Rock & roll, the music as well as the mayhem, has been dormant for a long time in Los Angeles. Last night (April 13th), it was reborn. Camp Freddy, comprised of Dave Navarro, Matt Sorum, Billy Morrison, Donavan Leitch, and Chris Chaney, brought a mere sampling of their friends and family to come help them celebrate the 103 days of 103.1, the new outlet for music on the Los Angeles airwaves. A mere sampling is putting it politely. With the likes of Jack Osbourne, Dennis Rodman, and Carmen Electra (obviously) gathering in the crowd, Camp Freddy delivered an hourís long collection of some of the finest rock & roll songs ever created. Helping add the cherries, nuts and whipped cream to the festivities were Juliette Lewis, Jerry Cantrell, Billy Duffy, Linda Perry, Chad Smith, Lisa Marie Presley, Billie Joe Armstrong, Steve Jones, and Lemmy.
The entire one-hour set consisted of cover songs from the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Sex Pistols, Van Halen, Iggy and the Stooges, The Ramones, and other classic smash hits. What constantly changed was the amount of talent that performed in what could have been billed as professional rock & roll karaoke on heroin. The whoís who of teenage bedroom posters came to the stage in one night.
Camp Freddy opened with the thematic ìBallroom Blitzî then proceeded into David Bowieís ìJean Genie.î Leitchís lanky figure and quadruple octave range gave the songs some initial substance. Navarro, Chaney, Sorum, and Morrison held court the entire evening, with a solid sound, allowing the other players to join the fray, and carry on as they would with their own band. They melded and it was good.
After a crafty version of Black Sabbathís ìParanoid,î Lewis joined the band and dazed the crowd with sexy renditions of ìAinít Talking ëBout Loveî and ìYou Really Got Me.î Her nastiness on stage complimented her fiery singing voice, as her tight figure moved about. Cantrell took the vocals for ìJailbreak,î as Duffy joined in on guitar, adding an extra layer of resonance to the groove.
Dressed all in black and sporting a two-foot high Mohawk, Perry took the level of energy in the Avalon a notch higher with reverberating versions of ìWhole Lotta Love,î and ìRock n Roll.î Like kids in a candy store, this set of musicians smiled from ear to ear; playing the songs they listened to when they nurtured their own creative minds. Presley, though quiet and reserved, belted out a hot version of ìHeartbreaker.î Looking small in stature compared to the giants on stage, Presley held her own, and made some family quite proud.
The night hit all new heights as soon as Armstrong paraded on stage, wearing a black shirt and jacket, wide eyed and excited at the opportunity to perform in Los Angeles, something he hasnít done with his band mates in Green Day in a long time. Billie Joe killed two lightning versions of ìSearch and Destroyî and ìBlitzkrieg Bop.î If ever a performer demanded attention, and rose to the occasion, Billie Joe was the man. The night closed with the omnipresent Lemmy performing ìGod Save The Queen,î and Morrison taking over the vocals for ìI Wanna Be Your Dog.î Throughout the evening Smith would join Sorum. The two dueled like school yard bullies, or angry gorillas, with the pounding of sticks to skin and cymbals like the pounding of fists to their own chests. They also played as one, creating a larger than life sound.
Think of every rock & roll clichÈ you have ever heard. Eliminate the pretense, the negativity, and the snide remarks. Last night was magic, and everyone who left, whether they watched, worked, or performed, knew that a once in a lifetime performance took place. The energy contained in the one-hour performance last night was something missing in modern day pop music: The pure feeling of unadulterated love of musicianship, and the songs that were created. Everyone in the room became 16 again. Their idols shined, their chops were matched, their spirits reconnected.
Source: Scott Jellico