...from the Department of Random Weirdness:
So I was hanging out in King's X'
s dressing room last Monday night following their rather scorching set at Irving Plaza (I still say this is the greatest American rock band roaming the Earth), discussing the virtues of buying boots on eBay and the (apparently) surprisingly great selection of rock teeshirts available at Target. When suddenly, and quite apropos of nothing, in barges....Kevin Cronin
I looked up at this strange, older man beaming maniacally at all of us and thought, "I don't know why
I know this, but that's the singer of R.E.O. Speedwagon!"
I can't remember the last time I had beheld his likeness, but it was surely many years ago, and it was most likely some retro VH1 clip of his band in their late '70s/ early '80s heyday. Back then, a much younger Kevin wore a mop of curly hair black hair, and it's that circa-1980-ish image that has stayed with me.
But this was KC, 2008-style. He burst through the door, grinning like some game show host wacked out on crystal meth. His close-shorn hair was all grey and he had his share of wrinkles, yet immediately, I recognized him.
I don't know what he was doing at the gig, but apparently it was his first exposure to King's X and he couldn't stop gushing about how awesome they were. He introduced himself all 'round and assorted chit-chat followed (which included a passing allusion to the fact -- heretofore-unknown-to-me -- that Speedwagon guitarist Gary Richrath
had passed away).
A little later Dug started cracking up and said that suddenly he felt like singing R.E.O. songs. I decided to lead:
"You should've seen by the look in my eyes, baby
There was somethin' missin'..."
A few others joined in but we didn't make it to the first chorus cuz we were laughing or we forgot the words. Kevin was into it. He seemed like a really good guy.
At the end of the night Kevin asked me where could find cool stage clothes in New York. I grabbed a paper plate and wrote:
Trash and Vaudeville
St. Marks and 3rd St.
ask for Jimmy
And he folded it up and squinted his crazy smile at me. "It's time for me to fly", he said, and left the room. I'm sure he had a storm to ride out...
"When I said that I love you I meant
That I love you foreverrrrrrr......."