Last night a legend graced the stage of the Cabooze in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dick Dale, the KING OF THE SURF GUITAR knighted the audience in the name of Rock and Roll. This was his eleventh year of coming to Minnesota and asked, "Why ain’t my picture up on that wall"? He was pointing at posters of Buddy Holly and Elvis, guys he passed back when their music was still played on popular radio by teeny boppers.


Wearing trademark black and brandishing a classic Fender Stratacaster, the famous King had a packed bar of "DICKHEADS" (as his followers are called) clamoring to see his every move. Not to be confused with other self-proclaimed KINGS, this one actually stayed to let his subjects bask in his aura long after the show was over. He signed autographs, talked, and just handed down his utter charm to waiting fans for hours. It is no wonder he has been the vehicle used to launch movies like Pulp Fiction of which he did the very memorable intro number screaming on the guitar.


When the opening band was finished at around ten there was a pause in the evening.


Then the band approached the stage; less The King. A moment later while looking around, the trademark riffs of electric guitar marrying mandolin could be heard coming from out of nowhere. When I turned around there Dick Dale was, not a foot away, playing the guitar as he emerged from a back room. The crowd lit up like a wild fire as he passed through the audience, heading to the stage.


The opening numbers were classic songs of the very early 1960s, before mop tops and LSD. This was an era of bikers, surfers, and rough n’ tuff drinkin’ music. The audience was all ages, but the definite smell of the open road was emanating from the leather biker jackets of a majority of fans.


I imagined a beach party and an innovative group of drifters meeting on the edge of town to play a new kind of music. Raw and biting to get out of it’s cage Dick Dale fights with the guitar to hold back the rush of watery sounds like a wave. Sometimes it is not clear if he is playing the guitar or riding a very dangerous wave out to uncharted waters.


He teased and did what can only be named Surf Blues so aptly by a member of the crowd. This would probably be the only concert where a tough biker would be standing on a chair to see and screaming like a crazed Beatlemania participant. I had to stretch to see around them sometimes, but was not going to tell them to get out of the way… I would hate to have Dick Dale's music bite me in a bar room brawl with true grit.


When Misirlou was played the crowd became ecstatic. He stopped..


He began to tell a story about how JCPenny’s had contacted him to use the song in an ad for Mother’s Day.. The crowd answered the Surf King with very loud Boos. He gave an expletive about the situation and broke into the song. A King doesn’t need to sell out, his subjects protect him from such dangers. He played through the night and showed just how great some one must be to innovate and begin a new style of music. From the Beach Boys to the Beatles everyone admires the image and sound that Dick Dale created on California beaches so long ago. He was a superstar when music had none, he is one of the real living legends.


Today on MTV or E! one can see celebrities and how they run from cameras and fans. They hide in giant castles up high and would never dream of coming down to the level of a commoner.


Not Dick Dale.


 I had a moment like so many others after the show to talk to him. It was difficult to be noticed over his trance with the young woman he was with before me. He told her that she had the most beautiful face and snuck a few kisses on the cheek to show his admiration. He sat with people for hours, shaking hands, shooting the breeze, and just giving a moment to each person. He was both charming and generally touched by the devotion of so many subjects to his way. He is timeless like the music he created so long ago. Even the young women he kisses still blush a bit at the King OF The Surf Guitar.






The Doors Live in Minnesota:


The biggest concert in my life deserves the best review I can give. The Doors music group aptly renamed The Doors 21st Century kicked off their 2004 tour on Friday in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


The highly anticipated event was a month overdue because of a legal tangling with Ian Astbury, the frontman of this new group. The wait was well worth what we received from original Doors members Ray Mazarek (Keyboards), and Robby Krieger (Guitar). The only thing missing was of course Jim Morrison, the enigmatic and provocative lead singer that burned the history of Rock and Roll over 30 years ago.


To those born after The Doors died in 1971 with Jim, this was as close as anyone could get.  Ian Astbury gave a phenomenal performance in Jim Morrison’s absence. Complete with tight jeans, dark sunglasses, long dark hair, and an uncanny resemblance to Jim; he and the audience channeled the spirit of more than a band. I have attended many a Rock Concert, but this one ranks among the elite. One needs to wait a few days to really let the event seep into the pores of the mind. To those of us who believe in the myth of Rock music and believe in it like a religion, this was our Passion of the Christ.


When I arrived at the historic Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis I was awestruck by the interior. Perfect for a band that was established in the classic ballrooms of California in the late 1960s. Hanging chandeliers, enormous ceilings, and a great close view from where ever you sat… But very few people were sitting.

The anticipation from the crowd was electric. When the roadies were coming out to test the instruments the crowd lit up like a fire. Chanting for, "The Doors", and rising to their feet. This scene was repeated several times.


When the lights finally went down the deafening screams drowned out anything else in the room. Then a light appeared on the stage to show a juggler. After a few moments the light moved to a circus announcer at the side of the stage who announced, "From Los Angeles, California, THE DOORS!".


As the lights on the stage came on Ray Manzarek was seated at his organ, Robby Krieger had his classic Gibson SG electric guitar, and Ian Astbury was at the mic looking just like Jim Morrison. Persian rugs were on the floor below each member and they immediately began playing Break On Through. It sounded like a scene out of a Beatles movie from the screams of a very diversely aged crowd.


From then on the band played through the years picking several selections from different albums. (Set List Below) Ian Astbury mimicked the trademark revolutionary stage performance that Jim Morrison perfected many years ago. Although in today’s climate of bands the Doors would be a bit mild, the moves fit the music perfectly. There is a lot of discussion about having a replacement lead singer, but the crowd of over 10,000 was the actual replacement. The spirit of Jim Morrison was in everyone around, and the biggest example was the young kids who ran up next to the railing of the balcony.


About ½ way through the show four 16 year old boys and girls ran up to the balcony railing and began dancing. When this happened awhile earlier guards came down quickly and escorted them back to their seats. Now they were here to stay.


Being so young one would assume that they had not even heard of an almost 40 year old band. But they knew every word and were dancing over the railing like Leonardo in Titanic! It was the epitome the evening. An older gentleman next to them was dancing with them and giving more high fives than the Super Bowl.


At the same moment a young man in his early 20s hopped up on stage and ran up to Ray Manzarek and put his arms up in the air cheering! The bouncers quickly wrangled him, but Jim Morrison was there that night. He was on T-Shirts, hats, minds, and souls; The old trickster.


It should be noted that Ian Astbury even gives props to Jim when he sings, Not To Touch The Earth. He says, "Jim Morrison was the Lizard King, HE can do anything". The other noticeable differences to 1967 were that Ray Manzarek’s keyboard was not his oldie. That didn’t stop him from playing with his feet and showing off. There were several times when Ray and Robby would point back and forth as they hit their cues in songs. The one person not pointing was John Densmore, the former drummer who was not in attendance.


As the show was drawing to a close The Doors 21st Century played the hit, Light My Fire. The Doors greatest chart topping song, which was number one in the Summer of Love in 1967. The background was a liquid show, the theater was antique, and the music was what a group of Americans wrote many years ago in a turbulent time. Had Jim Morrison been there a riot surely would have erupted from the sexual and emotional energy that was in the theater.


Almost like a tribute to Jim the song The End, Jim’s and my own favorite was not played. I believe that this show was better than any concert I have ever scene. I think back to Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, and other superstars' shows I have attended. This one topped them all! Sure "the" Jim Morrison wasn’t there, but his spirit was in the music. 


Ray Manzarek's Website has some great pictures from the show! CLICK HERE!


On a side note the local paper, The StarTribune had a guest writer do a review and it was the saddest thing I had ever read! The person was so disappointed that The Doors were playing without Jim Morrison he went to the length to say Ian Astbury stuffed his pants. It was a stupid article that should not have even been printed. I am ashamed and pray the Doors come back here! MINNESOTA LOVES YOU!!!


Set List:

Intro (Juggler and Finius Fog, Master of Ceremony)
Break On Through
Love Me Two Times
Take It As Is Comes (debut performance)
When The Music's Over
Moonlight Drive (includes Louie Louie)
Wild Child
Unknown Soldier (debut performance)
Not To Touch The Earth
Spanish Caravan
Five To One
The Changeling
21st (20th) Century Fox (debut performance)
LA Woman

Encore #1
Riders On The Storm
Touch Me (debut performance)
Roadhouse Blues

Encore #2
Light My Fire


This article appears on Ray Manzarek's website, click here to see! C/O The Professor


(Picture and Set List from RayManzarek.com)


Stay Tuned











Well the giant show known as Ludacris came to town the other evening with all of it's Hip-Hop Splender.  After being over 2 hours late to his show "LUDA" was being chanted by a VERY young crowd.  Here is what you should know:

  1. The crowds at these shows are between 12 and 18.
  2. The lyrics are meant for ages 18 and up (I was one of the few)
  3. Who needs drugs or liquor when a bass system makes you deaf?


The show was scheduled to begin at 8:00 PM with two opening bands.  The first band, HYDROPHIONICS had it's biggest show yet playing before a crowd estimated at over 5000.  Quite a jump for a local popular hip-hop band.  Through affiliation I have followed Hydrophonics for the last few years.  A close friend of mine Adam Johnson was the drummer for them back long ago.  (He was also the drummer for BBF and VELVETEEN) 


Hydrophonics has been the number one band of Saint Cloud, MN for the past year.  The buzz they have created around the State continues to grow.  With the departure of the very popular WOOKIEFOOT from the Minnesota Hip-Hop scence, Hydrophonics seems to have filled the void.  They are already set to play the JULIAPALOOZA this summer, and are really taking off.


HYDROPHONICS is a group of guys singing and performing covers and originals in the hip-hop genre.  They sing about Marajuana, Partying, Girls and Money.  Their CD has even been smuggled into my home, girls love this stuff?  They are the BUZZ TO WATCH!


The next band who came to the stage trying to fill the huge hole from LUDACRIS was a group from Chicago called, PRIMERIDIAN.  It was sad because in between every song the crowd was BOOING and CHANTING "LUDA"!  They played jazz to a crowd that probably couldn't even spell J-A-Z-Z (Unless it was on an OFFICIAL TEAM JERSEY).


When LUDA arrived it was all "Cicken and Beer", the name of his new CD.  He sang his few hits and the crowd even sang along...


And what could be greater than a few thousand 14 year old girls answering Ludacris's chant of, "MAKE LOVE TO ME", with "F--- ME"!