The Neville Brothers: 3/17/1989

I don’t have a clear memory of this show. I’ve seen the Nevilles several times, and they were always great.

The Neville Brothers were actually four brothers: Art, Charles, Aaron, and Cyril. For me, they embodied the New Orleans sound. Their music was fun and funky, and it was always a dance party when they performed. Sadly, they officially broke up in 2012

I have vague memories of seeing them at Woody’s, which was Ron Wood’s music club on Miami Beach. I remember the place being packed, and people groovin’ and dancing. But the details of this show are lost in the haze of memory.

I wish I had more to share on this one. The Neville Brothers were awesome, and I’m sure I danced my ass off.

For those of you who have not heard the Nevilles, here’s a cool YouTube video clip from them performing at Tipitina’s in New Orleans.

 

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The Radiators: 4/21/1989

Woody’s on the Beach was a Miami South Beach club owned by Ron Wood from the Rolling Stones, and a place where I often went with friends to hear live music and party until the wee hours of the morning. As such, details are often sketchy at best. This show falls into that category. I recall seeing The Rads at Woody’s, and I know I was with a bunch of my friends, but that’s all I can remember.

For those of you who are not familiar with The Radiators, they were one of the coolest New Orleans bands at that time, right up there with the Neville Brothers. I went to see them every opportunity I had, and even had some good bootleg tapes of theirs back in the day when collecting tapes was the thing to do. I have a great memory of driving up to Daytona to catch a free Rads show on the beach with my friend Todd and a couple other folk. Fun times!

Wish I had more to share, but alas, that’s all I got. If anyone out there has a setlist from this show, feel free to add it to the comments.

Donovan: 11/20/1987

Club Nu was a trendy nightclub on Miami’s South Beach, which seemed like an odd place for an old hippie like Donovan to be performing. But several of my musician friends and I went to see the psychedelic troubadour and made sure we were in the appropriate state of mind prior to the show. My friends included Bongo Bob, Greg, and Big Ed (RIP).

As we mingled in the strange scene which was the South Beach nightclub, the lights went down for the opening act. I stood for a bit, trying to grok exactly what it was that I was observing, because it did not make sense to me. Something was… different. Then it dawned on me: female impersonators. We were being treated to a drag show as the opening act. It was surreal, to say the least.

Later, Donovan took the stage, just himself with an acoustic guitar. My friends and I sang along and were truly engrossed in the performance. I had the strange feeling that most of the other people there had no idea who this old guy was or why he was up there singing, but I didn’t care. I was happy to see the musician whose music inspired me and my friends. After the show, we all hung out together and played Donovan songs on our acoustic guitars. It was a great night that lasted till the early morning hours.

Sadly, I could not find a set list online, and the memory of this night is a little too hazy to recall what he played; but I can say with certainty that there were not any songs that I wanted to hear that he didn’t play. “Let us rejoice and let us sing and dance and ring in the new: Hail Atlantis!”

Ron Wood and Bo Diddley: 6/22/1988

wooddiddley_6-22-88

As I mentioned in my previous post about the first night of the two-night stand, my memories of the numerous shows I saw at Woody’s on the Beach are somewhat vague, but this night I remember well. Ron and Bo were particularly pumped and they broke into some classic Stones tunes, as well as some Faces. And while Ronnie Wood is not a great singer by any stretch, watching him sing “Honky Tonk Women” and mimicking the snorting of cocaine with his big nose while croaking out “She blew my nose and then she blew my mind” is a rock and roll image that is forever burned into my memory.

The Faces medley was also quite an experience for me. The first concert I ever attended was Rod Stewart and the Faces, way back when (unfortunately, I do not have that stub). So seeing Ron jam on these tunes connected me with my concert christening.

Finally, the gunslingers closed the show with a smokin’ version of “Hey! Bo Diddley.” I could not think of a better song to wrap up two nights of rock, rhythm and blues.

Here is the full setlist.


Setlist:

  • Crackin’ Up
  • I’m a Man
  • Money to Ronnie
  • Around the Plynth > Prodigal Son > Gasoline Alley > Little Red Rooster
  • Honky Tonk Women
  • Black Limousine
  • Bo Diddley’s A Gunslinger
  • You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover
  • It’s All Over Now
  • Hey! Bo Diddley

Ron Wood and Bo Diddley: 6/21/1988

wooddiddley_6-21-88

Woody’s on the Beach may have been one of the coolest music clubs ever. Owned by Ron Wood (guitarist for the Rolling Stones and the Faces), it was a place where you could see amazing artists in an intimate setting, and you never knew who might show up.

Ronnie would frequently perform there with special guests, and Bo Diddley was somewhat of a regular. I tried to catch them together whenever they played. This particular instance, they were performing two nights, so I bought tickets to both shows.

Because Woody’s was a nightclub and the performances generally started late in the evening, many of the shows became a little fuzzy. But I have a clear memory of Ron and Bo on stage together, trading licks and basically having a great time.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I was able to locate the setlist from this show. Check it out, and be sure to check back for my somewhat less fuzzy memories of the second night!

Cheers!


Setlist:

  • Mona
  • Ooh La La
  • Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
  • Seven Days
  • Too Late
  • Black Limousine
  • Diddley Daddy
  • Money to Ronnie
  • You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover
  • Lord Have Mercy

Willie Dixon with Ronnie Wood and Bobby Keys: 11/10/1988

DixonWoodKeys

In the 1980’s, before Miami’s South Beach was the chic hot spot it is today, it was a collection of decrepit vacant hotels populated by drug dealers and prostitutes. It was also the place where old people from the northeast went to spend their last years. But then something happened. Ronnie Wood, guitarist from the Rolling Stones, purchased an old hotel and opened a nightclub called Woody’s on the Beach. It was the coolest place on Miami Beach at the time and it was a music-lover’s dream come true. Ronnie would invite music greats to come and perform in this intimate setting and would often join them on stage. It was my favorite place to go and hang out.

I have some really cool ticket stubs from shows at Woody’s, but this one is worthy to be my first Woody’s post. When I heard that blues legend Willie Dixon would be playing at Woody’s along with Ron Wood and saxophonist Bobby Keys (he played sax with the Stones, the Beatles, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, just to name a few), I had to shake myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I immediately ran out and bought a ticket for a whopping $10.

The show started with the house band, featuring Ronnie and Bobby. After a little while, they called the man to the stage. Willie Dixon came out, walking slowly, age and hard living clearly having taken a toll, but the energy that surged through the small club was palpable. He sang five songs with the band before he retired. The band continued for a while without him. I maintained hope that he would come back out, but no luck. Still, I got to see Willie Dixon! The man who inspired so many of rock’s elite.

Dixon died of heart failure on January 29, 1992. But his songs live on, because great music is eternal.