Looking back, it's hard to believe I once opened solo for the great Steve Forbert at Staches. Not Little Brother's mind you, but the actual, let's-start-a-fistfight-in-the-bathroom, there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-fire-code Staches. Ya been there?
What's even harder to believe is that I got the gig. I mean, I certainly didn't ask for it. Hell, I had never even heard of Steve Forbert before Dan Dougan called and said, "Do you want to open for Steve Forbert? He is one of the best solo acts ever and even had a hit song once. That "Romeo" song. Give you some beer for pay. Are you old enough to drink yet?" I answered yes and yes. Somebody must have cancelled at the last minute and since I lived right around the corner Dan must have needed a quick fix. But rule #1 for a young musician: take the gig.
What's even harder to believe is that I am pretty sure I didn't completely embarrass myself. Certainly I was capable. To say I was "a little green" would be a major understatement. I cannot even imagine what songs I played. I had a bunch of originals but nothing I would dare to play opening for a craftsman such as Steve today. But like a wise man once said, "Youth Is Confusion." I seem to recall going over OK. People clapped 'n stuff. Bought me some drinks. Then, to top it off, Steve's guitar broke and he had to borrow mine for the show. Not quite as cool as Dave Davies borrowing the Watershed kick drum (with our logo on it), but still a thrill for a kid in the presence of a master.
Steve was touring behind Mission of the Crossroad Palms. It is still my favorite Steve Forbert record. (Ricki C. would disagree, of course. Click here for his Steve Forbert preview.*) In fact, I think I have gone on record stating that the opening track "It Sure Was Better Back Then" is one of my top ten favorite songs. Think about that…..TOP TEN FAVORITE SONGS EVER. BY ANYBODY. ON EARTH. And the dude is playing Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza Wednesday, July 22nd.
(*Ricki C. note: To be exact, Mission Of The Crossroad Palms is my third-favorite Steve Forbert record, after 1978's Alive On Arrival and 1980's Little Stevie Orbit, and all of 'em are great.)
And a full show from 1979