“Hair metal” survivors L.A. Guns are in Bend tonight for a show at the Domino Room. I spoke with drummer Steve Riley about the key to the band’s longevity.
“Bands die when they get on a big tour … and then they have to come back and go out and do clubs. There are a lot of bands that won’t do that,” Riley said. “We never really cared. We just wanted to play and we have no problem bouncing from a Whitesnake show to a club show on our own and then back to a Scorpions show and then back to a club on our own.
“You’ve got to dig in and you’ve got to want to play. You can’t believe your own bulls—,” he said. “Phil and myself, we always just wanted to be working musicians where we go out and play a full set of our own original material, and that’s what we do. If it’s in a club, who cares? And if it’s with Whitesnake or Cinderella in a big arena, that’s great too. As long as we’re playing, we’re cool.”
Riley was a super nice, totally humble guy, and I enjoyed chatting with him. I hope you’ll read the whole story, which you can find by clicking here.
On St. Patrick’s Day, I went and caught a couple of excellent pop-rock bands — The Mother HIps and The Parson Red Heads — at McMenamins in Bend. Here’s part of my review, from today’s Feedback column:
(The Hips) came to town to play a ton of songs, kicking things off with the jagged “Third Floor Story” and “Esmerelda,” an affable tune that would fit in nicely on classic-rock radio playlists.
The thing is, the same can be said of most of the songs in the Hips’ set. “Do It On the Strings.” “Toughie.” “Later Days.” “Smoke.” All are well-written, with sweet choruses and swaggering guitar riffs. But when you string ’em together one after another, it really highlights where the Hips’ range begins and ends. And it’s not exactly a wide swath, not that it matters much to the couple hundred devout fans who showed up for the show, pumped their fists and mouthed every word.
There were peaks, of course. I loved the ragged chug of “Time-Sick Son of a Grizzly Bear,” the astral reverb and ascendant chorus of “Magazine,” and the wonderful “White Falcon Fuzz,” an easygoing rocker than sounds imported straight from your dad’s record player, circa 1975.
Do me a favor and click here to read the rest of it.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Arturo Sandoval brings jazz to the Tower Theatre, and Tom Grant does the same at The Oxford hotel, folk singer Danny Schmidt plays two shows, local MC Mindscape and Floater frontman Robert Wynia make for a busy weekend at Silver Moon, The Ascetic Junkies return to town, The Dirty Words celebrate their new album, and Tuck and Roll headlines a punk show at MadHappy.