I had been eagerly contemplating this trip to Hollywood for quite some time. Picturing the gritty world famous Roxy on Sunset complete with Hollywood decadence and history had been an ongoing fascination for me ever since New York rock and roll celebrity Bebe Buell had invited me out to the west coast to cover her debut at the room. A sort of East Coast Rocker goes west if you will. The “UN- Shoreworld.” Funny that this would be her first show at The Roxy as she pretty much ruled the Sunset strip back in the 70s, but so be it. If there’s one thing I always enjoy, it’s the adrenalin of performer that has something to prove to a whole lotta people. It always means a cutting edge show is in the works and the June 22nd performance was proof positive that Bebe Buell really never left Hollywood, she just got busy elsewhere.
To understand the level of adulation fans and friends still have for Buell, one just had to show up for the after party upstairs at On The Rox, another world famous rumpus room inhabited by the likes of Led Zeppelin, John Lennon and Keith Richards to list a serious few. The industry mix of A list celebrities was indeed impressive and included top folks such as Rodney Bingenheimer, Billy Corgan, Frank Infante (Blondie), Eric Erlandson (Hole), Ginger Coyote, actress Pauley Perrette from NCIS and the down to earth cool of daughter Liv Tyler.
But lets put that to the side for a second and talk about the show. With fans bellied up against the stage, Buell’s performance became a combination of a deadly backing band (She has stripped it down to a solid four piece) and her believable experience and self-confidence. Watching her grinding the mic stand, I could only wonder which icon was responsible for teaching her those stage antics. Was it Mick Jagger? Steven Tyler? Bowie? In her own words Buell will tell you, "My mic stand is my axe- my weapon- my guitar- I work that puppy!!!!!!" And believe me, she does. But that’s part of what I mean when I’ve called her the “real deal” in past articles.
Her band, led by guitarist Jimmy Walls rocked harder than hell. Featuring the “Twin Engine” drumming of long time production partner Bobbi Rae (Easily the sickest skin basher on either coast) bassist Pete Marshal and Keyboardist Zak Lasher, the traditional Guitar, bass, drums and keyboard line up behind Buell was a complimented match for her dark and stormy lyrical assault.
From the time the curtain came up and the band exploded, Buell and...