MIKE HSU'S BLOG

Camp Freddy and the Dive Bar Theory

CAMP FREDDY is a cover band from LA that features a loose collection of local rock stars. Most recently featuring the talents of Billy Morrison (CIRCUS DIABLO, THE CULT), Dave Navarro (JANE'S ADDICTION, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS), Matt Sorum (GUNS N' ROSES, VELVET REVOLVER), Donovan Leitch (son of singer Donovan), and Chris Chaney (JANE'S ADDICTION).

They've been doing this for years,  when their schedules permit and have had some great talent join them on stage. A couple of nights ago they were joined by Slash, and Linkin Park singer, Chester Bennington. I've included some fan filmed footage below. It's rough and at times, they stumble, but it's good to see professionals loosen up and have fun for free drinks.

In my opinion, Rock music is best experienced in sweaty, hole in the wall clubs, that are way over capacity, and have dollar beer specials. There have been times where the chemistry of the night coalesced into a transcendental experience. The Band, the booze, the mix of customers and characters, all can contribute to a memorable evening.

Not to sound like an old fartbag, but I remember seeing the Smashing Pumpkins doing a free show in a club called Twisters in Richmond, VA. The club was about the same size as the Bull Pen at Fenway Park and in total violation of any kind of safety code. The Pumpkins blew the place apart. I remember seeing Soundgarden at the Hampshire College Dining Commons and thinking the roof was going to come down because the low end made the walls vibrate. I know; I was being crushed against it. Then there was the loogee shower Anthony Keidis took at the dearly missed Channel in Boston. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were just starting to launch into the stratosphere with their album "Mother's Milk". They had a fresh faced, mohawked 18 year old guitar player named John Frusciante (before his long ride on the Heroine horse). He was wearing a cheerleader skirt and every time he kicked up his legs you could see his ball bag swinging in the faces of the people smashed against the stage. In between songs, Keidis says, "I don't know if you heard the bad news about Larry Birds wrist?" (The Chilis are infamous Lakers fans, and this was the mid-80's) "Yeah, apparently he was giving Magic Johnson a reachaorund and strained his wrist." First it was the thunderous booing. Then, a whirling hailstorm of snot saturates the stage. Everybody was spitting, even the bouncers. Keidis just stood there with his arms open, receiving the gooey retort. Spittle dripping from his nose and arms. It was very special. Not that the performances below are anything like those. It just reminded me of how the audience can become part of the show at great gigs. You can't get that at the local Enormo-Dome.

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