After the opening show for Guns N’ Roses’ Evening of Destruction/No Trickery at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal hosts a show with special guests at Vinyl, also located in The Hard Rock the following night.
Vinyl is a small venue just down from The Joint, with a 650 person capacity. Walking into the venue, Bumblefoot is already seated on stage with his golden colored Vigier Doubleneck. It’s not usual to see a rock musician seated on stage greeting his audience, however his guitar weighs well over 20 pounds. There sits the man saying hello to everyone that approaches him at the stage. The solid black room has been cleared for standing room only and the floor fills quickly. Starting the night with a Q & A, it’s a personal and intimate time with an amazingly talented man. Picking random audience members with their hands raised, a couple of questions were legit, but one had to laugh at most and smile at his quirky fast replies at the empty-headed ones. Someone yells out “What’s your favorite song”; without missing a note as he replies It’s Not Unusual by Tom Jones. The crowd roars in laughter as he calls on another asking if Bumblefoot was his real name…seriously? Ronald Jay Blumenthal, best known as Ron Thal or Bumblefoot took his stage name from a bacterial infection of the same name as he was helping his wife review for her veterinary exams. One of the more serious questions of the night was asking if Axl would really retire. The reply was “No, don’t you check Facebook? Ha! No, I have not heard the word retire come out of Axl’s mouth and he’s not ending the band; no matter how much I torture him.” The most ridiculous words of the evening had to be “do you wash your beard’? Another “seriously folks?”
Bumblelfoot gives a five minute guitar demo as he explains how he does his multi octave shredding with his 99 cent metal helper from Michael’s he wears when he plays. The man introduces his Vegas based band with Frank DiMino/vocals (Angel), Craig Nielson/drums (Flotsam/Jetsam), Jeff Duncan/guitar (Armored Saint), and Rigo/bass. The night offers an extensive set of cover songs with Highway Star, Communication Breakdown, What Is And What Should Never Be, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, Detroit Rock City, Wasted Years, Sato, Strutter, Mr. Crowley, Used to Love Her, Eleanor Rigby, Oh Darling, Rock N Roll, Whole Lotta Love.
Joining in for Detroit Rock City are two more Vegas rockers, Barry Barnes/bass (John Zito Band, Stoney Curtis Band, Count’s 77) and Johnny Lust/drums (Playground and Three Blind Mice), then Bumblefoot himself takes vocals on Used to Love Her. An exuberant fan offers Bumblefoot a crisp $100 bill to sing a song, but Bumble sends the money to the bar to buy a round of drinks for the women inside the venue. They close out a night of pure shredding, an intimate chat and jam session as the audience leaves Vinyl with quite an occasion to remember.
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