STEVIE NICKShelped birth punk rock. There was her precious, self-enamored carriage; the insufferable vocal style that sounded as if she was submitting to a rectal exam while singing Fleetwood Mac tunes so vapid that Bill Clinton picked one up for his successful run at the White House; solo records that poured from your car speakers like oatmeal; and, perhaps most grating, the "mystical dancing," wherein Nicks would twirl about in circles like a five-year-old kid giddily trying to induce dizziness and vomiting—how very exotic.
Nicks' combination of insufferable music, precious persona and bloated sense of self-importance was one of several combustible ingredients that ignited punk rock. She single-handedly accounted for the Rotters' insurgent 1978 single called "Sit On My Face, Stevie Nix," a rockin' little ditty referencing body parts that faded out on some exquisitely lewd slurping noises worthy of Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Wonderful!
The bubble had been burst, war declared. Nicks, the Doobie Brothers, the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt and other such paleolithic, El-Lay Celebrity Rock Star-types were about to be consumed by a tide of young, snot-nosed revolutionaries.
This all reminds me of one glorious night back in 1985. The roots-rock group Lone Justice was being widely hyped as the Next Great Rock & Roll Band, due largely to their amazing lead vocalist, Maria McKee. My band, the Beat Farmers, opened for them at the Palomino, the now-defunct, then-world-famous honky-tonk in North Hollywood, and the queenly Nicks showed up to survey the competition. With about a half-dozen fawning male sycophants in tow, Nicks was seated right next to the stage at a long table in a scene that looked like The Last Supper, with Nicks in the center as Jesus and her penis pals as apostles, shamelessly groveling on either side of her. Nicks' table was actually roped off so that she might take in Lone Justice unmolested by any of the common, blue-collar Bubbas who constituted the patronage on any given night at the Palomino.
Beat Farmers' front man Country Dick—the largest, loudest, rudest, stinkiest Bubba in any room he ever graced—was part of the rebellion launched in the late 1970s. He proceeded to step over the ropes around the queen and her court and emit a window-rattling belch so dynamic that the entire room turned to express its admiration. He then handed Nicks A Beat Farmers Almanac, a promo pamphlet full of potty humor. The look of violation on Nicks' face is a memory that shall cheer my soul for the rest of my days—despite the sad epilogue: Country Dick passed away several years ago, and the wonderful Maria McKee went on to obscurity following an abortive solo career. Nicks still enjoys a level of wealth and fame in inverse proportion to her talent. Such is life sometimes.
Many other old, vaguely annoying people visit OC this week, although none nearly so annoying as Stevie Nicks. Might as well get all this off my chest.
JOAN JETT, Saturday night at the Sun Theatre: being studiously loud, simplistic and stupid was a formula that worked well for the Ramones, the Dictators, the Buzzcocks and the Damned. But not the Runaways or Joan Jett. Or L7. Or the Donnas, even. Meet the old boss; same as the new boss. DEPECHE MODE, Saturday and Sunday nights at Arrowhead Pond: the best thing I can say about these posing Goth pussies is that they look like they'd bleed a whole lot if you punched them in the mouth. YELLOWMAN, Sunday night at House of Blues: people who forge their reputations by bragging about their penile dimensions reliably have weenuses that resemble pygmy acorns, bitchen toastmastering aside. AEROSMITH, Monday night at Verizon Wireless: you just know that the monkey-faced guy with the hot, juicy daughter actually dyes his pubes and chest hair. THE OSMOND BROTHERS, Tuesday night at the Crazy Horse: there's genuine indignity involved in being beaten up by Danny Bonaduce, even if your last name is Osmond. Too bad that one (Donny) won't be here. DAVE EDMUNDS, Wednesday night at House of Blues: he made a lot of other people who weren't him sound good once—a long time ago. But real rockabilly guys don't record with Jeff Lynne. RAY CHARLES, next Thursday night at House of Blues: What have you done for me lately, big fella? And what's the deal with the synths? Stevie Nicks mystically dances at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 8808 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine, (949) 855-8095. Sat., 8 p.m. $36.50-$86.50. All ages; Joan Jett & the Blackhearts perform at the Sun Theatre, 2200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 712-2700. Sat., 8 p.m. $30-$45. All ages; Depeche Mode pose at Arrowhead Pond, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 704-2400. Sat.-Sun., 8 p.m. $42-$77. All ages; Yellowman play at the House of Blues, 1530 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 778-BLUE. Sun., 7:30 p.m. $17.50. All ages; Aerosmith perform at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Mon., 7:30 p.m. $37.25-$96.25. All ages; The Osmond Brothers play at the Crazy Horse Steak House, 71 Fortune Dr., Irvine, (949) 585-9000. Tues., 7 p.m. $16-$49. All ages; Dave Edmunds plays at the House of Blues. Wed., 8 p.m. $15. 21+; Ray Charles performs at the House of Blues. Thurs., Aug. 23, 7:30 p.m. $57.50. 21+.
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