Now, you can't go to Hollywood without hitting The Viper Room at least once and this trip is no exception, since it's right here on a Wednesday night with my good friend and publicist extraordinaire, Gigi Bishop, I get to witness the excellent up-and-coming locals, Betawolf, who remind me a bit of The Dreaming, with a "poppier" kind of aspect and atmospheric vocal drones, as well as the brutal southern boys, Scattered Hamlet, who make no allowances for telling you they hail from Kentucky and like to drink not to mention play some ferocious and raw numbers that come across like a mix of Pantera and Black Stone Cherry at an over-excited Derby!
In between these bands, I interview Jesse James Dupree, frontman of Jackyl the real reason I am here who turns out to be a real gentleman indeed, despite their no-bones-about-it AC/DC-meets-Dixie Rock 'n Roll style. Later that night, Jackyl vibes it up at The Viper with eccentric ecstatic measures and superb songs including "Down On Me;" "Locked and Loaded;" "Dirty Little Mind" and, of course, the chainsaw-featured masterpiece "The Lumberjack."
I even manage to get part of the stool he smashed up and a guitar pick of his, too, CDs signed, the new album and a great photo with him success, indeed!
Blacklist Union. All photos by GLENN ANDREW MILLIGAN and METALLIVILLE.com
Anyone know of any other good clubs not too far away? Oh, yeah, there's the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, just up the highway and it just so happens that British rock icon, Michael Schenker, and his band, MSG, are playing Thursday night, so it's a dead set to go to the show.
This band played to virtually a packed house here, and little wonder, when we get pounding pedigree fretwork in songs that include solo cuts such as "Armed and Ready" and UFO faves like "Doctor, Doctor," "Rock Bottom" and "Love to Love."
After the show, a good friend of mine, Claudio Pesavento (former keyboardist of Frank Marino's Mahogany Rush) and I go to see the band members and even end up on the tour bus, where I have a few pictures taken with the group.
Friday turned into a double whammy of two shows in one night, where firstly, I went to check out The Dirty Knobs at The Viper Room. Yes, that really is the band's name, fronted by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers' guitarist, Mike Campbell.
The group is a tight-but-loose, rootsy four-piece who have songs that seem to come out of wicked jams and are really laid back, but totally on the mojo at all times.
With crazy-titled numbers like "She Likes To Lick My Finger" or covers like the Nashville Teen's "Tobacco Road," The Dirty Knobs can simply do no wrong to a packed crowd in such an intimate setting.
Over the road at the Whisky (a-Go-Go) I went to see my mates from Stonebreed, who were performing the last few cuts of the southern-rock-meets-sleaziness of a set, which finished up with a fave in "Last Dollar" before the stage was cleared for the near-legendary status of a six-stringer that is full-on rockstar Gilby Clarke of Guns N' Roses, fame who played covers including The Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers" and Bob Dylan's "Knocking On Heaven's Door," as well as his own material like "Cure Me Or Kill Me" and "Tijuana Jail" to a heavy heated crowd, who sang beautiful, too, with a trio made up of Troy Patrick Farrell on drums and EJ Curse of Silent Rage on bass.
We all got to hang after the show, which was great, as I've waited longer than 10 years to finally meet Gilby! I even bumped into Taime Down of Faster Pussycat, too, who remembered a show I reviewed and interviewed Rock City 10 years earlier.
Back at the Rainbow (Room) Saturday night, two guys called Glenn arrived at the venue at the same time the other being Mr. Hughes of Deep Purple, Trapeze, Black Country Communion and solo fame.
Uncanny coincidence or what?! We had a chat later that night, as I had not seen him for a few years last time being Bradford Rio, U.K., back in 2003. A real down-to-earth humble guy as well just how you'd want him to be.
Later that night, I checked out a brand new venue for me called Bar Sinister, with Kim and Ansku of Finland, who I hadn't seen since 2009. I learned this place was kind of S&M-come-80s, goth-and-pop alternative joint, just of the Hollywood and Vine area of town, and I had a great reunion with the punky-come-sleaze rockers Prophets of Addiction, who feature Lesli Sanders and Tchad Drats (both ex-Pretty Boy Floyd).
There certainly wasn't much light in there, to say the least, but we made the most of it. What can I say? It was rather an eye-opener, with some solid rock 'n roll in between.
Monday night, a Swedish rocker mate, Christina, and I checked out a pretty new band called Blacklist Union who wangled a slot at The Key Club a kind of dark, heavy alternative rock band with elements of the 80s in there, too seeing is believing. Meeting up with them after the show, I had a nice long chat with frontman Tony West, who will become a great interview for Metalliville Webzine in the very near future.
After all that excitement and craziness and no doubt a few decibels deafer I literally sink a few beers and chilled out with Jessica and Linda, who came to see me on my last night and think back on what a roller coaster of a time it had been there. 'Til the next visit!
Glenn Andrew Milligan is the editor and creator of the online webzine METALLIVILLE.com, the premier site for concert coverage, promotions and one-on-one interviews with some of the biggest rockers and celebrities in all metal history. Visit Metalliville.com for a free online subscription.