Right after Cinco de Mayo’s X show, I found out John Doe was playing in my neighborhood at The Echo. I got my tickets and smiled at them, affixed to my fridge with a magnet, every day until the show. My friend and I arrived promptly at doors, assuming John Doe was as ornery and exhausted as we were and that he’d be going on early. Oh hell no, John Doe’s a frickin’ honky tonkin’ punk rocker. There were two opening bands and the man was going on at 10PM, which is awfully close to my beauty sleepin’ time.
We went to get a cup of tea to kill some time. Fortunately we made it back in time for the second band, The Lonley Wild, who were surprising. They’re a five piece where everyone but the drummer played at least four instruments, interchanging strings for percussion or horns, and even the players who weren’t miked sang passionately and loud enough to fill the club.
The Lonley Wild was so good that my throat hurt from howling after their set. I readily bought their EP (on vinyl no less) and signed the mailing list.
These lovely women, who were a smidge older than me and my pal, asked if we planned on moving all the way to the stage for John Doe. Bearing in mind that these women had crushes that superseded ours, we urged them to line the stage in front of John Doe’s microphone. I half expected that they’d have “I love you” written on their eye lids, like in “Raiders of the Lost Arc”. They were THAT smitten.
Wearing a suit, so frickin’ classy, John Doe took to the stage, made a joke about appreciating that The Echo had gone “green” because of the obvious lack of air conditioning, charmed the entire audience immediately and broke into songs that rendered my knees useless. I’m still shitting myself over John Doe. His voice is like thick maple syrup, if you were the bark on the maple tree it rolled down. Swoon worthy.
As always, he had an amazingly talented band with him to support his current release, “The Keeper”. The woman who shared vocal duties was a lovely compliment to his familiar voice, and the rest of the players played with the gusto and enthusiasm that let you know, they felt privileged to be performing with someone who’s sound is so unique and who’s been so influential to so many artists. I’m happy to report, John Doe is as rock n’ roll as he is pensive folk, and he kept the club in rapture until after midnight.
Since I quit smoking I’ve had some outlandish dreams, but the best yet was after this show, I’d pay to have the dream again: I made out with John Doe. Well worth the withdrawals and the weeks of angst, even in a dream, well worth it!