Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Diamond Dave: In which I confess my terrible taste in music at the age of 15

My friend Eleanor introduced me to The Bird and the Bee last year when they came to the Iron Horse. Just two of them on stage - Greg Kurstin on keyboards and the sweet, darling Inara George on vocals. I was completely charmed. Their biggest hit at the time was probably 'Fucking Boyfriend' which sounds like a cute little synthpop song until you listen to the lyrics. By the time they wrapped up the show (with a cover of the Bee Gee's 'How Deep is Your Love'), I was hooked.

I've been listening to their latest album, 'Ray Guns are Not Just the Future', quite a bit at work and it never struck me until today that one of the tracks - 'Diamond Dave' - was actually about David Lee Roth. It should have really. I love the idea that sweet little Inara may have been a huge fan. Because (and I can't believe I'm about to admit this publicly)... I was. My very first concert was DLR himself, live at the Worcester Centrum on his Skyscraper tour. My friend Clare's older sister (for reasons still unknown to me) volunteered to drive three 15 year-old girls to a show two and a half hours away from home. Our parents (uncharacteristically for protective small town Vermont parents) let us go. Poison opened for him. They were nasty and spit on the crowd. Dave was awesome, the total showman we expected. Our little teenaged heads nearly exploded when he rode a surfboard, hung on wires from the ceiling, over the crowd while singing his cover of California Girls. When we got home we plastered our bedroom walls with posters and pages from the program. My obsession didn't last long (teenagers are fickle and I quickly moved on to more broody serious bands), but I still have the t-shirt. And, as cheesey as he is these days, there's a little spot in my heart for Diamond Dave.

Here's The Bird and The Bee doing their tribute to the man himself:

Monday, August 10, 2009

I wasn't sure it really happened until I saw it on YouTube.

I'm in Chicago, for work, and I had dinner on Friday night with my oldest friend Kristina. She suggested this little Italian cafe where we could sit outside. When we got there, we found that a company called Optimus, housed across the street, was having a big block party for their employees and vendors. They had the sidewalk cordoned off and tents set up and music blasting off the loading dock. The music was actually pretty good and we sat outside enjoying the people watching. We had some wine and some lovely calamari and sometime around when our entrees arrived things got very very weird....

Suddenly a stretch Hummer pulls up and out jumps Rod Blagojevic (the scandalous former governor of Illinois). A few minutes later he is out on the loading dock with a microphone singing Elvis' 'Treat me Right'. We have no clue what is going on, why he is there, why he is singing or if the apocalypse is near. As soon as I unfroze from the shock, I managed to get a bit of video. It's not good. I was sitting at a table eating a nice meal and really Blago isn't worth me abandoning my table for a better shot. But here it is:

Blago sings Elvis from katywhumpus on Vimeo.

You don't have to take my word for it. Better videos have been posted.

It was seriously the most random, strange thing that has happened near me in a long time. But it was even stranger than I've said so far...

At one point, Blago pulled forward another man and said it was Fabio. This person was clearly riding around in the rediculous stretch Hummer with Blago. A hanger-on, if you will. It certainly looked like the Italian romance novel cover model/touter of non-butter products. I had to wonder if Fabio had become Blago's Kato Kaelin. I found out later it was probably not him - too bad because the story would be so much better if it was.