Saturday, January 12, 2008

No Sleep 'Til Alcatraz

Thanks to the Rock Godz, Umlaut was able to skate onto The List for Social Distortion at The Fillmore.

Social Distortion
The Fillmore, San Francisco
January 5, 2008

Posted on the band's web site:

TONIGHT'S SHOW SATURDAY, JANUARY 5, IS POSTPONED DUE TO ILLNESS. Due to illness, Social Distortion are forced to cancel tonight Saturday, January 5, 2008. Rescheduled show information is forthcoming. Please hold onto your tickets until further information is posted. The band apologizes for this incredible inconvenience.

It was incredibly gracious of Social D. to cancel the show because Miatomic, who was going to be Umlaut's +1, wasn't feeling well. Nicely done, Orange County, nicely done.

The Head Cat
The Independent, San Francisco
January 10, 2008

I must admit I was dubious about what kind of performance this would be... Lemmy performing with his "rockabilly side project"?? Also in the mix was Slim Jim Phantom of Stray Cats on drums and a guitarist who wasn't Fast Eddie. It could go either way, ya know? However, if anything, it was a chance to see Lemmy in the smallest venue he's played in the area since the 80's.

Well, I'm happy to report it went the *right* way; the set was like a journey through Lemmy's record collection! He and the band shook the stage for a good 75 minutes and played songs by the likes of Eddie Cochran ('Somethin' Else'), Buddy Holly ('Not Fade Away'), CCR ('Suzie Q'), Johnny Cash ('Big River'), Johnny Kidd & The Pirates ('Shakin' All Over'), a great version of Larry Williams' 'Bad Boy', and a storming set closing rendition of 'Crossroads'. Also, as a nod to Slim Jim's old band, they did a barn burning rendition of the Stray Cats hit 'Rock This Town' with Slim on vocals. Nice Nice.

Besides the rollicking setlist, it was cool to see Lemmy loose and having fun onstage.. You could tell this is the music he loves and it was inspiring to see a Rock God being a Music Geek in public. Metalheads may still say "WTF..".. but if they paid attention it would be obvious Motörhead has always been encased by these influences. I'd say a good number of vintage MH songs like 'Dance' and 'No Class' would easily fit into rockabilly versions.. etc. etc. etc. Plus, Lemmy was wearing the most amazing pair of white creepers, which caught my attention 'cause with Motörhead he's always wearing white cowboy boots.

Thanks to Old Metal Steffan, Mark D. and Umlaut were escorted back for an audience with Mr. Kilmister.

Mark D. > The Head Cat > Umlaut

The first time Umlaut met Lemmy was in 1983 when Big Wayne, John Silence, and I interrupted him as he was drinking at a venue's bar (The Stone, S.F.).. Stupid kids! Fast forward to the 21st Century:

Music Geek Moment #1: Jammed into the tiny dressing room, sitting 2 feet from Lemmy, as a conversation about Allen Ginsberg, The Beats, J. Edgar Hoover in women's underwear, and Gram Parsons' cremation swirled around the room. Surreal.

Best Quote: "Gram Parsons?? Was he in the Alan Parsons Project??" (By a drunk friend-of-a-friend of Lemmy's during the above conversation)... Cue Umlaut slapping his own forehead with the palm of his hand in disbelief. This was followed by Lemmy cracking wise about the homoerotic qualities of the band name The Flying Burrito Brothers.. Non-Music Geeks can use Wikipedia to understand all of this.

Music Geek Moment #2: Chatting with Slim Jim Phantom and mentioning how I was a fan of Stray Cats AND that I'd seen Phantom, Rocker, & Slick (his post-Stray Cats band with Lee Rocker and Earl Slick). Slim's reaction was "YOU DID?! Only the first album was good...". Funny.

Also, a bottle of Jack Daniels was placed on the dressing room food table next to the obligatory cheese, cold cuts, bread, and other Rock Star food items. Lemmy: Keepin' it real.

Back in The Prius on the drive home, the first song iPod on shuffle played was 'Not Fade Away' by Buddy Holly... I shit you not! The Head Cats played it.. It's one of Umlaut's all-time favorite songs... iPod played it.. The Rock Godz work in mysterious ways.

Thanks to Umlaut's Old Metal Brutha Steffan for making the night happen.

Venom shirts = 2. I completely spaced on doing a merch audit, but The Head Cat did have a shirt for sale. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. It's been almost 30 years (!) since the first time Umlaut met Lemmy and I still geeked out over it. Hope I die before I get old.

"C'mon Newcastle, let's hear it for the road crew!"