Episode 17 of Fernwood Toiught, Martin Mull’s current dance with insanity, is in the can; one of Barth Gimble’s guests on 17 is Tom Waits, seen rehearsing lately at the Troubadour bar. The coneheads in Fernwood loved Tom’s schtick, which included a lovely turn of phrase: …I’d rather have a bottle in front of me/than a frontal lobotomy …”
Snake Charmer (or is it Charming Snake) Alice Cooper held an open snake audition at the ABC Entertainment complex in Century City. Alice’s old snake apparently molted once too often. Judges were Jaye P. Morgan. Flo & Eddie, a guy named Safari Arnie, and old Big Al himself. There were 19 entrants acting as agents for a like number of garters, boas, and pythons; one ten year-old kid strained under the weight of a python big enough to eat said kid whole. Another person calling herself the “Snake Lady” (original) showed up with five snakes wrapped around her bod. She was accompanied by two snake roadies, but even with help the Snake Lady couldn’t keep her act together–she finally let all five fall to the stage, whereupon she joined them for what must be the newest kink in the local bondage arena. The winner was announced on the Johnny Carson show the following day. All this was part of the $500K Anaheim Stadium production that also featured the Kinks, the Tubes, Nazareth, Flo & Eddie, and Sha Na Na. More on that next month.
Styx previewed their latest, “Grand Illusion,” at Hollywood’s Magic Castle. Folks on hand had to say “open, sesame,” in just the right key or the magic front door wouldn’t open. The album, at first listen, sounds quite solid, and all that prompted heavy petting among A&M staffers. Due date has been set for 7-7-77, because it’s the band’s seventh LP.
It appears that Bryan Ferry will be living and recording in L.A. for the second half of ’77, which means another welcome addition to the roster of British tax exiles in the neighborhood. Ferry’s night at the Civic was two or three seats short of a sell-out, but the performance lacked conviction for the most part. Phil Manzanera (looking much like a beleathered Ferry) and Chris Spedding (looking terminally bored) entered into a few guitar duels, and judging by audience response, Phil picked up the Smoking Axe Award that set. The horn section, which included alto/baritone session ace Chris Mercer, honked well, but the whole scene onstage was one of preoccupation. I guess the pickin’s are slim at the local singles meatmarkets. If that’s what you need, guys, go to Miami. There’s a meatmarket on every corner, but beware the barracuda! On hand for the backstage number: Detective’s Tony Kaye, Henry Edwards (composer of Sgt. Pepper score), Sparks Russell and Ron Mael, Paul Barrerre, and a few Cheap Tricks.
A few nights before, little people took over the Civic–more specifically, Little Feat and the Little River Band. Feat’s Civic set was decidedly funkified compared to the Corral set noted here last month. Versions of “Tripe Face Boogie,” “Rocket In The Pocket,” and “Teenage Nervous Breakdown” were thick with goofunk; “Day At The Dog Races” was one of the few jazzy ditties performed. Damn thing’s in 9/8, not 7/4 as noted here last month–even musicians lose count sometimes. Backstage bon vivants included Bob Dylan and Donnie Van Zandt, .38 Special’s lead singer and lead shadow boxer. Little River