, while the Manson fans moved slightly and clapped politely. It was almost surreal and most definitely funny when you saw the two groups together. I really wonder what the booking agent was thinking here...
On Sunday I headed out to the Screaming Chicken in San Bernardino to see the Joe Walla Band. I drove up to the bar and, noticing the lot overflowing with motorcycles, parked across the street. As I walked toward the door, I saw that most of the people milling around were wearing vests and t-shirts emblazoned with the Vagos colors. The gentleman at the door assured me I was at the right place and directed me to the back of the venue. Back was right, the stage was in the Chicken's backyard, but it was actually pretty nice with a raised platform and scaffolding to hang lights and banners.
It was warm outside, but overcast with a slight breeze, which eased the heat a bit. I found a seat and the band began offering up a set of tunes that moved, as well as a few of their humor-edged songs such as "Ghost Town." Frontman Joe Walla kept the friendly banter going between numbers, joking with the crowd, commenting on the soaring temperatures and dedicating tunes to the bikers, the ladies, etc. All of the group's original songs were well-received and Walla even played a great - and unexpected - cover of "Voodoo Child."
There was a raffle after the set, which fizzled out after going on for quite a while-- people were beginning to leave the venue to go home and rest in their air conditioning. But undeterred, Joe Walla Band hit the stage again for a few more songs and, after the crowd yelled for an encore, they ended with "She Showed Up." The woman in charge of the raffle began distributing what was left on the prize table to the various Vagos members milling around and then, surprise!, gave me a motorcycle gas tank. I took it home with a smile. It would fit on my Triumph (that my brother and I are restoring), but I might just hang it on my wall for a good memory. I will say, as I often have, that if you're nice and respectful of others, you will be treated in kind. It was true on Sunday, as the bikers were friendly and I had a great time. It's a pity that they get a bad rap so easily....
The rest of my week has been a rush of interviews, writing, dancing and trying to keep cool. Tonight I'm going to the Pasadena Playhouse to see "Matter of Honor," tomorrow it's Route 66 in Duarte for rockers Bluebeard, Sunday "Family Values Tour" in Irvine and Monday my pre-birthday lunch and pizookie at BJs with my friend Vernor. (Vernor also writes movie reviews for the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group and DaBelly.com, so I just may get to tag along with him for a show.) On Tuesday I will be at the hospital having my six-month screenings after my cancer bout- I should be fine, as my bloodwork went well. That evening I'm off to Leo Carillo State Park and Beach with my dog, Atticus, for camping (he's the Jack Russell you see here) and Wednesday -my birthday- will be spent on the beach, swimming and boogie boarding (yes, Atti loves to boogie board) and maybe taking a hike. Then back to normal life...
Lastly, watch my blog because soon it will be featuring a weekly comic strip!
In rotation this week: Real Be Easys, Infidel, Van Helsings Curse, Joe Walla Band, 69 Eyes, Into Eternity, The Exies, Tiger Army, Cipes and the People, Racoon and a collection of oldies CDs that were a gift from Art Laboe (luv ya, Art!)
This week I'm reflecting again on my life and deciding what I need to change and how I intend to do it. I am looking over my personal goals for the future too. I want to become a happier, stronger person and find the path that I should be taking in my life. I might not be able to change the world, but I want to do the right things that make a difference.
Keep on rockin'