The beauty of the OC music scene is that its so vibrant that you never who will show up to jam with their friends. That could be on the arena or amphitheater level or in the case of Laguna Niguel's own The Gromble, sometimes that means Dennis Rodman comes on-stage and you rock out with a Basketball Hall of Famer.
Yep, that's what happened over the weekend at La Cave in Costa Mesa. A connoisseur of '90s music, the former Chicago Bulls rebounding machine grabbed the mic and growled through a version of Parliament's "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)." This was allegedly after The Worm requested the band play a Sublime because sure, why not? Rodman has a penchant for showing up at bars in the area, after all he keeps a home in these parts, but seeing him take the stage was something new.
Here's The Gromble guitarist's Spencer Askin's account of the surreal evening in his own words:
"Basically we were just playing our set and right about the time we would have finished he just walks onstage, grabs the mic, and says something to the effect "Sublime, Santeria." We don't play any Sublime songs but if Dennis Rodman wants us to play Santeria we can make an exception. We took a few seconds to call out the chords and then started, he sang about the first verse and then just held up the mic for the crowd to sing.
As soon as it was done he said "Pawn Shop Sublime," I didn't know that one so I just started playing "What I Got" and he jumped in for about half the verses, then he kept saying into the mic "are you ready for this thing? Ad lib, we're gonna ad lib." So we just played some funk jam thing and he started singing over it and hyping up the crowd and we tried our best to follow him. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to talk to him afterward, we tried to approach him but there was a throng of people around him taking pictures and stuff. He was really nice onstage though. It was such a surreal experience, since all of us are big basketball fans. I have incredibly fond memories of watching the Bulls v. Jazz with my dad when I was a kid, so to be able to not only meet him but play music with him was really incredible. Hopefully we'll see him again, we'll make sure to learn all of 40 Oz. to Freedom."
To his credit, Rodman – though not the most gifted vocalist – seemed to learn from his famous frontman friends how to have a good time behind the mic. Graciously, the band yielded the spotlight so their famous fan could showcase his, well, talents. Everyone in the crowd (at least those visible in the video posted on the band's Facebook page) seemed to be enjoying themselves despite the actual song being a bit disjointed. But hey, if you're going to take the mic at a show, there are worse songs to rock out to. Somewhere, George Clinton is smiling knowing that his classic is still entertaining fans.
It's been a good few days for The Gromble. Between Rodman's impromptu appearance and their announcement that their new EP is ready for pre-order, the band is gearing up for a busy rest of the year, that includes a stop at the House of Blues on Oct. 25. If last Saturday is an indication of what's to come, then don't be surprised if the band brings out their celebrity fan at their next show, maybe to play a little cowbell.