…Michael Schenker’s 3rd album(formerly of the 70s rock band UFO). he played at a little club in Palatine. The club was smokeycrowded with a veritble who’s who of Chicago rock stars. I went with a neighbor, Virgil. Got in with a fake I.D. for the privilage of drinking flat 2 Dollar beers in plastic cups.
The first band was Humble Pie (30 days in the hole), fronted by a skinny balding British guy named Steve Marriot. Talk about looking his age, if he was as old as the pyramids! He was an old man, burned out, tired, gray hair, still schlubbing as a rock and roll cheerleader. But he still put on one hell of a show. I won’t take that away from him.
Schenker was spectacular, despite a tiny overcrowded stage. He was set up for a big hall, which this place definitely was not. It came off as a wall of sound, punctuated by what should have been Cozy Powell’s double bass drum prowess. Instead, it was just deafening.
After the show Virgil wanted his autograph. I followed him out to the back lot at caught Marriot as he was getting on his tour bus. I could smell pot smoke from inside the bus. Virgil plays in a band, so he and Marriot hit it off right away, chatting about guitars and amps, the 3 of us joking and talking up Schenker’s sound mess. Somehow Jimmy Paige and Led Zeppelin came up. It was meandering conversation. Marriot, kept drifting into stories of old, most of which I took with a tremendously large grain of salt. In his thick British accent, this one stuck with me…
“So I’m at dis club wiff Keef Moon, Jimmy, you know, Paige, and a bunch other blokes,” Marriot said. “Jimmy’s tellin’ us ’bout dis new band he’s got wiff dis new kid named Bobby Plant. He says its gonna be like American blues, rock and roll, like Deep Purple, ya know. So I says, “Roight, that’ll go over like a real lead zeppelin…”
On a lighter note, on the way home I wondered why toll booth operators are required to wear pants. Who would know?