CONCERT BUDDIES 2012

Here is my recap of the most memorable concertgoers of the year…

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Mark

I’ve known Mark around 20 years and he’s one of my favorite concertgoers. We’ve liked the same music and I have seen him at tons of events over the years – concerts, sporting events, etc. Mark is one of the biggest music fans I know and is a true supporter of music.

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He has a great music collection and is very knowledgeable about music. He’s one of the few people I know that has been to more shows than I have. A few years ago, we started going to shows together.

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This year, we caught shows by Heavy Mellow , Steel Panther, UFO, Michael Schenker Group, Phil Soussan, Richie Kotzen , Renegade Creation and Geoff Tate. I also saw him and his son, Chandler, at a local George Lynch guitar clinic and the Dream Theater concert. Mark is a good dad and Chandler is a lucky kid for having a dad that rocks. We also caught a taping of That Metal Show, which was a lot of fun.

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Jeff and Rene

I met Jeff and Rene before the Mr. Big show in 2011. We ended up running into each other and hanging out after the show. From there, we started meeting up at shows. They both have told me on several occasions that if life didn’t get in the way, they’d both go to a concert every night. I love that.

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Over the year, we caught Y&T together (I made several new friends that night through them), the Queen Extravaganza, the Bonzo Bash, Steel Panther, Heavy Mellow, Kill Devil Hill, Phil Soussan, and lots of other cool events.

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Noelle

I’ve known Noelle over the internet going back to my MMA days (I used to cover those types of events a while back) when she was “Noelle LeBell” – from the time when she handled all Gene LeBell’s business and even ghostwrote his book "The Godfather of Grappling". I realized that’s who she was after we started discussing concerts on-line. From there, it was also funny to discover we had mutual friends in Jeff and Rene from when they all became buddies on the Monsters of Rock cruise. We then all met up for the Y&T show.

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Noelle promotes the Bonzo Bashes (with Brian Tichy and Joe Sutton), promoted Kill Devil Hill at The Key Club and has helped on shows for Heavy Mellow, as well as some events at On The Rox/ Voting Parties and the Gibson Showroom. I’ve done my “concert thing” at several of these events and have really enjoyed every one of them.

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We’ve also caught shows by Steel Panther, Heavy Mellow and the Barbarian Overlords, to name a few. We also caught an event in Santa Monica where Gregg Allman talked about his new book. That was kind of boring. I thought Gregg was going to fall asleep.

Noelle knows so much about the entertainment industry and I credit a good portion of what I’ve learned and otherwise wouldn’t have seen at concerts this year to her. What an experience. Thank you. And thanks again for getting me on the guest list for this show – it was awesome.

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Lorn

Lorn runs youtellconcerts.com, which is my favorite concert site. Once I saw what he was doing, I wanted to know more and I’d see him at shows every so often. Finally, I had a documentary idea, so I decided to invite Lorn to see if he’d be up for covering a Steel Panther show. I wanted see the way he does things for his site (and I always wanted a youtellconcerts.com review of them anyway) and it worked out great. I learned so much from Lorn that night from picking his brain, so I’m glad I finally decided to try and do so. Lorn and I don’t really listen to a lot of the same music or usually attend the same concerts, so it was great to see things from a completely different perspective. And his YTC review of the show was very cool.

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We also both attended Def Leppard (but it was so packed, we never ended up running into each other) and he got a great video (and YTC article) from that as well:

Lorn and his friend Grim even came to hang out with me before the Devo/Blondie concert, where we talked more about concerts and listened to some tunes. That was cool.

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I also scored some tickets to Wilco at the Hollywood Bowl, so Lorn and his nice GF Romina met up and we caught some of the show together.

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If I ever actually get around to doing a documentary, Lorn is the first person I’m calling.

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Alex

I met Alex through a concert buddy from last year. He did some good reporting on events that I had skipped, but wondering about, so I checked out his stuff and really liked it. I eventually invited him out to a show to meet up and discuss an industry mixer I thought he should check out and be a part of . He ended up writing a review for it. We started meeting up at more shows after that.

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We’ve caught quite a few shows since then and he’s gone to some other big events to cover them as a writer. Alex will stand in line all day and night for a band he likes.

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I’ve seen him stand in the same spot at a show for over 6 hours and have watched him subject himself to a slam pit that was scary just to look at. We’ve seen CTA, Opeth, Bonzo Bash, Ministry, Dream Theater, Kill Devil Hill, Sebastian Bach, Static-X, Kreator/Accept, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Darkness, Alice Cooper (we met up and swapped tickets at the box office before the show), Soundgarden and Steel Panther more than once. I created a post about Alex and Lorn for when we saw Vivian Campbell play with Steel Panther.

Alex even made it onto youtellconcerts.com for a video show review.

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Ricky

I first saw Ricky at the first Steel Panther show I attended in January of 2010.

People were taking pictures of his tattoos right by the stage. In addition to a lot of rock and roll tattoos, he also has hundreds of autographs tattooed all over his body. That’s the most rock-n-roll thing I’ve ever seen.

The more and more I started going to concerts around Hollywood, the more I’d see him at shows on the Sunset Strip. I easily saw him more than a dozen times over the coming year and literally every time I went to see Steel Panther, whether it was at the Key Club or the House of Blues.

I really wanted to know his story for being a metal fan.

I saw him out front of a taping of That Metal Show in March and went up and said hello. We talked for a minute and I asked him to meet up with some other friends (Alex and Lorn) so I could get an account of a Steel Panther show. That was awesome. He ended up being included in two vids from Lorn for youtellconcerts.com for Steel Panther and Def Leppard.

I then ran into him at more shows, like the Bonzo Bash, Stephen Pearcy of Ratt, and Sebastian Bach. And we’ve caught some concerts since then like Phil Soussan’s gigs in Sherman Oaks, The Darkness, Aerosmith, and, of course, many Steel Panther shows. It’s been neat getting to know him. He’s definitely seen a lot more shows than I probably ever will.

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Brian

I’ve been friends with Brian for a long time and we’ve caught quite a few shows together over the years. He remembers the time I hurled a bunch of Jack n Cokes at Courtney Love (she was awful in concert). Anyhow, we went on quite a few concert adventures this year. We caught Aerosmith, Gov’t Mule, Here Come The Mummies, Seal, Filter, James Durbin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Hollywood U2. Total cost of all shows: $14- I got got comp tickets for all (and two of those were VIP), except the one show where I used Goldstar to get 2 tickets at $7 each).

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Brian also learned the hard way that you won’t be admitted into the Viper Room without an ID. Always bring your wallet to a show.

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Raquel

I knew of Raquel from some of her concert reviews on the internet. She lives in the OC, so she sees a lot of shows down there that I end up seeing in LA. I really enjoy the articles she writes for the magazine and her website. I officially met her during a taping of That Metal Show in March in Hollywood.

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During the year, I’ve really enjoyed attending some of the music events she was involved with at some really cool venues, like an industry event in Hollywood.

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I saw her again at another private industry event she was involved with at the Gibson Showroom in Beverly Hills. I am a total guitar nerd, so this show was a lot of fun for me.

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Later in the year, we ran into each other again at a TMS taping in the summertime. That was a blast.

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The “after-party” at the Rainbow following the taping was awesome. I really like the group pic with Mike Portnoy, Richie Kotzen and Billy Sheehan (they were actually recording their new album just prior to coming to the party)

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We also saw Soundgarden in November at the Jimmy Kimmel show.

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She was another concert buddy that was at Alice Cooper that I ended up not seeing.

As a “metal head”, she definitely has me beat and she knows her stuff. She also has some great ideas about the music business and is quite connected in the music world.

And she was one of the lucky ones that got to attend the private Van Halen show at The Forum. So lucky.

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Dave

I met Dave through Jeff and Rene. We all met for drinks and then headed to the Y&T show together. That was such a fun evening. Dave really gets out and sees a lot of events and definitely knows the concert scene. I’m not sure I’ll ever see as many shows as Dave has. Over the year, I saw Dave at all sorts of concerts- Def Leppard, Bonzo Bash, Foreigner, among others.

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He also had better seats than I did for Steve Vai at Club Nokia, and I didn’t see him , be we also attended the same Alice Cooper and Static-X shows in LA.

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Mark Schwind

Mark Schwind has been a concert buddy for a long time. I’ve learned a lot from going to shows with him and he is a lot of fun to be around.

We only caught a few shows this year (Steve Morse, Dread Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd), but they were all great shows and each time was a blast.

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Andre

I’ve known Andre for a while. We’re close in age and we grew up in neighboring towns – we have a lot in common and I always enjoy talking about concerts and music with him.

We’ve checked out a few outstanding shows together this year- part of CTA, Rock Nation Rockfest , Steve Vai, UFO and Robben Ford.

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Amy

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I met Amy from Noelle at Y&T. She is way cool. I’ve since seen her at the Eric Sardinas show Howard Jones, Geoff Tate, and she even made a special appearance on tambourine at the Phil Soussan show and all star rock jam (never seen before footage!)

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Susan

I met Susan at the Y&T show in April through my friends that attended the Monsters of Rock cruise, Susan is a die-hard concertgoer. I saw her at quite a few shows this year. The interesting thing is that she lives in Northern California. If there’s a show she wants to see, she flies on a plane and goes! How cool is that? Knowing all the effort she makes to plan and see shows made me hate the downtown LA traffic just a little less.

Rocking out to Y&T (far left corner):

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We ran into her again at Keith St. John and Friends. That was a great show.

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A few weeks later hanging out with Sebastian Bach and Phil Soussan “BACHstage” (hah ha) at the Bonzo Bash:

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Front and center for two shows of Richie Kotzen.

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She also flew out to see Raiding the Rock Vault. I became really ill at the show and only said hi for a second before I bailed. She saw me being tended to by the venue staff. No more Mayan Theater for me! So embarrassing.

She can be seen at around the 2:00 mark for the promo of the show with Jeff and Rene- some of my other concert buddies:

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Daniel and Max

I met these guys at the Billy Sheehan Attitude Day at Yamaha Artist Relations in Burbank. Max is from Italy and Daniel is from South Africa. We became instant friends.

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They were fun guys to talk to, so we decided to meet up later on Sunset. I had a blast filming Max playing harmonica up and down the Strip. Along the way, he ended up getting filmed by a camera crew (for a faith-based Disney movie- ha ha).

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A few days later, we hung out in the Foundation Room and saw a show together, which was also a blast. That was an evening of solid fun.

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Since then, Max got married (I haven’t seen or heard much from him since) and I’ve caught a couple more shows with Daniel – Aerosmith and Steve Vai.

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Shiny Diamond

Brian and I ran into Shiny Diamond at the Smashing Pumpkins concert. We had a good laugh about this small “park” just outside the lobby of the Gibson Amphitheatre and had a long conversation about concerts. We talked about everyone from Jason Bonham to Stryper.

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We’ve kept in touch since the show. I’m impressed with how often he gets out and all the people he knows in the concert world. We’ve swapped messages and are very like-minded in our “concert-going techniques” (there is an art to it and we’ve swapped some ideas). Later on, I realized that he was sitting in the same row as me at the Gregg Allman book signing event earlier in the year in Santa Monica (I was trying to sneak a good picture of the hot lady in the striped dress and he was in front of her – ha ha).

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We’ve almost caught up at shows since (we were both at Aerosmith, but never connected there and had several other “near misses” towards the end of the year). It’s definitely on my agenda to catch some shows with him this coming year.

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Scott and Paula (That Metal Couple)

Scott and Paula were two of my concert buddies from 2011. I met them when they got engaged on a taping of That Metal Show. I ran into them again the same day I met Jeff and Rene at Mr. Big. That was the night I gave them the “That Metal Couple” nickname. It stuck….

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They got married and moved to Brazil in early 2012. I miss them and their musical knowledge. Some of my best memories of 2011 were with them at concerts we attended together.

This March, Scott and I caught Chickenfoot on Jay Leno and, prior to that Zappa Plays Zappa at the Canyon. Ironically, ZPZ was the first show we went to together at the Greek and was also the last show we went to together (at the Canyon).

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The day before they left together for Brazil, the three of us met up for a TMS taping. That’s the last I’ve seen of them since their move. They now host a radio show that’s broadcast in both LA and Brazil.

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Thanks to all my friends that made this the most memorable concert year of my life. It’s much appreciated.

One thought on “CONCERT BUDDIES 2012”

  1. Great blog post. It has been such a pleasure to know you and recount all the concerts we have been to together. You have a really good memory!

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