Second trip to the Sunset Strip. Viper Room.
Re-Experience. This is part two of the Sunset Strip re-experience.
For Super Bowl Sunday I hung out with some friends. Most of us were cheering for the New Orleans Saints. I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers fan so I wasn’t cheering for the Saints because I was all happy to see them win the Super Bowl. Obviously, I’d so much rather see the Steelers winning the Super Bowl. But there is a reason why I decided to cheer for the Saints: Drew Brees. (Yes, it has nothing to do with Hurricane Katrina.) Earlier in the season, the Steelers were playing the Chargers and after the game I noticed all these anti-Steelers comments up on Facebook being made by all my friends who are San Diego fans. Now the Steelers and San Diego have a bit of a rivalry, having met in the play-offs a number of times throughout the years. Drew Brees used to play for San Diego. In his last season there, he got injured during the last drive of the season and soon thereafter San Diego decided to ditch him in favor of Philip Rivers. What can I say; I wanted a knife to go into the backs of all those San Diego fans. Many, I’m sure, had to wonder if San Diego should have stuck with Drew Brees.
Parking. Sunday nights equals free parking on the Sunset Strip – at least until the City of Los Angeles decides they need more money and make the meters 24-7.
Missing Friends. I was talking with one of my friends at the Viper Room. We don’t see each other that often. We lamented the demise of one of our favorite local bands, Automatic Music Explosion. She mentioned how she hadn’t seen some of us for six months. The world of the local music scene: we form friendships with fans of various bands and then a band breaks up and our ties with each other are stretched. I had a similar conversation with someone else while hanging out at Club Moscow. I wouldn’t necessarily call her a friend, more of an acquaintance. I would see her around once a month or so at various Automatic Music Explosion sets. She came over to me during a break at Club Moscow and said, “It’s been so long since I last saw you.”
The Viper Room was rather empty when I first got there. Folks missed a good band called Vas Defrans. I have to admit I only caught their last two songs. I don’t believe they sang during those songs, just went on a long jam session. Next up was Tommy Peacock (pictured left). At this point, the Viper Room started to fill up. During the set, Sarah Jeanette (The Mulhollands) and Jodie (The Shakers) could be seen dancing away. One song that Tommy Peacock played was called “And I bid U Good Night.” This was done as an acappella trio. I thought for sure it was their last song, considering the song title and vocal style; but no, their last song was “One Night to Play.”
Now as Automatique (pictured right) was setting up on stage, I couldn’t help but notice four guys at the front of the stage, punching each other on the shoulders. It reminded me of the Super Bowl Volkswagen commercial. For some reason, I suspected trouble was brewing. After Automatique’s set, the curtains closed and The Mulhollands started to set-up. I couldn’t help but notice these four guys again as they started to hit the curtain. At this point, the door guy had enough and came over to give the foursome a lecture. (Side bar: So for the Mulhollands, Sarah Jeanette started off their set with the Saints chant. It didn’t seem like people were getting into it. She wasn’t too pleased with the lack of enthusiasm.) Sometime during the set, one the guys picked up a tambourine and started to play along with The Mulhollands. He wasn’t too skilled at it and knocked over his beer cup. The guy looked at the ice and alcohol on the stage, trying to figure out what he should do. He decided to try and clean it up, which was cool of him to do; however, he started to pick up the ice cubes and toss them behind him. The place was crowded and he was throwing ice into the audience. Folks didn’t like this and so he was asked to stop doing it. He kept on doing it. Something got triggered. A near fight broke out. The door guy came over and kicked the guy out. As I was leaving for the night, he was pacing the sidewalk, cursing.
Comments towards the end of Automatique’s set: From the audience, “Take your shirt off.” Response back from Kim Rocco (pictured left), “Don’t tempt me. Maybe after our show.”
Comment as the curtain closed around The Mulhollands: “The sound guys here are f*!#king hot.”
Sadness. I had to miss The Shakers. They were going on too late for this sleepy head.
Part 3 of Re-Discovering the Sunset Strip Coming Next Week. To read Part I click here
click on photos to enlarge