Friday March 16, The Shrunken Head in Columbus got an evening of entertaining stories, acoustic tunes and some late evening ‘80’s glam metal as Tong Productions presented an evening with John Corabi. The current Dead Daisies front man played tunes from their back history as well as classics and staples from his earlier years in The Scream, Union and his time in Motley Crue.
Fans were treated with musings from Corabi’s childhood to tales of Motley behavior with Aerosmith and humorous interactions with KISS’s Demon. Content ranged from PG to R, but the crowd laughed, reacted and sang along to everything. Corabi strummed his guitar with flare and expertise as the storyteller’s evening went on.
Support act Chuck Oney started the show with his own one-man acoustic jam, playing tunes from solo material and a few arena sized covers. Oney has had performance appearances on local news with aspirations of appearing on Jimmy Kimmel.
His 10 song acoustic serenade included originals Rat in Disguise and Dear Miss Roberts with her jangling notes and hard-luck living stories. The early ‘80’s came alive with a cover of Def Leppard’s Bringin’ on the Heartbreak with the gypsy, sittin’ lookin’ pretty. Authorize Information was a story of unique TV channel lyrical inspiration.
Biker Boy could have been a salute with the hand or the finger to the leather clad rider that took his girl.
Oney gave the crowd its first taste of KISS on Coming Home ending with the somber melancholy original embrace of She Wears Black.
Corabi began promising to be done before the storm of the century hit, starting in Union with Love (I Don’t Need It Anymore) and acoustic solo on If I Never Get to Say Goodbye. He screamed out Father Mother Son for long time fans. One of his first stories was about his father’s reactions to the Zeppelin and Beatles posters on his walls, running downstairs to get ‘real’ music like Frank Sinatra. He talked about his mom getting him Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix and Ziggy Stardust albums after his parents divorced, and he wasn’t sure if she did it to expand his musical influences or get back at his dad.
He talked about recording the Motley album in Canada and the day the band told him they were going to surprise a local band recording next door. Corabi said he was thinking they were gonna make some up-and-coming band’s day showing up in person. He was told to go in first, which should’ve been a clue something was up. He kicked the door in and everything went in slow motion as he walked in and someone that really looked like Joe Perry of Aerosmith looked up and glared at him.
During recording Steven Tyler tried to talk to Corabi but he was tongue tied. The ice was broken one day when Corabi was tuning his guitar playing some songs and Tyler came from behind and sang in his ear, as the crowd was treated to Seasons of Wither.
His dad didn’t understand why he left The Scream to join Motley. Corabi said they were playing a smaller venue with The Scream but were playing the Spectrum with Motley. The crowd popped for the opening notes of Misunderstood and Loveshine.
He talked about touring with KISS and regardless of public perception; Gene and Paul were the nicest guys ever. He talked about the night The Starchild paid them a courtesy dressing room visit to make sure they had everything they needed and the time Simmons told him a joke about the origins of Jesus in full eight foot demon gear. He introduced himself as Gene Simmons one day and Corabi said, ‘believe me dude, I know who you are.’
He played a few Dead Daises tunes over the evening including With You and I. Without getting political he said that one of the great aspects about music was that people from opposite sides of the road can come together, stand side by side and have a good time.
Hooligans Holiday ended things with a bang.
Columbus’ loud celebration of all things decadent and ‘80’s Rockhouse came on to finish the evening with a collection of gems from the Sunset Strip and arena stages, when the lighter’s flame still filled the air and cell phones were shoe size. They hit with leathers and studs on You’ve got Another Thing Coming and Ozzy’s early years riding the Crazy Train. The glam slam came with Round & Round with a little Bon Scott era TNT. Vital Idol was delivered on Rebel Yell. Klaus Meine and the Scorpions rocked like a hurricane as the joy ride inevitably came with grunge and Man in the Box with some Twisted Sister to end the evening.
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