1998 w/Marc Bonilla - Hollywood, CA
What a great show and venue. It has been more than 10 years since we were on
the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. There seemed to be more clubs and bars than we
remembered. As the taxi pulled up to Billboard Live, we noticed a line was
already forming, it was only 6:30pm! We decided to go next door to the
"Rainbow" for a drink, funny, we thought it was a dive 10 years ago - it
hadn't changed! I wanted to be sure and get a front row view, so we decided
to leave the bar and head for the show.
As we walked into Billboard Live we were taken by the size and how it
resembled "The Rig" at Rock City in Nottingham and The Fillmore in San
Francisco. We finally found our home center stage. We figured Glenn would not
be playing bass so we planted ourselves right in front of his mike stand. We
saw the set list posted near the monitor but refrained from looking at it. We wanted
to be surprised. Some guy behind us was telling stories that Glenn would do two
Trapeze songs - I knew this would probably not happen - it wasn't the right gig for
something that special to happen.
The lights dimmed and out came a man claiming to be the opening act - he
was a comedian. I thought to myself this has to be a Hollywood thing!
But, he was funny! Despite this, we were getting very impatient and wanted
to see Glenn up on the stage. It's been 5 long months since he blew away
Denver at "The Tommy Bolin Tribute" shows.
Finally, Marc Bonilla and his band took the stage. This was the first time
we had seen him play; they have a great sound. The band was so tight and
professional. Strange, he said he was from the Bay Area, San Jose to be
exact, not too far from me. Sure wish we would have seen him play some clubs
at home. He is a gifted guitarist with a bright future; they played for
about 45 minutes, mostly tunes off his solo projects.
"Middle Of A Dream" followed - this is a new song that will most likely be
on his upcoming release. It had a cool groove to it, can't wait to hear the studio
version. During the song he kept pulling his coat to one side, hiding his
face, I thought it was the greatest effect, which matched the lyrics of the
song - "pulling the covers over my eyes, in the "Middle Of A Dream".
Up next was "Cover Me" from his current release, "Addiction" - this song
really got the crowd going. The arrangement was noticeably different - just
a tad slower than on Addiction. It was good to hear it live again. But we
were both hungry for "Madeleine" and "Talk About It", but it wasn't to be,
"this time around" !
"I Don't Want To Live That Way Again", also from Addiction, was the final
song Glenn had for us, he dedicated it to "his friend", Chris Farley. By
this time I was having great difficulty composing myself - it's my favorite
song from Addiction. That's where Glenn and I made eye contact! But, during
our exchange I must have distracted him - the next thing I knew the cord
came out of his mike, he struggled for a second but recovered magnificantly.
He smiled and continued the song, boy was I relieved! Glenn was all over
the place vocally, his voice as always, was in tiptop shape. I got shivers
down my spine throughout the entire song.
After raptorous applause and calls for "more, more", Glenn reluclantly left the stage to allow the show to continue - finally America got to see and hear Glenn LIVE - and perhaps understand why we go crazy about his performances
and will travel almost anywhere to hear him in action.
Next up, Marc announced Ronnie Montrose to the crowd. He jammed with Marc and band for about 25 minutes. During these last few numbers Marc was having a hell of time with his amps and was seen f-ing and blinding to
various roadies, but it wasn't that noticable to us, other than him appearing upset.
After Ronnie left the stage, it was Keith Emerson's turn; they performed both past and present material from both his and Marc's catalogues. After about a 40-minute set, Keith left the stage for Marc and band to play a final
Again, there was loud applause and a call for them all to return.
All the performers arrived back on stage minus Glenn - I was getting a disappointed feeling, but after a minute or so of the intro to the next
song, Glenn came walking out for the encores with his glasses in tow, just like in Denver last year! He refered to the lyrics for some parts of the two songs that encompassed the encores.
"Dreams" by the Allman Brothers was first with Glenn dancing all over the stage, swinging that coat of his all around.
The final song of the night was a classic rendition, with Glenn on vocals, of Montrose's "Rock Candy". This is where I heard the only ad-lib from him all night - he yelled out "SEX" ( Lewis and Damien, you would have been proud)!! Before the song ended he came in front of me for a pose and said my name off the mike, what a moment for me, he had remembered me from Denver. A great ending to a fantastic show!!
And then it was all over and time to leave.............at least we were in Hollywood, where there was no shortage of things to do, to help get over the experience we had just witnessed!