Sunday, June 26, 2011

Victor || The Film Dude in San Jose || circa 2007

Inspiration is the reason we breath.  So when one writes a song they can only look as far as the air that they are breathing.  The small, subtle music scene in downtown San Jose back 2007 was part of my muse.  There was one character that always stood out; a guy named Victor.  You could spot him pretty clearly, a man of short stature with no hair on top, glasses and mustache.  He did not try to fit in because he couldn't.  I love Victor for that.  Most important, there was a freshness toward music that he took in.  It was very inspiring.

I met Victor at the Caravan one night back in 2007 and I got as much of his story that he would divulge to a complete stranger on some random night.  He was videotaping some band (usually with a women in it) and I started talking to him.  He told me that he just does it for kicks.  Bands don't pay him.  He doesn't really promote it.  Had barely even heard of Youtube back then and just loved to tape the performances of bands he liked.  I asked him if he'd seen our band and he replied yeah, "I saw you guys at Johnny V's back in January.  There was supposed to be some surf band from Spain you were opening up for but they didn't show.  I thought you guys really rocked.  I was bummed my battery ran out on the first band."  I told him when we were playing next and he showed and caught on tape some classic original "The Booty Cheterfield Trio" footage with Pickle on bass and Blue on drums.  One of our best performances at the time with full comedic routine and one, Joe Izzo, out in the crowd giving away T-Shirts.  Here are some highlights I decide to put up on Youtube:

This one is some recently uploaded old footage that Film Dude recorded for us back in 2008.  Recollecting back, it was a really fun night with a pretty full bar.

This is a portion of the song we wrote for Film Dude Victor.  We wanted to right a straightforward punk rock song that typified his attitude toward live rock and roll.  You can find a version of it on our first album, Sellin' Cookies.

And this last one is my favorite.  At about 10 seconds into the clip, the video pans around and you can see Film Dude Victor sporting a Booty Chesterfield T-shirt and dancing like nobodies business to the tunes.  What else can I say?  Like is about having fun....and FDV is doing just that!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

U2 || Even Better than an Ankle Sprang || Oakland June 7, 2011

U2 Oakland June 7, 2011
I had seen this thing coming down the pipeline before.  For me the last experience like this was the night I got backstage all, access passes to see The Rolling Stones "Bridges to Babylon Tour" in 1997.  So I knew what to expect.  The likeness of a gifted gem of one more childhood Christmas Eve or a highly anticipated trip to Disneyland as a young lad.  I was prepped and ready for it.

See a good friend has a certain family member that happens to be a founder of Elevation Partners, the famous "dream team" of venture capital firms that happens to include Bono.  So I knew that U2 was coming and that they would probably have pretty good seats.  I planted the seed, "Ya know, sometimes people fall off the bus at the very last moment.  If anyone cannot make the show at the last minute I want to let you know that I am available."  At 9:30pm the night before I got the call.  "We have an extra ticket."  Bingo.  I am in!

I shifted my day to an early office close and headed up to the pre-party in Atherton.  Cold beer and good food all within the backdrop of a beautiful private estate.  Unfortunately Bono couldn't make it, I think he was donating his time at the local children's hospital before the show (not really).  Either way we prepped up for the big night with food and booze then climbed aboard the luxury liner bus and made the 3 hour jaunt over to Oakland.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  It took 3 hours to go 40 miles.  There was a massive traffic jam trying to get to the coliseum and we never even made the bus ride into the coliseum parking lot.  We got out and hoofed it for about four blocks.  And we were the lucky ones getting in about 9:30pm just in time to see the lights go down.  We heard later that some people didn't even make it to their seats until about 11pm.
U2 360 - Light Attack
We got to our seats, which by all standard we definitely corporate.  They were close enough to be "really good seats", but for a true music fan they were nothing to write home about.  That was until I got a "red zone" pass slapped around my neck.  My friend and I proceeded to walk right on up to the stage.  This is what we saw....

Sunday Bloody Sunday


Bono Serenading the Crowd

All and all a great show.  They kicked off with "Even Better Than the Real Thing", which was my personal motto pre-show because, I felt like I was a little kid on his way to Disneyland.  It was like I was dreaming the whole time, this unexpected fortunate experience that was bestowed upon me.  The stand out numbers were "I Will Follow", Bowie's "Space Oddity" going into "Pride".  I personally enjoy "Vertigo" as well as "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and I was happy that the video came out so well.

If you think about it U2 is amazing.  Not only are they still the same four guys rocking in a rock band the way we all wish we could, they have been doing it for 30 years.  Any fan who has a love for live rock 'n' roll  can attest to U2's incredible staying power to continuously put on a great show with just four members (along with a hidden keyboardist under the stage, they have been doing that for years).  I referred to the Rolling Stones show that I saw back in 1997 and "yes" it was a great show.  And "yes" they are one of my favorite bands of all time, but still they came with full horn section, back up singers, percussion, keyboards and god only knows who else was on the stage.  So to see a stripped down 4 piece rock a crowd of  69,000 people was a sight to be seen.  And then there was the light show......hats off, men.