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Live forever... or die trying

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Chris Robinson's voice was soulful as ever at Water Street Music Hall, where he sported a new, solid band that smoothly followed the bearded frontman on his new-found mellow jam exploration. Those of us wanting the pointed-toe kick in the ass Robinson used to deliver with the Crowes were treated instead to Dead-head-ish jams, and were a little disappointed. Marry a starlet, and the fire in the belly cools, I suppose. So does the urge to shave.

            Drove West to play some rock 'n' roll and feed my screaming rock jones at a show at Nietzsche's with the fantabulous Bloody Hollies. If you thought guitarist/singer Wes was nuts, wait'll you get a load of the new bass player. This kid bounced around the stage like a helium filled pinball. A ton of frosty folks braved the crappy weather and we managed to keep the rubber side down both on stage and during the slippery drive home.

            Montage Grille, Sunday night, guitar god Link Wray slinked and prowled among the white linen and cheap cologne to frequent standing ovations. I couldn't get enough so...

            I blasted off to Buffalo with two bellbottomed beauties (both with bright futures behind them), while the Touch Of Evil soundtrack rattled the Lumina's factory speakers, to dig some more Link at the Mohawk.

            Man, what a sold-out sausage (Link) party --- mostly dudes raised on the big beat and Wray's rumbling, trademark twang elbow to elbow with younger guitarists who, realizing Wray was the reason they get to play so goddamn loud, came to pay their respects. Most of the women in attendance looked like they had been dragged there by their boyfriends.

            I excitedly cell phoned a few friends during "Ace Of Spades," who later called back and wanted to know what airport runway I was standing on. I motored home half deaf and all happy having arrived at this conclusion: Everyone overplays, in search of something new, because they think Link took all the simple, visceral stuff from the gutbucket. They're partially right, but he didn't take it all. Just ask The Mofos, or El Destructo.

            In the Montage dressing room, Link had told me, between sharp jabs to my ribs, "Rock 'n' roll is 25 percent music, 85 percent bullshit." He laughed a lot and kept hollerin' "Yeah Man!!"

            Link's warm-up/back-up group, The Jet City Fix, are a young, ultra-cool group of hard rockin' Seattle upstarts who played fast and furious rock and who recently achieved national attention with a pyrotechnic-instigated fire at a club in Minneapolis. Thanks to them and Great White, we're gonna have to burn down the house the old fashioned way --- rolling up our sleeves, getting back to rocking relentlessly loud and long with passion, endurance, and an unwavering resolve to live forever... or die trying.

--- Frank De Blase

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