Ree’s Rockening Report

Thursday December 9th

We took off for New Orleans bright and early Thursday morning. Here’s an insider tip that only the locals know: New Orleans is also referred to as “The Big Easy”. Touch ran into his dear friend Santa at the airport. Before the flight, they were able to catch up. It was obvious that there was a mutual respect for the work they each do.

Summit meeting

After checking into the hotel, we walked around Bourbon Street. I saw statues of Al Hirt and Pete Fountain. We intended to go back later to get my photo with them, but unfortunately didn’t happen. Herb Alpert played on a float in the 1968 Mardi Gras parade with Tijuana Brass, which of course everyone knows from the footage in the second TJB TV special THE BEAT OF THE BRASS

Rare fan foto of Herb Alpert and TJB kicking ass at Mardi Gras parade 1968 (author’s collection)

Well, Al Hirt had a different experience in 1970 when he got hit in the face with a brick. Apparently that was an especially rowdy year. SNL did a skit on their Mardi Gras episode in the late 70’s which was a game show called LET’S HIT AL HIRT IN THE FACE WITH A BRICK. Ha!

Hirt. Back with a bang!

Pete Fountain did a stint on The Lawrence Welk show, but either quit or was fired after a short time. When asked about it, Fountain said “Bourbon and champagne don’t mix”. That’s classic Fountain.

Where was I? Oh yeah. We all ate po’ boys for dinner like any tourist would. We went over to the mighty mis a sip before turning in for the night

Proud Mary rolling on the river

Friday December 10th

Take it Tulu!

Found a good coffee place near the hotel called Spitfire Coffee. We walked over to the area of the French Quarter where the club was. There was a market area like Pike Place Market where locals sell crap to rubes like us. While we were in a record store, I overheard one customer telling another customer that Mike Nesmith died. Bummer! Rest In Peace, Wool Hat. I bought an Easybeats DVD and Touch bought some CDs, therefore Head single-handedly restored the city’s economy back to pre-pandemic levels.

Outside Santos. No action…YET!

After eating lunch, we checked another item off the tourist trap list by eating beignets at Cafe Du Monde. We went back to the hotel and prepared our second attack on the city. Touch had been recommended to take the street car to a diner uptown and told “it couldn’t be easier”. Cut to us on a bus for 15 minutes that then had us switch to a streetcar that sounded like it threw a rod and stopped every block along the way.

Crank it up for full effect.
Ding ding!

Touch was all po’ boy’d out and went the hamburger route while Tulu and I went round two, this time catfish po’ boys. We’re done. Long journey. Uber back to home base.

Really excited to see The Gories. I saw them when they played Seattle years ago and they were killer then. WILL I EVER SEE YOUR FACE AGAIN by The Angels was playing when we got there. The Rockening head honcho Michael Bateman overheard us talking about it so we talked Angel City stuff while waiting for TSOT to do it up. Timmy’s Organism got up and did their thing. Timmy’s Organism time is some serious time. They were wearing headbands and it wouldn’t surprise me if they had hits of acid underneath them. Viva L’American Deathray Music were up next. They’re the people’s choice. Normally that would be enough show but now The Gories hit the stage. They were as good or better than last time. Tight set. No fucking around. SOVEREIGNTY FLIGHT and GHOST RIDER were my favorites. Mick held up the guitar pick ground down to a nub at the end of GHOST RIDER. Inspiring! I love that Peg didn’t crack a smile the whole show.

Serious as a heart attack!

We talked to Jeff from Kalamazoo after show. He’s did The Rockening poster art. We figured out three Head song references with Hamburglar, Third World Clone and Tire Shredding, but couldn’t figure out the sexy duck on the hood of the car. Jeff said there was a bird in McDonaldland. Checks out. Maybe Hamburglar pimped her out? Seems like something he’d do.

Hamburglar’s Bottom Bitch?

Jeff also spilled the beans on The Spits. Now the truth can be told! I would imagine Jeff can be commissioned to do art for you too. Find Jeff Mahannah on the interwebs.

Saturday December 11

Day of show. First things first: back to Spitfire for more coffee. We went back to French Toast again to eat. I had ratatouille for the first time and definitely not the last. Kalamazoo Jeff and his lady saw us getting our gromp on at the restaurant and said hey. We even saw Michael B. putting money in a parking meter. Crazings!

Ohhh! Look at those l’il guys!

We tried to find the shelter that we walked by Friday with kittens in window, but were unsuccessful.

Headed back to hotel to get ready for rock concert. We went to eat across the street from our hotel. Pros: Across the street. Cons: the food. It started raining on the walk to the club so we took cover under an awning until it died down. New Orleans sure has Seattle beat in the bum department. The bums here are the classic junkie-wino variety where Seattle’s are the more scary modern meth-fueled kind. I didn’t see a single tent, either. Die Rotzz were setting up when we arrived. They played a great set; and they were especially entertaining when the guitar player and drummer gave each other some of the old business thru out their set. I was nervous the audience would use up all their energy going nuts during the Trampoline Team’s high energy set that they would be worn out before we started. Their guitar player looked to me like a young Waddy Wachtel. That would be enough to get any crowd excited.

Trampoline Team bass player looks nothing like Leland Sklar

Now was moment of truth. It had been over two years since our last show. Fortunately the crowd wasn’t done yet and we managed to play (I think) the longest set we’ve ever played. I think I counted 28 songs. During a break between songs, I mentioned the club name Santos made me think of actor Joe Santos who portrayed Lieutenant Dennis Becker on The Rockford Files. Someone up front said I was incorrect, but when I pressed him on it he realized the error of his ways and we moved on. Perhaps he confused Joe Santos’ Becker with Ted Danson’s Becker? I also mentioned we walked on a street on our way to the club named Gov Nicholls and James Garner (Rockford Files) starred in a TV show called Nicholls so the audience got a real world example of how it’s all twisted in time. It was a pretty heavy moment.

Becker and Rockford

Every time I’ve seen The Spits it’s always been in the back of a packed room, so tonight was the first time I actually SAW them. The audience went bonkers like always. About half way through their set Sean started introducing the next song as the last one. That happened probably 5-10 more times. I don’t know if they do that regularly but it was funny. After the show we met Jordan (from London Ontario), who came down to see us play. Years ago when he came to Seattle, Touch and I drove him around for an afternoon. We also talked to the new robot in The Spits as well as Sean and Erin.

Sunday December 12

We had some time to kill before flying home, so back to Spitfire again. We tried going to French Toast again but wait was too long. Ate somewhere else followed by dessert at some place near old time police station.

We had one last surprise in store for us when Washington State Governor Jay Inslee joined us for the flight back to Seattle. We pretended we didn’t know who he was and he did the same.


Hi. We're Head. How's it going? We're from Seattle. We've been kicking around the hardscrabble streets of Queen Anne Hill since 1990. Head consists of Ree Ree on Bass/Vocals, Touch on Guitar and Tulu on Drums. The Giggles was a full time member of the band up until 1999 when he got his head screwed on straight and went into the Head Army Reserves. We've put out several records on our imprint Evil Clown Records as well as records on Steve Priest Fan Club, Regal Select and Goner. We average about 3 or 4 shows a year. 2011 we played 2 shows. Looks like 2012 will be more than that. I'll believe it when I see it.
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