At last Thursday's grand-opening gala, the Diamondback Theater in Scottsdale served up shrimp, lobster, prime rib, squid-ink pasta in an Alfredo sauce, teriyaki chicken, rivers of booze and Waylon Jennings, but these are things the Rules of Ethical Journalism prohibit me from indulging in. Like I would go out there and eat my fill, throw back a few belts and get a table front and center for Waylon's show and then automatically write nice things about the club whether I liked it or not.
Guess what? I liked the place. A lot.
Therefore, I had no problem eating my fill, throwing back a few belts and getting a table front and center for Waylon's show. And writing nice things about it. The Diamondback is a great room, and with a capacity of only 268, there's not a bad seat in the house. It's no joint, though; the theatre will showcase the top names in country, and let's face it--the place is in Scottsdale, dig? I mean, at the table next to me was Robert Mitchum's son. Class all the way.
Waylon was pretty on fire. He played his hits, dueted with Jessi (his wife of 24 years) and even talked to the audience quite a bit about J.D.'s and Handlebar's, Phoenix clubs he played in the old days. Yours truly rubbed shoulders with The Outlaw for something like 48 seconds at a preshow reception, which gave me the opportunity to ask him this burning question: When he roomed with Johnny Cash in 1965, who had more black clothing?
"He did," claimed Waylon.
That's Entertainment: The band Death Takes a Holiday was at Boston's last week, and during an absolutely transcendent version of Springsteen's "Born to Run," Andy the guitar player ripped off five strings from his guitar. But that's not the great part--he played the second half of the song on his low E string, tuning the thing up and down. Stellar! God knows Bruce would have been spinning in his grave, if he was as dead as his creativity has become. D.T.A.H. is a band to go see. It does all those required things like rock, kick ass and burn.
And This, Too, Is Entertainment: Giant Sand was in rare form at the Shanti benefit January 7, but they're already famous, so I'm gonna talk about another band called the Slims instead. They opened the show and played a set that actually compelled me to put my beer down and applaud wildly after every song. They were the unnamed band I wrote about in my very first Screed (known to dozens of loyal readers as the infamous "Buckwheat" column); I said they were "having an off night." All I can say is they're on now. Chuck's guitar playing was inspired (and more important, he smokes when he plays) and Connie's voice was lovely and wrenching.
Orders: Go see a band from Seattle called Flop on January 23 at Hollywood Alley. No, this is not grunge, just excellent trashy pop. And, to use my editor's favorite descriptive musical phrase, you will hear many a "muscular guitar workout."
There's an album release party for Barrio Latino (with special guests like Freddie Duran and Barry Homan) January 25 at the Rhythm Room. And the album was recorded at the Rhythm Room, so if you close your eyes and concentrate, you can sit in the club and imagine you're at home listening to the CD. Think of that.
It's Chubby's World, We Just Twist in It: Freelance star Serene Dominic stepped in as guest Screed correspondent (I was busy peeling "Not for Sale--Promo Only" stickers off CDs to sell at Zia's) this week in a quick chat with Chubby Checker, who'll be at Toolies Country on January 20. Here tis:
SD: What do you think of dances like slam dancing and mosh-pit diving?
Chubby: They're all my dances. As long as people are dancing apart, they're my dances.
SD: Do you feel you've been typecast as a Twister?
Chubby: I don't mind being typecast. John Wayne was typecast.
SD: Did you ever hurt yourself doing the Limbo or the Twist?
Chubby: No, I keep in shape. I don't Limbo anymore . . . it wrecked my shoes!
SD: How has the Twist affected life as we know it?
Chubby: People don't understand, the Twist is like rock n' roll itself. Before the Twist, no one danced the way they do now. People dancing apart, self-expression, that's what the Twist is. The nightclubs as we know them today are there because of the Twist. You're living in the Twist. Every time you go out, it's part of your life. Anyone that was born after 1950 is living in the shadow of the Twist.
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It Crawled From the Bins: Yes, Bins is back, after unprecedented public demand. Literally more than two letters, folks. Now I don't wanna go pushing religion on anybody, but this week's gem is inspirational as hell. Don't be fooled by the title: Good-Bye World, by the well-groomed Good Twins, is a moving collection of music for the man upstairs. "I'll Walk With God," "He Keeps Me Singing." You get the idea.
The liner notes are in the form of an open letter to the Twins from a man named Ralph Carmichael. He asks this of the lads' song choice: "After you have achieved almost shocking variety, how can you have any semblance of continuity?" Then he answers it himself. "It's that unmistakable sound you make. It beats me, but I can't tell you apart by listening. Twins are supposed to look alike, but you sound alike, too." How about that? Only thing is, they don't really look alike at all!--Peter Gilstrap
NO MERE MR. NICE GUY GUBERNATORIAL HOPEF... v1-12-94