For Artur, Mourato and Miguel.
Once upon a time, I’d head to a venue pretty early to secure my spot in the front row. Lately I’ve been “arriving” in front of the computer half an hour early to make sure the internet connection is working..
On New Year’s Eve 2019, L.A. GUNS played in their home town and the gig was fully recorded. Since this was a few months before COVID-19 became a reality, I thought it would be just for the band or the venue’s eyes, but apparently it was already meant for streaming the following day. So what’s your excuse for such a poor image resolution?! I’d expect more from a band like L.A. GUNS and a venue like Whisky A Go Go – especially when you had to pay for a ticket to watch it.
Of course I stopped bitching once the show started with one of my all time favorites – “Over The Edge” – and the sound was perfect. Well, actually I had already checked that when Ozzy Osbourne’s “Diary Of A Madman” was playing in the background and a guitar – probably Tracii’s – was playing along, so it was probably “Over The Edge” that made me forgive them for the lousy image quality.
A few classics more and Phil addressed the audience, pointing at them with a big smile and saying “I know all of you people out there”. He went down memory lane, saying how they didn’t play their first show at the Whisky but it had been there that they signed their first record deal, and that at the time they didn’t have Hondas, or Harleys (they called them Hardleys) and there was “no helmet law, no shirt law, and you’d see us driving on Sunset ‘cause we were Electric Gypsies!”
It seems this wasn’t their first New Year’s Eve at the Whisky, and apparently the last time they did the countdown two minutes past midnight, so in order to get it right this time, they interrupted the gig a couple of minutes earlier. So Phil took the time to introduce the band and tell about “the fantastic year since we’ve been back together”, since they got the new record out and that “no one makes records anymore but that’s what we do”. Even with all this, a note about Johnny Martin’s shiny white jacket and a bad joke, they still had time and someone said “I can’t believe I’m gonna say this but keep talking, Philip”. He excused himself by replying that he was no M.C., he was a singer, and luckily the time came for the countdown. A few “Happy New Year” hugs and kisses, and the first song in 2020 for those people was “The Devil You Know” (Phil even wearing a devil mask towards the end of the song).
Between “Kiss My Love Goodbye” and “Gone Honey” (Phil’s favorite off their latest album at the time, “The Devil You Know”) he introduced the two dancers, Stephanie and April. I’d been actually wondering if they were part of their show or just Whisky’s staff, so when Phil said “it wouldn’t be Whisky A Go Go without go go”, I got my answer.
Two ballads would be too much for such a spirited show, so they linked the beginning of “Crystal Eyes” to “The Ballad Of Jayne”. It wasn’t really a medley, as it featured only a snippet of the former and the whole of the latter, but it was beautiful anyway.
Another one of my all time favorites came close to the end – “One More Reason” – but “Speed” and “Rip And Tear” were the ones who wrapped it up. Well, if you don’t count with “So Long Farewell” (from “The Sound Of Music” movie) to which the band made a goofy dance before leaving the stage.
COVID-19 ruined plenty gigs for me in 2020 and it’s already busted a handful in 2021 – these included L.A. GUNS in Barcelona. It’s been postponed to 2022, and after this streaming, I really don’t want to miss it.