The Bobby Rock Newsletter #96 (3-8-23) - A Tale of Two (Rockin') Cities
The Bobby Rock Newsletter #96 (3-8-23) - A Tale of Two (Rockin') Cities
Hey Everyone -
Welcome back for another edition and thanks so much for dropping in. I just endured my first full weekend back in the groove with the Lita Ford camp, post-fatherhood, and it was joyous (although I did miss my little man like crazy). This week, I offer some behind-the-scenes insights and perspectives for our Vegas and LA shows, plus a couple other tidbits.
Reminder: For the videos, simply click on the link/pic and you will instantaneously wind up looking at the exact same version of the Newsletter in our archive—except that you can play the vids without having to click to a different page. Magic!)
Now… let’s jump right in:
In This Issue:
- Back Into Road Mode: From the International Theater in Vegas to the legendary Whisky a Go Go in LA, this past weekend ran the gamut. Scope out the evidence here, with pics and vids aplenty…
- Lita Ford Tour Dates: Here are the most current 2023 listings I could scrape together through July… so far!
- Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad!: Thriving as a Creative Freelancer - Here’s a little Neil Gaiman wisdom on the three personal attributes any creative freelancer should have… but why any two will suffice.
A Tale of Two Rockin' Cities—in Photos (and vids)
From the International Theater in Vegas
This past weekend marked my first couple shows back in action with Lita Ford cand co. after a short break (since the birth of my boy), and the first full weekend of what’s shaping up to be another great year of touring. The run featured a couple legendary venues—one in Vegas, the other in Hollywood—both still raging and alive with history and vibe. Here is a quick pic/vid journal of a few highlights.
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On the road, airport/hotel transportation can occasionally mirror a discotheque—especially if a casino is involved! Here’s our bassist Marten Andersson and I making the best of the “sci-fi” ambiance:
Not long after our arrival at the hotel on Friday, I enjoyed some hang-time with this guy, Sean Hogan, my trusted friend, advisor, and "bro from another mo’”:
Sean and his husband, Robert, flew in from Canada for the weekend. Here I am with Robert after they presented me with this quilt Robert made for my son. Meaningful beyond words:
Hit the hotel gym on Saturday afternoon and ran into a gent with a Dragon Dirt T-shirt. (Love when that happens!) He looked familiar. Turns out I bumped into him at the gym at the Golden Nugget last year and… he’s a regular reader of this very Newsletter, a Dirt drinker, and a relentless supporter of live music. Take a bow, Joe Damato!:
The show in Vegas was at the original LV Hilton, famous for hosting Elvis during his residency days in the 70s. It’s now called the Westgate, but I believe the actual venue is still called the International Theater. Killer room with quite a “historical” ambiance. Pics of the King still abound all around the inner sanctum of the backstage area:
And the room is gorgeous and acoustically killer. Here’s my perspective from soundcheck:
Here’s one from the backstage elevator, on our way down to the stage. Always a pleasure to have keyboardist Michael T. Ross on board (pictured to the front-right of Lita) whenever we play Sin City:
Fun gig! (And always great to do shows with Winger, who undoubtedly remains one of the better-sounding bands out there—period!)
Here’s a vid of "Larger Than Life" from the set. It was no doubt shot on a smartphone, and this still astounds me. Damn! All things considered, the quality is remarkable. (From RocknForever1 on YouTube)
Here’s the drum solo from that show, just to give you a sense of the hall from what appears to be the balcony. Again, this is from someone’s phone! (From RocknForever1 on YouTube)
After an early call on Sunday and an AM return home, we were back for another show at a Hollywood staple: The Whisky. If you’ve never been, there’s frankly not much to see at a glance. And yet, this place remains a raggedy repository of rock and roll history, culture, and excess. I didn’t think to document my time there in the afternoon for soundcheck… but fortunately, our tour manager/merch master, Debi Johnson, did! The room has vibe for days:
Pics: Debi Johnson
The hit on Sunday night was a blast. You really get that “up-close-and-personal” feel there, which is a nice variation from some of the larger venues we play:
We’ve all played the room a shit-ton of times through the years, but none of us for longer than Lita! It still blows my mind that she first hit there in ’76 with the Runaways, and she’s still “representing” like a motherfucker! It’s really quite a thing.
Speaking of the Runaways, scope this version of “Cherry Bomb” from the show, and consider that Lita is playing the exact same guitar on this tune that she used in the Runaways… only some 47 years later! Ageless and timeless, my friends:
By the way, it's always great to be able to play my own kit when possible, and Sunday night was all about my black DW “Chain-Drive” kit. Yes!
Pic: Matt Emery
After the show, my Lita Ford fam surprised me with a birthday cake for my little man. We usually think of birthdays starting at the one-year mark, but remember, the day you’re born is literally your “day of birth,” so… that’s what this was all about. Killer vegan cake, too! (Thanks again, Debi!)
Got to see some good friends, as well, including my brother Matt Emery and his family: partner Kymmee to my right and their little rockstar of a son, Kiji:
And now… time for a little sleep before we head out to Wisconsin this weekend!
Which leads us to...
Lita Ford Tour Dates 2023
(Through July… so far. Calendar constantly updated.)
(Not sure who took this pic!)
Saturday, Mar 4th
Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino
Las Vegas, NV
Sunday, Mar 5th
Whisky a Go Go
Saturday, Mar 11th
Lake of The Torches Casino
Lac De Flambeau, WI
Friday, Mar 24th
Black Bear Casino
Saturday, Mar 25th
Treasure Island Resort & Casino
Saturday, May 6th
M3 Music Festival
Sunday, May 7th
Jergel's Rhythm Grille
Saturday, May 13th
Little River Casino Resort and Hotel
Thursday, Jun 8th
Sweden Rock Festival
Solvesborg, Blekinge län
Saturday, Jun 17th
Columbus Municipal Airport * Bash On The Runway
Saturday, Jul 1st
Performance - Fort Buchanan
San Juan, PR
Tuesday, Jul 4th
Performance - AUTEC Military Base
Andros Island, BS
Thursday, Jul 13th
Friday, Jul 14th
JD Legends Entertainment Complex
Saturday, Jul 29th
Veterans Memorial Park
Bay City, MI
Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad!:
Thriving as a Creative Freelancer
To finish up with a bit of contemplative wisdom this week, we revisit a classic commencement speech, delivered by writer Neil Gaiman to the students of the University of the Arts (circa 2012). The 20-minute talk is based around the general theme of “Make Good Art,” and it is a worthy watch, dense with solid ideas and directives that are both inspirational and real-world helpful.
One bit that always stood out for me was this two-fold idea that, 1) there are three crucial attributes that any creative freelancer must embody to sustain a career, but that, 2) you really only need to possess any two of them to do well!
The three attributes he mentions are essentially:
1. Be great at what you do.
2. Be on time (and/or timely with your work).
3. Be likable.
Here’s how Neil puts it:
"People keep working, in a freelance world, and more and more of today's world is freelance, because their work is good, and because they are easy to get along with, and because they deliver the work on time. And you don't even need all three. Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. They'll forgive the lateness of the work if it's good, and if they like you. And you don't have to be as good as the others if you're on time and it's always a pleasure to hear from you."
The funny thing is, if you think about it, many of those with whom we collaborate do, indeed, tend to have two out of three. At the same time, so do most of us!
Which leads us to...
The Next Level
We talk a lot around here about trying to get better and be better. So in the context of this “Big Three” concept, it would seem helpful to take a look in the mirror and evaluate where we fall in the mix. In other words, out of these three, where are we weakest and, most importantly, how might we be able to improve on that? After all, I would propose that many of the best-of-the-best are strong in all three areas. Maybe with some work, we could be, as well.
Let’s give it some thought…
Scope the full talk here:
Thanks again, everybody. Connect next week!
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