B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
New York, NY
August 15, 2004
It was a rough week and rough weekend for me. I had been sick with a sore throat and horrible headaches. I spent all day Saturday slumped on the couch watching the Olympics and slept late on Sunday thanks to some medicine Jackie brought me, and then repeated my Saturday activities again all afternoon on Sunday. By that evening I had conserved enough energy to walk to the bus stop, and take the bus to the city for a Doctor's appointment.
We arrived at B.B. King's about 20 minutes before 6:00 and purchased tickets. Since there was no line and we had some free time, we went for a short walk around Times Square, which in retrospect, probably wasn't all that good of an idea, because it wiped me out pretty bad.
We got back around 6:00 and were seated . We had our choice of tables, so we chose one right in the center, one set away from the stage. I had some salad and Jackie had some ice cream, and we waited for the Doctor. An opening act came out at 7:30, Elvis Prestello and The Distractions. It was an Elvis Costello cover band, and they were pretty good. I don't know if the lead singer was kidding or not, but they certainly looked like they had been playing and practicing together for longer than the few weeks he said they were. Two of the guys tried rather poorly to dress like Elvis Presley, but it was fun.
There was a short break while the techies set up equipment. Tom Rockwell of Sudden Death was on stage setting up his laptop, and various techies were plugging stuff in all over. But apparently not well enough. Dr. Demento came out to.... no music! And no video! Luckily his microphone was working, so while the techies went to work on his stuff, he entertained us with some talk about how he can be found on XM radio in New York, and how B.B. King and him had worked on a book about blues together.
Finally, the music and video clips! A few cartoons of Dr. Demento on "Bobby's World" and "The Simpsons" and a clip of "Weird Al" Yankovic from the Disney special talking about Dr. Demento and then giving him a horsey-back ride. Dr. Demento told us that particular scene took nine takes, and each one Al had to carry Dr. Demento, but he was still as energetic about it on the first take as on the last.
Dr. Demento then played the music video for "Dare To Be Stupid" and a sound clip of "Belvedere Cruising" and some background information about the artist or song. And that's pretty much how the show went all night. Dr. Demento would play a video clip or play a song, then give a little background about it, and every once in a while bring up a live guest to perform.
Among the video clips, were a rare one of Tom Lehrer performing, and Dr. Demento's acting debut in "Fish Heads." We were treated to an audio of "Dead Puppies" which people in the audience raised the candles and swayed their arms to, like at a rock concert, and audio of "They're Coming To Take Me Away." There was also some audio of Frank Zappa giving his strong opinion on censorship.
The first guest was Barry Mitchell, who performed two very funny songs, "The One That Doesn't Suck So Bad" about who to vote for in the elections, and "Stallone Again, Naturally." Tom Rockwell of Sudden Death was the second performer. He used his laptop with some animation and did "Pop Star," his take on "American Idol" and "Ozzman," with a dead-on impersonation of Ozzy.
There was a brief intermission and Dr. Demento came back out with songs that he wasn't allowed to play on the radio anymore, including "Sit On My Face" and "Penis Envy." Also played was "The Crepitation Song," which was thankfully audio only, and then a video of "Particle Man" done by the cast of "Tiny Toon Adventures" which was real cute. There was also another funny video of Spike Jones conducting an orchestra and Billy Barty playing a tune as Liberace. All done in one take too according to the Doctor. He also shared a video of "Let's All Get Demented."
The guests in the second half started with R. Stevie Moore who came out in mismatched clothes, dark sunglasses, and a bathrobe. He sang "Horse In Striped Pajamas" and "Hug Me" and kept walking between the three microphones that had been set up on the stage. The second guests were Kenny Young & The Eggplants who, in their acoustic set, did the song "Mommy Is A Lawyer," a second song that was newly written, about a rage against the washing machine, and a third song called "Savage Eggplant" and involved one of the guys in the band playing butterfly nets. That's right, butterfly nets.
The third performer of the second half was a pleasant surprise, Christine Lavin who recruited guys from the audience to help her sing "Sensitive New Age Guys." It was my favorite performance of the night.
Dr. Demento closed with a video clip of "Smells Like Nirvana" and then sang us a few verses of "Shaving Cream." After the show, he set up on the side for autographs. Jackie and I each got his autograph ad posed individually for pictures with him. I had mentioned that I had seen him before in Oshkosh, WI and he knew exactly the show, with Luke Ski. He then commented how downtown Oshkosh was nothing like Times Square. Haha. Boy is he right!
You can click on the highlighted words above and below to see more photos.