BB Kings Blues Club

Singer-Songwriter Adrian Niles NYC Debut—Thursday, September 6, 2012

ADRIAN NILES will make his New York City debut, at B.B. King’s on Thursday, September 6, opening for the legendary New Riders Of The Purple Sage.

Niles has had a particularly significant 2012 so far; first evidenced by the fact of having two of his songs featured on F/X’s show Justified in the spring; on the episode entitled Loose Ends – “Harden To Heal” and “Same Road.”

Based in Shadyside, Ohio, Niles has continued to produce authentic, American-rock, as with his album of last year Roll & Move, which featured the song “Skylark,” which succeeded in generating play on many AAA outlets.

Last month Niles was interviewed on the Sirius/XM show Brett Winterble about his continuing exploits and forthcoming shows in NYC, on the sat-caster’s On The Verge segment of his show. Winterble was struck by Niles’ passion to his craft. Said Winterble, “There’s no question about it; he’s going to be a major player very soon. I can’t think of a better choice to kick off this new series. He’ll be back on again very soon.”

Through the course of 5 albums, Niles has continued to demonstrate the originality that true music lovers appreciate and watch for. Roll & Move took third place honors in the Bluesforum.com 2011 CD of the year.

Currently working on a new album, tentatively titled Struck Down Dreaming, Niles’ forthcoming NYC-debut at B.B. King’s will indeed be a special treat.

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Davy Jones Tribute Show At BB King’s–More Than Just A Tribute To "The World’s Greatest Tambourine Player"!

Photos and text by Anne M. Raso

Last night’s Davy Jones Tribute show at BB King’s Times Square–hosted by legendary New York deejay Cousin Brucie (who’s been with Sirius for over seven years now)–was more than just a tribute to the self-proclaimed “world’s greatest tambourine player”! Yes, he actually liked to be introduced at his solo shows that way and it always evoked tons of laughter from audiences.

Guests were kept under wraps til the last minute. Most songs–from both Jones’ Monkees and solo careers–were performed by the backing bands from both careers, both intact and blended. They joked about being replaced and then brought back into the fold–they loved their boss even though almost all of them got fired at some point!

It was great to see legendary drummer and regular Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp counselor Sandy Gennaro behind the kit (he started with the Monkees on a reunion tour back on 1987 and was with them on and off for 19 years).  He also had some of the best personal Davy stories to tell, including the time Davy put on his work clothes one Sunday after a show at Westbury Music Fair and helped the sticksman build a stone wall in his Long Island backyard! Needless to say, many neighbors came by to take photographs. The oddest moment of the evening was Gennaro singing “Dominique” by The Singing Nun with some sort of T-shirt draped over his head.

On hand to speak was the always eloquent Tommy James as well as Jones’ longtime friend, former Rascal Gene Cornish (who now helms Gene Cornish’s Guitar Club For Men). James had some great Happy Together Tour stories but spoke from the heart about what kind of person he truly felt Jones was and how fun he was to do shows with. Jones most recent band got to share remembrances of him on the road and lots of their “home movies” were shown. There was even footage of Jones singing “Personal Penquin” for a kids’ CD that came out of a few years ago–he even performed the song at the Kennedy Center wearing a penguin suit. Some of the even more unusual footage featured him stripping to one of his most romantic solo ballads–he was nude except for a single black sock at one point!

                          
Deana Martin, who starred in a Monkees’ episode as a Davy love interest and also dated him in real life, told stories about Davy coming to her house and hangin’ with her large family of seven kids–she also performed “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometimes” and the last song she ever performed with Davy live. (She would pop up and perform at his solo shows when they were in the same town and they had a nearly 50-year friendship.)

The horseman side of Mr. Jones was shown as well. He had a total of 16 horses spread between ranches in Florida, Pennsylvania and California and the evening’s proceeds all went to the Davy Jones Equine Foundation. Daughters Talia and Annabelle were on hand and talked about the various horses that were Jones’ favorites and how he personally cared for them while not out on the road. There was even a touching film from a Pennsylvania neighbor who would give him an update on his horses there and her personal dealings with them after he got back from tours.

The big finale was–not surprisingly–Peter Tork coming out to perform his wonderful Monkees’ classic (originally with lead vocals by Michael Nesmith), “What Am I Doing Hangin’ Round?” Peter’s banjo licks as well as vocal abilities were in top form, but the moment everyone was waiting for was when Micky Dolenz joined him onstage for “Papa Gene’s Blues,” “I’m A Believer” and “Daydream Believer.” It simply doesn’t get better than that for diehard Monkees fans, with the exception of the elusive Mike Nesmith showing up! But no one expected that despite his touching tribute to his late Monkeesmate on his Facebook page shortly after Davy’s passing!

It was nice that all fans could walk up to Annabelle Jones and reminisce about her dad after the show. Last night’s tribute was one we won’t forget easily here at themacwire.com–and we’re not monkeeing around! We have some exclusive clips for you from this magical night below!

People Magazine & The Mac Wire Pay Tribute To Monkees Star Davy Jones

By Anne M. Raso, MAC WIRE Contributing Editor

The new issue of People is on newsstands now and it rightfully serves up a multipage tribute to Davy Jones, who sadly passed away from a heart attack on February 29th–leave it to a unusual, funny and sweet guy like Davy to pass away on Leap Day. Somewhere in pop star heaven, he’s undoubtedly laughing about that now! We think that if he could pick a day to meet his maker, it most definitely be February 29th–we are sure he would not have wanted to go so soon though, as he enjoyed his family and his horses so much, and had homes in both Beaverton, PA and Hollywood, FL.

Here at The Mac Wire, we’ve had many dealings and almost-dealings with Davy, including the most memorable occasion–we hung out with Davy for over an hour at his BB King’s sound check in early October 2009, and got to know both him and his third wife, Telemundo star and professional dancer Jessica Pacheco, who would sometimes be incorporated into Davy’s show.  We laughed a lot–Davy was very candid and not afraid to parody others in a loving way–and when Jessica admired the multicolor glass ring I was wearing, I gave it to her (although I am sure it was too big). I had tons of them at the time, as they were very trendy and they cost all of $2 each. Jessica admitted to us she was the jealous type and worried that getting involved with Davy meant women would be throwing themselves at him all the time. They probably were, but to the best of our knowledge, he was a one-woman man even back in the Monkees heydey. He also did a Chillerfest in NJ around that same time–it was great that he was always open to doing the fan conventions–and we popped in for a quick hello in between signings.

Back in 1984, we got to hang out with Davy and his then-wife Anita–who did his hair and makeup–on the set of the Uncle Floyd Show in Newark, NH. Their adorable daughter Talia, then 2 1/2, was in tow clamoring at her mom’s feet. I was associate editor of Tiger Beat magazine at the time, and he did not seem amused that I bought him binders of magazines with him on the cover from the Monkees heydey. He looked at them rather sadly and I was disappointed because I thought he would be happy to have them as keepsakes or at least be flattered that they kept a copy of every mag he was on the cover on at the office all these years!

It was also a blast to see Davy in The Monkees reunion when it came through Brighton Beach (near Coney Island) last year. The guys were in top form and the memorabilia including old magazine covers shown on the big screen behind them was a real blast from the past. Much of it seemed rare and never-before-seen. My Mac Wire editor, Mary Anne Cassata, also caught the show the guys did at the Beacon Theater shortly before then, and got to say hi to Peter afterwards. She was pleasantly surprised to seeing the guys doing a meet and greet with fans in the corridors after that performance.

The Mac Wire was approached last year to do an interview with Davy by his manager that never came to pass and then we also tried for one before his show at BB King’s in late February of this year. They said Davy was pressed for time because he had to leave for a show in Oklahoma and was coming from one the night before that was 260 miles away in upstate New York. It was disappointing, but Davy spoke to me from the stage that night when I came down directly in front of him and crouched down for a quick photo. He joked, “I’m calling the police!” I guess he said that because he thought I was a sniper or you are not supposed to use a flash in that particular club. I wish I could remember the middle part of the convo, but it ended with Davy telling me to “put a drink on the keyboardist’s tab.” I said, “I’ll do that” and gave him the thumbs up! The audience laughed as I walked away and the show went on. I am still hoping to find that on YouTube somewhere, hoping that someone filmed that whole show. After the performance, about 75 fans lined up with albums by the backstage curtain at Stage Right…they were shushed away by security within ten minutes as Davy really did have to take off for Oklahoma that day. He was already gone when we stuck our head back there and asked if the club’s publicist Lauren Sachs of Big Machine Media was there so that we could say a quick hello!

Davy Jones’ death really seemed to have touched a cord with not only his millions of fans around the world, but with the pop scene in general. He was voted as the #1 teen idol of all time in many magazine and online polls, and his death seems to have finally made people realize just how important The Monkees were to the music community even though they were a “prefab” band. The one good thing about Davy’s passing is that people will look at The Monkees with new eyes–and we think that they might finally get the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame nod. It’s so darn overdue!

RIP Davy! You were one of a kind–and dare we say it–a “daydream believer”! (THE PHOTO BELOW IS OF DAVY POINTING AT THE KEYBOARD PLAYER AT HIS MOST RECENT BB KING’S SHOW IN TIMES SQUARE IN LATE FEBRUARY, TELLING ME TO PUT A DRINK ON THE KEYBOARDIST’S TAB….I WILL BE LAUGHING ABOUT THAT FOREVER!)

(Live photo of Davy Jones at BB King’s Times Square 2-12 by Anne Raso; photo of Anne Raso and Davy Jones at BB King’s 10-09 by Jessica Pachuco-Jones and People Magazine cover is a courtesy shot.)

CONCERT PICK FOR SAT. 2-18–Davy Jones At B.B. King’s, Times Square (8 PM)

(Photo above courtesy B.B. Kings, NYC; photo of Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz at Monkees concert, Brighton Beach, NY 7-21-11 below by Anne Raso.)

By Anne M. Raso

It goes without saying that while the recent Monkees reunion  tour was well-received despite being cut short due to internal problems. Davy, Peter and Micky were in top form. I took in the Brighton Beach, NY, show (just a shell’s throw from Coney Island) back in July, and was amazed at not only how great they sang, but am still laughing at some of the hysterical barbs delivered between songs. There was also a great montage of old and new clips of “the boys” on a jumbo screen behind them, a lot of it classic material but a lot of it rare and unseen!
     A Davy Jones‘ solo show is always a treat and that’s why I’ve picked it as The Mac Wire‘s concert pick of the weekend. The editors are based in New York, where we get every great tour but are actually light on classic rock shows with the exception of the artists that come through BB King’s in Times Square. That’s the one place where you can catch a superstar of yesterday still at the top of their game.
     Davy’s solo show includes everything he sang lead on with The Monkees, a few that he didn’t (but he does these justice) and there is even a flamenco dancing part of the show that features his wife Jessica Pacheco, a Telemundo star who is a professional dancer.
     In his spare time (not that he has much at all), he raises horses in rural Pennsylvania and also resides in the West Palm Beach area of Florida. He recently completed the second edition of his autobiography, Davy
Jones: Daydream Believin’
, which updates his life and career to the
present–and you can bet that will be my reading material next week after I get him to sign a copy at the B.B.’s show tomorrow night!
    I was not given interview access to Davy this time around, but I am going to be sure to say hi and ask Jessica if she still has that colorful glass ring I gave her during the sound check at the last B.B. King’s show that Davy did. She admired it and I have a million of them, so I gave it to her…but it’s probably about three sizes too big and she probably had to put it on her thumb.
     Anyway, a few tickets are still available for the 2-18 show. Doors open at 6:00 PM, and here is the direct link to buy tickets for the clever Mr. Jones (although last minute tickets are usually available at the box office): http://www.bbkingblues.com/bio.php?id=1141. Tickets are $38.50 in advance and $42.00 the day of the show. (On a purely unrelated note–be sure to buy a bottle of Marky Ramone tomato sauce on the way out. It beats getting up early to make sauce on Sunday, LOL!) Be sure to check out Davy’s official site to “keep up with the Jones” as well: http://www.davyjones.net.
     One last thing: does anyone out there think that Davy should be invited to a show or two on the current Guns ‘N Roses tour (that’s really just one “Gun” in our opinion for obvious reason) and get to do the famous swaying dance that Axl Rose stole from him years ago? We’d love to see Davy and Axl doing the same dance to “Welcome To The Jungle” and “Mr.  Brownstone”!

Rock Report–The Smithereens: Smokin’ Into 2012 At B.B. King’s, Times Square! The Mac Wire Checks In With Dennis Diken!

By Anne M. Raso


The Smithereens’ Winter Tour is coming to your town soon and–dare we say it–leaving smithereens in their wake. Why? Because they are one of the rare bands that have been together over 30 years but still play at the top of their game.


The Smithereens’ current album, 2011, reunited the legendary band with Green Thoughts producer Don Dixon and was released April of last year. It reached #17 on the iTunes album charts and  garnered accolades and awards along the way–but most recently it wound up on numerous end of year “best of” lists from famous DJs and radio stations (including Little Steven’s Underground Garage show on Sirius) and classic rock magazines. As for the follow-up album to 2001, no studio time has been booked yet but Diken tells us, “We are so gassed by the reaction that 2011 received and we are enthused about cutting a new LP (I still think of them as long players) this year. Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive to us!”


This coming Saturday, January 21st, the ‘Reens will be blowin’ up BB King’s in Times Square and this show is an annual traditional for tristate area ‘Reens fans. They fans line up outside the world-famous venue hours in advance even when the temperature falls below zero, but it’s a more pleasant line than outside most shows–that’s because the band’s devoted large following seems to all know each other (as well as the band, since they make it a point of talking to fans after the show and doing a merchandise signing table). 



Diken comments that the band always looks forward to the NYC show: “We love playing B.B.’s, it’s a nice room and the stage sound is very good. That’s an important factor that an audience may never consider but how we hear ourselves is so crucial. The crew there is helpful, especially the monitor man. on another note, it always feels like a homecoming to us. Our NJ/NY/CT/PA fans (they are the best!) and cousins and friends always show up and are very vocal in their response to our set. We feed off their energy and it’s great fun. also, I’m usually home before midnight!”


The Winter Tour is special this year because they’ve added a keyboardist, Andy Burton, a member of Ian Hunter’s Rant Band and Darlene Love’s backup group who recently performed with Garland Jeffreys on The David Letterman show back on October 7th. Besides touring with the ‘Reens, Andy is in the studio working on the new Ian Hunter CD. (Wow, that’s one busy guy!) 

We asked the band’s much-respected skinpounder Dennis Diken (whom we’ve dubbed “The Earl Of Pearl”) about their history with Burton and why they’ve decided to bring him out for the current shows and he responded, “We first met Andy Burton when he played keyboards with Richard X. Heyman as our support act on the Blow Up Tour (gee, I think it was the Blow Up Tour)–since then, I’ve played numerous sessions and live gigs with him. He’s a great keyboardist and a fine gent, to boot. when we decided to bring out someone to play organ, piano and string parts on some songs we haven’t done live in a while (and some that we always perform that feature keyboards). Andy was a natural choice.” 



The jovial Diken will not give up the not-usually-performed-live songs they will be playing with Burton, though. He just says, “Please come to the show and find out which one we’ve chosen!” 


Diken has plenty of side projects including the group Dennis Diken And Bell Sound, which channels all of the influential bands he grew up with (but we think, especially The Beach Boys). The Carteret, NJ native reveals, “I just cut a version of ‘Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)’ for a specific project with Bell Sound and special guests David Marks (original Beach Boys member) and Eddie Brigati of The Rascals. The session was held at Charlie Blood’s, my favorite joint, in Garfield, NJ.” 

You can catch the world-class sticksman (and rock historian, we might add) at The Bowery Electric in New York on Friday, February 2–he will be playing with (INCREDIBLY) three different bands that night. Besides Bell Sound, Dennis will be hittin’ the cans for the nouveau mod band Edward Rogers & The Biba Crowd (for more info, see edwardrogersmusic.com) and Marni Rice & Le Garage Cabaret (for more see dejouxmusic.com). Diken has also played with the legendary original New York punk scene band The Sic F*cks as well, so that will tell you about his diversity in musical tastes. If you are interested in the Bowery Electric show, tickets are a bargain at $8, showtime is 8PM with doors opening at 7:30. Tickets are available at the door and the location is 327 Bowery between 2nd and 3rd Streets, Manhattan. Phone is 212-288-0228 and they have an official Myspace page, www.myspace.com/boweryelectric1 and Facebook page that is simply called Bowery Electrik (yes, only the FB page is spelled with a “k” for some strange reason).



For those of you wanting to catch the Smithereens at BB King Blues Club, here is all the basic info you’ll need. The club is conveniently located in the heart of Times Square at 237 West 42nd Street, in New York City, on January 21, at 8 PM.  Doors open at 6:30 PM. Tickets are $27 in advance and $32 day of show.  The venue phone is 212-997-4144, and the web site is http://www.bbkingblues.com.


Die-hard Smithereens fans who want to find out more details about the band’s history should check out leader Pat DiNizio’s open-ended limited engagement Las Vegas show “Confessions Of A Rock Star” (yes, there’s a book to go with it as well). The show, which features the great storytelling with is synonymous with DiNizio’s “living room concerts,” is performed Wednesday-Monday nights each week at 7 in The Riviera’s Crazy Girls Theater and it features not only DiNizio’s talented onstage trio, but an interesting montage of historical footage. For tickets (which are $29.95 plus fees), go to ticketmaster.com.


The Smithereens also have a Facebook fan page called The Smithereens Official Facebook Group For Band, which is an open FB group definitely worth checking out!

 

Photos of the Smithereens’ Union County Music Fest performance and Dennis Diken mcing the Bambi Kino show at the Bowery Electric are both by Anne Raso. Shot of keyboardist Andy Burton by Seth Glassman. The Smithereens b/w publicity shot courtesy The Smithereens (pictured left to right are lead guitarist Jim Babjak, bassist Severo “Tha Thrilla” Journacion, drummer Dennis Diken and lead singer/rhythm guitarist Pat DiNizio).