1999 Tommy Bolin Tribute Band
Texas Tour

Well here we are again, 6 months since the last Tommy Bolin Tribute shows, but this time we're in the LoneStar state, none other than Texas.

After a bumpy flight into Austin from San Francisco, we checked into our hotel and after making a few wrong turns we found the club/restaurant, Babes or should I say bar? I was a bit thrown by the venue, guess I was expecting something like The Bluebird, the Denver home of the Tribute shows. Downtown Austin reminded me a lot of Pioneer Square in Seattle, the streets filled with bars and clubs.
Once we arrived at Babes, David gave our name to a guy at the door who was handing out the passes, but all of a sudden, we were whisked outside by non other than Glenn, he spotted us at the door!! Wow, what a start to the weekend!! After hugs all round, he filled us in on the latest news. He was looking well, he's growing out his hair a bit, I thought it looked great - sideburns and all! A sound man interrupted us, he needed to know what songs Glenn would be playing bass on, Glenn marked them and let us check out the set list. We noticed a lot more Trapeze this year, very cool - we knew how big Trapeze are in these here parts!
We brought a bunch of flyers for our web site - Jamie (TBA) was super nice and let us mix them in with the various Tommy Bolin items for sale. Glenn even sneaked a copy in his jacket pocket!! We went inside and found a spot at the bar and waited for Glenn's sound check , Andy (Glenn's "spiritual teacher") came over and gave us some goodies for the Texas shows and a couple of Glenn's picks. By this time, Glenn was just starting his sound check and played a bit of Your Love Is Alright. It blew our socks off - you don't realize how much you miss his live performances, until you hear 'The Voice' live, he's just incredible. After the sound check, Glenn stopped by to say "See you later, I'm off for a shower and a kip".
We spotted a few familiar faces amongst the early arrivals and before we knew it, Big Jim Wilson & Co. came over and said "Hi", it was great to see 'em again. We also met some new faces but old names, via our web site - Mark Hoffman stopped by with some of his buddies for a nice long chat, and we ended up hanging out the rest of the weekend. We even met a really nice couple that flew from the UK to see "Uncle Glenn" play, if you're reading this, it was great to finally meet you - we're sorry we forgot your names :( and we thought we were bad, flying almost anywhere to see him :)
As the evening progressed the more wild it became, from a couple that were more or less "doing it" right in front of the stage to a Howard Stern/Brian May look alike behind me shouting at the top of his lungs "Come on it's a fucking bar, get up on stage", "this is bullshit" over and over, he was clearly agitated, he was telling anyone that would listen that he played with Alice Cooper back in the 70's, yeah right, what a joke!
Mike Drumm (TBA) then came out and introduced each member of the band. They opened with a thunderous version of Homeward Strut what an instrumental! Slow Driver was next up, Glenn came strolling out to the first few chords, the crowd roared (that song was a topic all weekend, I must have been asked over a dozen times by various people what album that came from). This was our first time seeing Craig Erikson, he was indeed a breathe of fresh air, it changed the whole sound of the Tribute band, much to our surprise and delight, adding that funk element Glenn wanted.
Glenn was having trouble hanging on to his lyric sheet, some guy ran off with the lyrics to People,People. I thought this was one of the best songs of the evening.
A couple of chicks were pulling on Glenn's trousers all night, I thought for sure he would be showing some skin before the night was out! When You Are The Music started I was having trouble keeping still, it's my fave Trapeze song, I must have burned off a year full of stress in 4 minutes. Glenn seemed so relaxed with the band this year and in between the songs, he kept us entertained cracking jokes and with his now famous John Lennon impersonations.
Then during Your Love Is Alright we all stepped into a Motley Crue video - some chick in the back lifted up her shirt and flashed her tits at Glenn and all the other guys who happened to be looking in that direction, including David!! The place went crazy. The last song Glenn had for us was a killer version of Black Cloud. I think he made a lot of new fans in Austin and blew away all his long time fans with yet another awesome performance.
Friday evening's Austin set list was as follows:
Homeward Strut, Slow Driver, Post Toastee, Wild Dogs, Alexis, Lotus, People,People, Gypsy Soul, You Are The Music, Coast To Coast, This Time Around, Owed To 'G', Gettin' Tighter, You Keep On Moving, Your Love Is Alright (Encore) Teaser, Black Cloud.

After an uneventful 3-1/2 hour drive to Dallas, we had just enough time to check in to our hotel and change clothes before heading out to the Meet'n'Greet at the Blues Cat Blues Club. As we drove up, I spotted friend, Damien, across the street. It was nice to see him, we hung out the rest of the night. As we walked in, a lot of people were standing around waiting and wondering if it would happen at all? Then someone said Glenn was feeling under the weather and could not make it. I think a lot of us were starting to worry if there would be a gig at all? Mike Drumm (TBA) was spotted on his mobile phone, so it had people wondering what was up!
Anyway, we headed across the street to a micro brewery for some food, drink and catch up with some old friends. Later we headed back to the club, unfortunately everyone had to wait in this huge line, no matter if you were holding a pass or not, it made for some interesting conversation in line (a VH-1 behind the music Lief Garrett story and what tour you saw Deep Purple on)! I seemed to be the only one among them that had only seen Deep Purple one time, back in '85, oh well.
Once inside I turned around to tell Damien something and he was gone, apparently he had trouble getting in with the ticket Jamie (TBA) gave him (I'll let him tell the story), a lot of tables had names on or were marked as Reserved, so stupid me thought TBA had reserved them for the pass holders - what a mistake. They were reserved for the club's guests and "regulars", lets just say there were a few of us extremely pissed off. In the end we sat at one of the tables with some nice people who had traveled from Denver, 'til we got told to leave, cuz the party had shown up. Don't worry, we gave 'em what for! TBA did a terrible job at the Dallas show - the passes were a complete waste of time/money, anyway enough of that. It was going to be a long night we had to sit through 2 other acts, before the Tribute Band took the stage - YAWN.
Rocky Athas and Robert Ware are local Dallas boys, so the crowd were wanting them on stage, finally the moment arrived. They opened with Homeward Strut, just as good if not better than last night. Craig Erickson kicked butt. Glenn hit the stage and opened with Slow Driver, he looked wonderful, all dressed in black, same outfit we had seen him wear in LA and San Francisco last year with Keith Emerson and Marc Bonilla. He seemed a bit tired and a little horse tonight, he shouted to the crowd, "give me a B, give me a 12, what do you get? B-12 up the arse", everyone cracked up! He said he picked up a bug while in Sweden earlier in the week.
Next up, Post Toastee - Glenn didn't do a sound check and one of his monitors was switched off, so during the song he was trying to sort it out . He welcomed all the people from out of state and the other countries that came to see him.
Wild Dogs - everyone in the audience started to HOWL, it was pretty funny at the end of the song Glenn shouted, "who's got a microphone in here?, Where the fuck is that coming from?", we saw people all weekend with video camera's taping the shows, so we're not surprised there was feedback.
Just before Alexis started, he told us "you are being filmed and recorded tonight for a Live CD and Video, so make sure and say something Texan", the crowd went wild. Another funny comment, "it's going to be a long show tonight, so I'm pacing myself - man, what a concept - in the old days it was, "fuckin' hell let's blow chucks in the first song , but the older you get the more graceful you become!". Alexis kicked in, one of our favourite Tommy Bolin songs, Glenn does complete justice to this number.
Lotus (In An Oriental Sky) followed, the band excelled themselves with this beautiful piece of music, with a killer bass line, and as Glenn pointed out, "it's a sexual thing baby".
A welcome addition to the set this year was next - People,People.
You Are The Music followed, Glenn strapped on the bass and said, "I've got the one that used to match my eyes" (It was RED), he continued, "the year was 1972, the band was/is Trapeze, I had a lovely bottom all stretched up and nice on the front of that cover!" When the song was over he asked the crowd, "doesn't that bring back nice memories?", the crowd shouted, "Yeaaaah".
Coast To Coast followed, what can you say, another fine rendition of his signature song, with again some wonderful soulful vocals. His bass work on this was also outstanding.
When CTC finished Glenn says, "I was on my death bed this afternoon, somebody gave me a shot up the bottom, it worked. I think it's all psychological, Ozzy Osbourne has one up the bottom everynight, but then again I don't sing like he does, so who knows, maybe, one day - we will, sing together - again - wooh, what a give away!!".
As an introduction to This Time Around, he told us, "I wrote this with Jon Lord in Deep Purple, I love you John, I saw you for the first time in 20 years in Switzerland last year, it was good to see ya". Then Terry Brooks started it off with some great keyboard work, Glenn kicked in shortly thereafter with his classic vocal, right on key as only he can.
Owed to "G" immediately followed with Glenn in fine form on the bass, as soon as it finished, he says, "Oooh, the Starbucks coffee is working, I switched addictions, I went from aspirin to Starbucks, it's a lethal fucking combination, but you 'gotta do something, right? B-12 and Starbucks, let me recommend that to you, ladies and gentlemen".
Before Gettin' Tighter kicked in, Glenn had more to say, "I'm going to funk it up a bit now with a song I wrote with Tommy in Deep Pimple, I'm taking you back to the California Jam, you all know about serious funk in Texas.....I am - the shag and we go, 1-2-3-4". His bass work was just amazing on this one, he was all over it.
You Keep On Moving - Glenn told the crowed, "I wrote this with Mr. Coverdale, I don't see much of him these days, he lives in Lake Tahoe, I live in Los Angeles, he could at least call me sometime!" He then introduced Terry Brooks who began the song with his excellent keyboard work, after a few bars, Glenn began his now classic heartfelt vocal introduction to this timeless piece of music.
As the song came to an end, the crowed roared. Then Glenn told us, "There's a new Glenn record coming and it's being released in America this June, it's a good spiritual record, it sounds a little like Trapeze, a little funk, sex! I'll be coming back to the "Big D" later this year".
Your Love Is Alright - he asks the crowd, "more Trapeze, if you don't mind? This one I wrote with Mel and Dave". Craig Erickson really shone through on this one with some great wha-wha pedal work throughout the song. The crowd loved it, a Texas favourite.
Three encores followed, Dreamer, Teaser and another classic rendition of the Trapeze number, Black Cloud. Again Craig Erickson stood out on Teaser. David nearly fell over when he heard Glenn belt out towards the end, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the Los Angeles Cut Off", he thought we would be given the chance to hear this, never played live, Play Me Out classic. But unfortunately, it was a Teaser!! The crowd were asking for Black Cloud before they even knew they were getting it, as the final tune of the night. Another tremendous rendition followed, again Glenn's bass work stood out.
Saturday night's Dallas set list was as follows:
Homeward Strut, Slow Driver, Post Toastee, Wild Dogs, Alexis, Lotus, People,People, You Are The Music, Coast To Coast, This Time Around, Owed To 'G', Gettin' Tighter, You Keep On Moving, Your Love Is Alright (Encore) Dreamer, Teaser, Black Cloud.

Here's a brief review of the Houston show from the Street Beat section of the Houston underground music magazine, Music News, dated March 6th, 1999.

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