Best Place to Catch a Band on the Way Down (2000)

Mason Jar Live!

When Ian Hunter sang "It's a mighty long way down rock 'n' roll" in 1973, he couldn't possibly have appreciated the profound insight contained in that lyric. The horrendous and brutal slides many have since taken from rock's dizzying heights to the primordial ooze of oblivion lend that line a frightening significance that makes one wonder whether Hunter and fellow Mott the Hoople members weren't really celestial clairvoyants posing as glam minstrels.

And what better place in Phoenix to witness those on Hunter's slippery slope than at the Mason Jar, that cinder-block pit stop en route to Cut-out Bin Hell? L.A. Guns with bald spots and beer guts, Warrant with jowl wattles, and a crispy, croaky Kris Kristofferson are but a few of the dozens and dozens of onetime gold and platinum acts that have tottered across the beer-soaked carpet of The Jar's pitifully small stage.

We can only imagine the internal monologue running through Dale Bozzio's head a few years ago as her tour van pulled into what appeared to be a beer joint parking lot, only to discover MISSING PERSONS (missing more than a few letters) on the club's marquee. Once inside the club's dark, dank, lager-scented confines, Bozzio might well have shaken her pink mane in disbelief. "Boy, I've played some toilets in my day, but jeeez . . ."

Hey, when you're flush with success, there's only one way to go.


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