Iron Butterfly: 7/6/1987

Crown Rockin’ Lounge was a crappy, hole-in-the-wall bar in North Miami that had live music, usually bands that were only enjoyable after a significant amount of cheap drinks, which the establishment offered in abundance. But occasionally, there would be a decent band. For this reason, I was kind of surprised when I heard that Iron Butterfly was playing there, and the lineup included Mike Pinera on guitar, notably from Blues Image, and also he was guitarist for Alice Cooper for a bit. The band’s lineup was:

  • Ron Bushy – drums, percussion
  • Mike Pinera – guitar, vocals
  • Kelly Reubens – bass
  • Tim Von Hoffman – keyboards

The bar was close by my friend Jon’s house, so we decided to go check out the show. My expectations were not too high, even though I knew Pinera was no slouch on the guitar.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. The band sounded solid, and Pinera’s guitar work was excellent. They played a decent set of mainly obscure tunes, but then cranked out a nice long version of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” to finish up the show. That alone was worth the $5.50 cost of the ticket.

David Bromberg: 11/9/1989

Since some of you might not be familiar with David Bromberg, I figured I would share his bio from Wikipedia.

David Bromberg (born September 19, 1945) is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. An eclectic artist, Bromberg plays bluegrass, blues, folk, jazz, country and western, and rock and roll. He is known for his quirky, humorous lyrics, and the ability to play rhythm and lead guitar at the same time.

Bromberg has played with many famous musicians, including Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, Jorma Kaukonen, Jerry Garcia, Rusty Evans (The Deep) and Bob Dylan. He co-wrote the song “The Holdup” with former Beatle George Harrison, who played on Bromberg’s self-titled 1972 album. In 2008, he was nominated for a Grammy Award. Bromberg is known for his fingerpicking style that he learned from Reverend Gary Davis.

(Source: Wikipedia)

So as you can see, he is no slouch. This was actually the second time I had seen Bromberg. I went with my dad to see him in the 70’s at Avery Fisher Hall in New York (alas – I do not have that stub). When I saw he was coming to Tobacco Road, I figured I had to go see him again, since the Road was the perfect place for his style of music.

Tobacco Road was a famous blues bar on the Miami River that was a speakeasy in the time of prohibition, and was the oldest bar in Miami until it was demolished on October 26, 2014. So it was a regular haunt for me and my music-loving friends. This particular night I went with my friends Todd and Craig. The place was packed, and the music was incredible. Seeing Bromberg in this venue was really something special.

I could not find a setlist from this particular show, but found a generic setlist from 1989.

Generic 1989 Bromberg Setlist:

  • Brown’s Ferry Blues / There’s No Business Like Show Business
  • Framed
  • Chump Man Blues
  • Keep On Drinkin’
  • I Like to Sleep Late in the Morning
  • Summer Wages
  • Stagger Lee
  • I’ll Take You Back
  • First I Look at the Purse
  • Midnight Hour Blues
  • Sharon

Encore:

  • Fiddle Medley
  • Delia’s Gone

Buck Pets: 6/3/1989

I can’t tell you much about this show. I went with some friends of mine because we had heard the band was supposed to have been good, and because Churchill’s Hideaway was our favorite dive bar at the time. The one thing I remember about this night was my bandmate’s comment after the show: “The Suck Pets.” Whether they sucked or not, I really can’t say. But who cares. Back then, it was more about going out, checking out live music, and having fun with friends.

Grandmothers of Invention: 8/11/2012

Grandmothers_8-11-12

This was a really cool show, featuring members of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. I had seen Zappa many years ago, and he was great, but as my musical tastes developed and expanded, my appreciation for his music grew.

For those of you who have never been to Asheville, the Grey Eagle is a small venue, basically a bar which also serves some food. But the vibe there is great. So needless to say, I had seats quite close to the stage with my friends Bill and Robert.

Musically, this band was incredible. Napoleon Murphy Brock was brilliant as the front man, chatting up the crowd, making jokes, dancing up a storm, and directing the music. They had a young guitarist who looked a lot like Frank and he was scary good on the guitar. But for me, it was Don Preston on the keyboards who stole the show. He was getting ready to turn 80 and he looked and sounded great. Not only was he all over the keyboards, playing incredibly intricate music, but he also performed magic tricks on stage, much to the delight of the audience. And if that wasn’t enough, he took out hi iPhone, opened a synthesizer app, and played a killer solo on his phone. It was impressive… most impressive.

The band returned to the Grey Eagle again the following year, and I went to see them again, convincing my brother (a long-time Zappa fan) to drive out to Asheville for the show. But that’s another stub and another story.

Here’s a video clip that my friend Robert took.