RIDE ON, SIMON STOKES
TONIGHT AND NEXT THURSDAY NIGHT
An awesome event, tonight. In 1977 a roots rock punk band called the Flesh Eaters was birthed by poet Chris Desjardins to perform his songs. Their second album in ‘81, the acclaimed “A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die,” featured early FE members and future stars John Doe and DJ Bonebreak of X, Dave Alvin and Bill Bateman of the Blasters, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, with Chris D. crooning. That lineup has been gathered for tonight’s show, and you should be there. (Info below.)
Giving you a little warning, next Thursday, for another standout show, also at the Echo, that may have a more narrow appeal. Simon Stokes was a performer unlike any other, with a unique colorful history, and he was a friend of mine, ever since I stumbled onto him performing at the wonderfully weird Big Foot Lodge in Atwater Village, and I subsequently brought one of my infamous birthday club crawl buses there to experience him, leaving with about 50 people who were new instant fans. He also performed on my cable TV show. Sadly, it was notice of this tribute concert which I spied a couple weeks ago that let me know he had passed onto another stage.
A diminutive, pretty grisly looking character, he caught your attention immediately with his gruff, urgent vocals, and then if you were listening to the lyrics, you started checking the exits because you didn’t want to come face to face with him in a dark alley. Tales of murder and mayhem, sung with great enthusiasm and belief, were his forte, and serious bikers were his prime audience.
Off the stage Simon was the sweetest man you’d want to meet, real, and humble despite his lifetime accomplishments. Look him up. It’s too bad we didn’t get together more often — he spent most of his time at his desert home near Palm Springs — and too bad he never got to try writing some songs with my daughter, as he had planned.
The show next Thursday features all the original members of his notorious Black Whip Thrill Band, plus none other than the DK’s Jello Biafra and the incomparable voice of Terry Reid. You shouldn’t miss this one either.
What small selection of music would you choose to listen to, for the rest of your life? Five discs. Yes, albums, don’t fudge with The Complete Sibelius Symphonies or Woodstock Every Note, I’m looking for single albums that have become part of your very soul. “Love/Forever Changes”? “A Love Supreme”? “Hounds of Love”? “Axis: Bold as Love”? “Love Will Keep Us Together”? (— just kidding).
Send entries to my email at the bottom. Tell me where you live, your age, gender if you wish, and any commentary will be delightfully read.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! — DON’T MISS!:
TONIGHT! – THE FLESH EATERS (see above), with Sean Wheeler and the Alley Cats, The Echoplex, Echo Park, 8 p.m., $23.50, $30 day of show.
DIANE SCHURR, ERNIE WATTS (one of our best jazz vocalist-pianists, with legendary sax man, rare intimate setting, great acoustics), Sat, Ann & Jerry Moss Theater, New Roads School, Santa Monica, 8 p.m., $40.
Jacaranda presents “INDIVISIBLE,” Sat, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, 8 PM, $20 students, $45 general. (I’ve run out of room to describe this so you can look it up or you can take my word, just go, Jacaranda is always very interesting, very good.)
TONIGHT! – TOMMY EMMANUEL, (one helluva guitar man, he may blow your mind), Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, Malibu, 8 p.m., $22-$55.
TONIGHT! – JANE MONHEIT (seductive, ace jazz crooner), Vitello’s Italian Restaurant, Studio City, 7:30 p.m., $25-$275
PHIL RANELIN JAZZ ENSEMBLE (experimental jazz trombonist, prepare your head), Fri, The World Stage, Leimert Park Village, 9 p.m., $20.
THE REVEREND SHAWN AMOS (all-around performer, commands the stage http://www.smdp.com/a-dont-miss-show-goodbye-100-3/163196), Fri, Vibrato, Bel Air, 6:30 p.m. no cover, 9 p.m. $20.
ALBERT LEE (original Heads, Hands & Feet, picker extraordinaire Lee has played with everyone), Fri-Sat, McCabe’s, Santa Monica, 8 p.m., $26.50.
BARBARA MORRISON (great jazz-blues singer), Tues, PIPS, LA, 7 p.m., no cover.
1/18: David Ruffin, 1941 (Temptations’ lead singer); Jack Sherman, 1956 (second lead guitarist of Red Hot Chili Peppers, wrote songs for first two albums and toured, infamously left out of their 2012 Hall of Feh, uh, Fame induction, along with Dave Navarro — are you kidding?, since recorded with everyone from Dylan to George Clinton, Booker T to T Bone Burnett, former Ocean Park resident).
1/19: Dolly Parton, 1946 (say no more); Phil Everly, 1939 (a treasure, passed 4 yrs ago);
Janis Joplin, 1943 (irreplaceable, gone way too soon); Robert Palmer, 1949 (who can
forget that video?).
1/20: Lead Belly, 1888 (a founding father of the blues, “Good Night, Irene,” a most misunderstood chestnut).
1/21: Placido Domingo, 1941 (Pau Gasol’s buddy); Richie Havens, 1941 (God I miss Richie Havens — did you see him at the Civic, 3/14/71, or the Pier, 8/5/04?); Edwin Starr, 1942 (“War!”).
1/22: Sam Cooke, 1931 (in the Pantheon of the greatest vocalists, shot to death in a seedy
LA motel, ‘64); Orianthi, 1985 (caught her at Malibu Guitar Fest, wish I could shred like
her, she was going to be Michael Jackson’s guitarist on last tour).
1/23: Django Reinhardt, 1910 (or God, as many refer to him, of gypsy jazz guitar, innovator, so influential); Cyril Davies, 1932 (legendary Brit bluesman, harp, died just as the scene was hitting America); Anita Pointer, 1948 (caught the Pointer Sisters early, ‘78, at the Roxy, they simply killed); Gary Burton, 1943 (outstanding jazz vibist, developed pianistic 4-mallet technique).
1/24: Aaron Neville, 1941 (of New Orleans’ Neville Brothers, looks like an ex-con, sings like an angel); Warren Zevon, 1947 (superb cinematic songwriter, “Werewolves of London,” “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me,” “Lawyers, Guns & Money,” recorded poignant last album “The Wind” after learning he had untreatable lung cancer); Michael Chapman, 1941 (spacey singer-songwriter more popular in UK, virtually unknown here, I cherish his “Fully Qualified Survivor” album, 1970).
LYRIC OF THE WEEK: “Well, I went home with the waitress, the way I always do, how was I to know she was with the Russians, too … Send lawyers, guns and money Dad, get me out of this.” — Warren Zevon
Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 32 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at email@example.com