Marsland’s Chaos Band Seventies Sessions
By Bob Davis
Over the past two years, Adam
Marsland’s Chaos Band has run several programs at
Brennan’s Pub in Marina del Rey and the Cinema Bar
in Culver City, featuring music from the 1970s. Any genre
is fair game, as long as the song was originally recorded
between 1-1-1970 and 12-31-1979. Occasionally a worthy
song from the late '60s will be allowed, but usually the
time limits are observed.
The most recent example of this
series was at Brennan’s on Nov. 3. I don’t have the full
playlist and song order, so this is based on incomplete
data, but it will give some idea of how much fun these
shows are. I don’t know if Adam will continue what we
might even call a “tradition”, but there are plenty more
good songs that haven’t been covered yet. From time to
time, I threaten to do "Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance),"
the Leo Sayer song from 1975, which has a killer guitar
part and also includes a piano in the backing.
Adam usually does some Elton John
songs, and the band will sometimes add “Love Train” to the
mix (one of my faves, for obvious reasons).
Carolyn Edwards chose Elton John’s
“Someone Saved My Life”, with Adam playing some Eltonian
piano. He’s also done “Elton John Tribute Nights”, where
every song is from the Reginald Dwight catalog.
Who’s playing the Fender Bass? It’s
Ms. Sparklebass, Teresa Cowles….
It’s been over 20 years since Tracey
Ulman had a TV show, but
one of her songs is remembered as
Lisa Mychols sings “They Don’t Know”
Bruce Ray White sang a relatively
obscure Bob Dylan number,
“Oh Sister” and blew some harp,
Rachel Wolfe was called up for
tambourine duty (we’ll see more of
her later in the show)
while Teresa lays down that bass line.
Kurt Medlin has been playing drums
with Adam for many years now.
I especially like it when
the band does Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your
Own Way"-- he just
“nails” the drum part!
Dave Kaufman did “Spiders and
Snakes,” originally by Jim Stafford
in 1974, and “Panic
in Detroit,” a number I’d never heard of.
Aimee Lay took us for a ride on the
“Midnight Train to Georgia”.
I call Evie Sands “Our Guitar
Goddess” but she plays keyboards too.
One of the highlights of the show was
a newcomer to the Seventies Sessions, Ms. Aeb Byrne. She
sang my favorite Janis Joplin song, “Me and Bobby McGee,”
while the Chaos Band covered the Full Tilt Boogie Band in
fine style. The whole performance just blew me away. (in
one of my early Old Curiosity Shop columns, I mention
meeting a member of Big Brother and the Holding Company
in San Francisco back in the '60s. He told me about their
new singer, Janis Joplin, and I didn’t ask where
they were playing. “Regrets, I’ve had a few…..”
Maureen Mahan has joined with AMCB
for a number of shows;
she chose some “up front” songs:
“Brass in Pocket” (a big hit for
Chryssie Hind and the
Pretenders) and “Rip Her to Shreds”.
The Seventies were known to some as
the “Disco Era,” so Camille
Santochi went back to 1978 for
Alicia Bridges’ “I Love the Nightlife”.
One of the regulars with the AMCB
shows is Rachel Wolfe. There’s even a video of her
singing the Gary Wright number “Love Is Alive” on
YouTube. For this show she chose what’s usually
considered to be a “guy song”, Foreigner’s “Feels Like the
First Time”. No worries, Rachel took the song and ran
with it. Here she is, with Evie on the guitar-- two of my
favorite ladies of song.
Among the songs that I don’t have
Rob Z., who does the Mike Love parts
when it’s Beach Boys night, “Rainbow Connection” for all
the Muppet fans in the audience.
Dave Serby, one of my favorite
Seventies songs, “Stuck in the Middle”, with the guitar
bridge that Evie just goes to town on. I usually give her
a big “thumbs up” and she gives me a smile.
Mike Schnee (also known as Chisum
Worthington-- for this identity he dresses like a certain
late-night TV car salesman). He did a gender-bending
number titled, “My Girl Bill.
As you can see, there’s a lot of
variety and a lot of enjoyment at a Chaos Band event.