Thursday, February 28, 2013

Goodbye to Glencrest BBQ ... Another Venice Instituion Bites The Dust

With all the massive changes up and down Abbot Kinney Boulevard in the past few years, I always said, "At least there's still Glencrest keeping it real." But I can't say that anymore, as yesterday was their final day in operation. Glencrest BBQ, located at the corner of Abbot Kinney and Aragon Court since 1985, is closed.

Gone with it is the days of a $4.00 burger on Abbot Kinney, I'm sure, which is about the saddest part of it. Pretty much anyone could go in to Glencrest and walk away feeling well fed and not broke for it. I take that back ... the saddest part about it will be not being able to stop in and say hi and shoot the breeze with the Chris's (Big and Little) and their friends working the grill. They were always happy to see you, and you could always count on them for a laugh.

It's the same old story, the building is being sold and the owners want their money now, while the big money vultures are circling. Because money is so much more important than history, community, and the survival of decades-old family businesses. Right? Wrong. It's all just wrong.

Over the years, I bonded with the Glencrest guys - Little Chris in particular - over how I make a better sweet potato pie than they do (and brought them one to prove it. And they agreed!). When Obama won his first election in 2008, we hugged and cried in the street together. I went to hear him sing in his men's choir at Friendship Baptist. Yesterday, I went to say goodbye. And Thank you.

We ordered up the fried chicken, the ribs, the mac and cheese, and the cornbread. Soul food that really does contain the soul. We sat at the grungy plastic table and chairs outside and shared stories with other neighbors who had come to say goodbye too, and pick up some to-go dinner from Glencrest one last time.

Spirits were pretty high, but there was a righteous indignation simmering under it all, as shoppers new to Abbot Kinney strolled by and wondered why there was a little crowd waiting outside this not-posh-at-all spot that we loved.

Glencrest's owner, Chris Featherstone (Big Chris) is an investor in Local 1205, right across the street, and he told me that some of the Glencrest favorites will be showing up on their menu in the months to come. That is some small consolation, sure, but the sad part will be missing the barbershop feeling (which Glencrest used to be) of kidding around and catching up with the good people you've known for years from the 'hood, anytime you wanted.

The lesson, of course, is to not take these treasured old places for granted. Frequent them while you can. Let them know how much you appreciate having them around by giving them your business. Yesterday was also the last day for Surfing Cowboys (moving to the Venice Blvd. and Centinela area), so the old standbys of Abbot Kinney are falling off one by one. It's so sad to watch, I'm almost sick of talking about it.

But yesterday we laughed some more. Friends stopped in, ate, and congratulated the Glencrest guys on three decades of good times and good food. Dancing around in front, reminiscing, I heard a shopper go by and say, "Only in Venice", with a tone that was unclear. I love that phrase -a phrase that clearly needs historical preservation - and hope that it will continue to really MEAN something, for years to come.

Farewell, Glencrest! Good luck, Guys! Thank you so much for the many years of being the real deal.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Westbrook Maker - The Hatters of Venice

You've seen the guys (and some cool ladies too) walking around Abbot Kinney with their Westbrook Maker hats on ... LEGIT hats, custom made for the head they're on. Bringing back old time quality, with personal attention to every last detail, Westbrook Maker is quietly starting a revolution against sameness and throw-away consumerism, right here in Venice.

Gregory Westbrook and Nick Fouquet operate their hat shop underground in a parking garage on Abbot Kinney - for now. The cage is stuffed with hat forms and mannequin heads, ribbon, thread, sewing machines, and the mostly beaver fur felt that will become a hat of a lifetime. Many lifetimes, rather, as they are built not only to last, but to be handed down for generations.

Hatters (as they like to be called) Westbrook and Fouquet shared a love of quality, timeless fashion, hats in particular. "I grew up on the rodeo circuit, raised by wild Indians,", said Westbrook, who is as creative with his tall tales as he is with his hats. In truth, he grew up in Florida and New York before finding his way west to California (like the beavers "who started the Westward Expansion." Westbrook is full of useful information). His dad always wore proper hats, and would pass them on to Greg. He would restore and re-shape them and make them his own, as "If you have an interest or a passion for something, you just know how to put it together." He got a degree in photography, and then worked at Billy Martin, which taught him a lot about men's fashion and what clients really were looking for.

He also found that he would often be disappointed in the quality of the hats he liked, especially for how much they would cost. So he decided to make his own, after apprenticing with a master hatter in Utah. He made 6 hats on that guy's equipment, and got so many compliments wearing them (and people bought them off his head), that he decided to make more.

Fouquet, Westbrook's partner, and a "Professional Adventurer," grew up in New York and Paris and loved design, wanting his own brand ever since he was a little kid. He always wanted to be different with what he wore, and wanted to make custom things that no one else would have. Fouquet worked at Mr. Freedom in Los Angeles, honing his design sense, and discovered a common love of quality and hats with Westbrook when they became friends.

They started making their hats, and wearing them, and within a year they had international wholesale business. I recently visited their hat shop and watched how the whole process goes down.

Assisted by their apprentice, Mikey Soto (born and raised in Venice, where the high school's baseball field is named for his Grandfather, Ralph Soto) and their finisher/sewer, Rebecca Ross, the hatters crank The Clash and Cash (..."And Elvis ... and Bob Dylan ... And The Doors ...") as they create the most beautiful hats imaginable for their discerning clientele of rock and movie stars, hipsters and high-rollers, nabobs and neighbors. Though, as Westbrook said, "I'd rather make hats for the regular 9-5, 40 hour a week guys who just want their money's worth."

Their money's worth is an investment, as your custom hat base price is $400 - $800, but it's an investment for life. The gorgeous hats (wait list times for yours are currently 4-6 weeks, as "the longer they're on the blocks, the better they are") are not made of out disposable materials that will wind up in a landfill, they are made out of the finest possible of everything, built for longevity and value, that will stand up to the test of time. These are heirloom pieces, meant to be handed down, generation to generation. Classic Americana work wear, made the way it was done over 100 years ago. Westbrook explained, "The only thing different now is that we have electricity to run the machines. That's it."

Westbrook and Fouquet love what they do, and are happy they have happy customers, which is making their business grow like crazy. They're in Henry Duarte, and Bergdorf Goodman, Shelter Hats and Deus Ex Machina. They've been featured in GQ, Vogue, and the Best of L.A. edition of Angeleno. They're all over fashion blogs and are "big in Japan" - a sure sign you've made it internationally. So much so that they're out-growing their little spot in the parking garage. They need to get a store-front, and would love to stay in Venice, and keep shipping out their hats in their excellent new made-in-Venice boxes.

Both guys lament the loss of edge and grittiness in Venice, where "Even the surf and skate culture is gentrified now ... If we're not careful, you're looking at just another Promenade here, " but are doing their part to keep it real and clearly unique down here, a place that is "supposed to be about leaders, not followers", Westbrook stated profoundly and correctly.

So they enjoy our cleaner air, living close to work, riding bikes around and embracing what's left of the neighborhood feel, like walking over to Abbot's Habit for breaks and shooting the breeze with the locals, many of whom are now proudly sporting a Westbrook Maker on their heads.

Nodding our heads along to Willie Nelson, Westbrook looked into the future and told me, "One day someone will have one of my hats that their Granddad gave them." To which Mikey Soto chimed in, "And then he's gonna be my intern!"

I love these guys. I love their hats. Support your local community and "Come get a hat!"

Westbrook Maker will style you out by appointment and can be reached via their website at

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Soundgarden in L.A.

I went to the third night of Soundgarden at The Wiltern in Los Angeles on Sunday night. I hadn't seen them live since 1997 at Universal Ampitheater in what might have been their last show of that decade. It was awesome then, like blow your mind awesome.

Sunday night ... hmmmm .... I don't know. It's not the same ... the energy just isn't there like it used to be. Chris Cornell possesses one of the all time greatest rock voices EVER, but he just seemed a litle bored. Which then made us feel bored. Also, it's always a plus for we ladies at a Soundgarden show when Cornell's shirt would come off ... this time he wore a turtleneck. A turtleneck!! Again ... I don't know.

We got a peek of the setlist before the show, and our collective favorite, "Black Hole Sun" was not on the list until the encore. We all looked at each other and knew we wouldn't be there still by then.

I got the gist of it with the "Spoonman", "Jesus Christ Pose", and "My Wave" classics, but the whole affair felt strangely low energy, even though it was being shot for an episode of The Artist's Den. The music was great as ever, with Kim Thayill, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd (the most animated, by far) bringing it like they always did - hard, and Cornell's voice was great as ever ... but I just can't quite put my finger on exactly why we all sort of shrugged  ... and then left.

The discussion on the way home was "Where is the joy? Why so dark all the time? People don't need to remember to be depressed, they need to remember how fun life can be!" To be fair, all the bald heads and baseball hats on the floor looked to be having a great time, beers hoisted ... but it just felt kind of forced. Or sad? Like when we saw a guy physically push his girl's head forward because she wasn't banging it hard enough for his taste. Oooooh

I got home, listened to "Black Hole Sun", and thanked Soundgarden for the memories from back in the DAY, when it felt like they really, really meant it, with a ferocity, and had something to SAY vs. re-live. I'll always love them, of course, but ... Shrug.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Normal Is Over - Venice's Freakshow on AMC!

I am thrilled to report that my good friends at the Venice Beach Freak Show are getting their own reality show on AMC, called, appropriately, Freakshow, which starts airing TONIGHT, Valentine's Day, February 14th at 9:30 pm.

Todd Ray, his wife Danielle, kids Asia (now the youngest sword swallower in the world!)and Phoenix, and their extended family of performers invite you into their world, where "Normal is relative". I first got to know and write about the Ray family in 2010, and am so happy to see their message of fun and acceptance blowing up all over the world.

"Normal is an illusion, there is no such thing is normal ... some people have a problem with the word 'Freak', but we should have a problem with the word 'normal'," explains Todd, as everyone has a struggle to fit in and appear "normal," but no one really knows what that is. So the Freakshow cast decided to have a funeral for Normal, and held a parade carrying Normal's casket all the way down the Venice Boardwalk, celebrating its death, and our differences. Todd old-timey preached the funeral, asking for a moment of silence for Normal. When it was through, the entire Boardwalk erupted in two minutes of joyous shouting, proclaiming that we are ALL Freaks in our own way. That funeral will be in the show, along with supercool things like the Freak Show performing in a huge tent during Fashion Week in New York, and also just the every day happenings that make it all tick.

Venice is as much the star of the show as any of the performers, and beautifully portrayed. The Tallest Man in The World (8 feet!) joins Amazing Ali (the tiniest lady), Larry the Wolf Boy, Murrugun The Mystic and all their friends at the Freak Show, in a real behind the scenes portrait of Todd Ray's childhood dream not only coming true, but growing and growing.

While you're learning the story of the Rays and Freakshow, you're also learning what Venice still means to so many people around the world. Todd is inspired by the place that another man with a dream thought up long ago. Abbot Kinney would appreciate the renaissance that the Rays are trying to bring back to Venice, and as Todd says, "We NEED it here now. It's a piece of history, and a piece of Venice that is positive and creative. Everything we love about Venice is in this show."

That's all I needed to set the dvr for every single episode. Join us Freaks, starting February 14th on AMC. That's TONIGHT, People. 9:30 pm.

Happy Valentine's Day, with LOVE from Venice!!! XXXXX!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lavish Tan Venice - Fake It Til You Make It (To The Beach)!

It's that time of the year where it's too cold out to really get your solid beach day in, and then your whole body winds up being the same color as your ass. I'm not into that. I have also never been into the idea of spray tan stuff, as it always seemed to make my well-meaning friends look like Oompa Loompas. Not a pretty look.

Then I bumped into Kelsey Jones at the Canal Club (a spot we both like to haunt) and she said, "When are you coming in for a tan?!" I've always kind of hedged about it, as if I'm honest, I thought it was a cheesy thing to do when you've got the beach right here. But the beach was FREEZING last week, and I thought, "You know, why not? You can't judge it til you've tried it ..." so I called up Kelsey and went on in to her Lavish Tan on Abbot Kinney. Lavish shares a floor with the other members of the "Beauty Bungalows" - Stephanie Hobgood Hair, Kelley Baker Brows, and Alexandra Wagner Skincare - so you get all these "Best of L.A." spots in one location!

Jones thought it was best if I got sprayed first, so I'd know what she was talking about when we talked. You go in the spray room, get all naked (I left on a little string as Jones suggested "It's more fun to see the difference"), and stand there while Jones sprays your entire body and face with the airbrush hose of tanning solution. It's a chilly sensation, which is balanced by the little warm blow dry she does on you after the tan sauce. The whole thing took like 10 minutes max, then you put your dark, loose clothes on and don't shower for 7 hours while it all sinks in. I immediately looked all golden brown, and not Oompa Loompa in the least. I believe this is why Allure Magazine named Lavish Tan as "#1 Airbrush Tan In The Nation". That's right, Venice.

And organic it is. Totally. As Jones explained, the reason so many spray tans look orange is that they're trying to be natural, and use carrots or beets. Everyone who has ever cooked a vegetable knows that carrots stain you orange, and beets red. So after an eye-opening bout with skin cancer (due to the tanning beds at a salon Jones worked at) that had to be removed (and is gone, Thank God), Jones started to think about better ways to be naturally brown, since the desire to look bronze didn't go away with the skin cancer. Observing how apples and bananas turn brown when left out, Jones smartly figured out that the natural sugars in fruit like that might be the answer to turning people brown instead of orange. It was.

Working with a chemist from Neutrogena (who she found while researching it all on Linked In), they experimented with different formulas and had odd colored stripes on her own body for six months from testing it, until hitting upon the jackpot one that she had just sprayed all over me.  Jones and her partner, Alex Dexter, opened Lavish Tan in 2007 and have been bronzing up L.A. ever since. They've even opened a location in Melbourne, Australia, as Dexter moved there, and those Aussies need this with that big hole in the ozone down there. (*Note: though you should know that the airbrush tan is not giving you a base to protect you better from UV rays - it's just exterior, for looks, so you still need that sunscreen, mates!)

Jones was born and raised in Venice, and attended Venice High. Like most of us, she says that her favorite thing about Venice is the community. The people. That she can walk ("or crawl!") to work. That you can head to one of our bars (her faves: Canal Club, Wabi-Sabi, and The Tasting Kitchen) around town by yourself and run into 50 people you know. That it takes you way longer to just run down the street to the store because you'll stop and say hi to ten people you know on the way. That all the women in the Beauty Bungalows all want each other to do well, root for each other, and all bring each other business. "No drama," as Jones says. I love that womanly support, and you can feel it any time you visit any of them.

There have been a lot of changes in Venice, that Jones has seen her whole life. "It's good for business, sure, but we're losing character here." Ummm ... agreed. Having the space on Abbot Kinney has been great (even inspiring an upcoming fragrance Jones and her sister are producing called "Kin" - awesome), but they now do most of their business online, as salons all over the world are catching on that this tanning solution is the best. (Lavish also offers certified teeth whitening, which looks great with your tan, but isn't part of the organic deal.) They're coming out with new products available on the Lavish Tan website, like correcting pens to fill in blanks, for those ladies that have tan lines exposed above their wedding dresses, etc. Just color it in!

Last week was real cold and rainy, and a friend of mine stopped me - on the way to the store - and asked how I was so golden tan when it was so cold out at the beach?! I fessed up to the spray tan, and she couldn't believe it, as real as it looked. So I was proven totally wrong, have a new friend, and looked tan and healthy, all in one brief visit with the super cool ladies of Lavish Tan.

Get yours!

Lavish Tan
1636 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Best Little Bordello In Venice

I've walked by the big, crazy looking gargoyle house on Westminster and Speedway for years, always wondering what the story of the place could possibly be. I finally got the chance to hear it the other day when I sat down to talk with owner, Tony Wells. I had heard varying stories of its origins, none of which were correct. The one I most wanted to be true was the one I'd heard about an old man building it for his love to be protected from evil spirits by the gargoyles (as in Venice, Italy) as a Valentine to her. Not true ... but it is still a love story of sorts ... to Venice.

The building was a rat trap back in 2001, populated by tweakers passed out in the hallways, and left to crumble in its squalor. Wells and his partner, Brittany Stevenson, were looking for rental properties (both are in real estate), were intrigued by the cool balcony on the front, liked the area and the eclectic people, and thought they could maybe unearth a treasure if they bought it and gutted it.

As they began to renovate, they dug out the walls, finding a whole bunch of nice, restorable shiplap wood underneath, and then the real treasure was discovered - a hatbox of notes from a Madame Alexandra, who ran the bordello that was this house back when it was built in 1906. The railway lines ended nearby, and the ships pulled up to shore not far away, so it was an excellent location for this mysterious woman (no photographs were found) to run her business servicing the railmen and sailors. Racy. Stevenson always felt the house had a spirit, and a pulse, and began to decorate accordingly.

The house was entirely transformed in about three months, and Stevenson put up a couple little stone gargoyles on the roof for protection (ala Italy Venice), as the area was still a little iffy. Wells is not a guy to do things on a small scale, however, and decided that if they were having gargoyles, they were REALLY having gargoyles. Driving back from a trip in Baja, Wells saw a big metal statue on the side of the road near Ensenada. Intrigued, he stopped and met the metal worker (who he knows only as Perfidio) and inquired about his doing some commission work for him. Perfidio's first gargoyle so impressed Wells, that they've created a lasting collaboration. Over recent years, Wells keeps getting ideas, and Perfidio keeps bringing them to life.

The big, scary, devil looking gargoyles have been joined by a St. Michael angel, and a Poseidon driving dolphins, and it doesn't look like they're going to stop adding them anytime soon. It's a whole process of guys yanking the statues up over the side of the house via ropes and brute strength, and they're stuck in solid, with interior metal poles and things. They're not going anywhere.

As Wells likes things to be over the top, and both he and Stevenson are very creative types, they had to keep adding things. As they did, the photos started happening. People started lining up out front, asking "What the heck is this place?!" and slowly, a landmark was born. "If this was anyplace else, I'd have a church group out front picketing, but this is VENICE. It works. Just please give us this ONE place in the world to be unique!", said Wells, creating a forever friend in me and everyone else who feels that exact way about our Venice.

The seven individual apartments inside soon filled up, all with artists and creative types, all of whom are now friends. Some have started businesses together (a family crest Iphone app - - inspired by the art and crests on the building, where you can create your own crest), they take ski trips and things together, and all speak of what a great time it is living there, and what great landlords Wells and Stevenson are.

Especially Brian Mylius, the resident painter. He had been homeless, and Wells hired him to do some commission paintings on the house. Mylius now lives in El Bordello Alexandra, and adds to its splendor in some way every day.

His paintings (mostly of "badass women to protect the place, because men would fuck it up" - T. Wells) are all over the house, inside and out. The still-wet one in progress in the back stairway features Madame Alexandra, how they think she might have looked, with her Mona Lisa smile keeping her secrets intact.

Her secrets still attempt to get out though, as when I asked if it might be haunted (it feels like it could be), the answer given by Mylius was a firm "Yes". Even after burning "pounds of sage", weird electrical things happen, shapes have been seen walking, and odd sounds are occasionally heard when they shouldn't be. The gargoyles might be slacking, but it doesn't stop the tour buses from unloading out front, or the constant questions to residents from passersby as to its real deal. The residents aren't above messing with people, and may tell you it's a ship, or a whorehouse, or a recovery center ... but really it's just a super dope place to live. As Anton Pereiaslavtstev told me, "I liked circuses when I was little, but now I live in one, so what could be bad about that?"

The interiors are painted all brothel purple, red and gold. Itt's all very bordello chic. Gothic furniture, stained glass windows, painted guitars, paintings of woman who look like they probably worked there back in the day, and a sly sense of humor permeates it all. A bathroom overlooking the beach features a sign reading, "The Confessional".

A Captain Jack-like passed out pirate mannequin watches over the rooftop deck, and a comfy couch/fire pit area make it a perfect scenario from which to watch the sunset, as the statues cast their fairytale shadows all around you. Trippy. Venice.

After living in a colorful place like this, you can't really go and live somewhere vanilla and boring, so the residents tend to stay a long time. The entire dwelling makes it feel like Mardi Gras every day. When someone does leave, the residents have to approve a new tenant, co-op style, to make sure that the harmony, creative flow, and friendships made within can continue seamlessly. Everyone seems to be having a good time, and to Wells, that's the whole point.

"Venice needs color. Venice needs creativity. Venice needs attractions. If you live here, it's your duty to step it up. Be colorful, show people a good time. Let's bring it back. And let's start now."

Obviously I whole-heartedly agree. I was so happy to discover that this house's story was indeed a true love story. Pure love for Venice is lived out in these walls and on the sidewalks around it, every single day. A Valentine to the town that inspired the fun and creativity and Why Not?! attitude that literally leaps out at you as you pass.

We were standing out front talking, wrapping it up, when Wells said, "Do good things ... it comes around." Just then a car drove up, stopped to take pictures, the people inside smiling and happily asking questions.

Community, color, fun, conversation with strangers .... All good things, all coming around, at the end of the street, at the end of the country, in a gargoyle-protected, X on the treasure map ... Venice, California.

* photos by Ray Rae.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sound City - The L.A. Concert

Dave Grohl ("rhymes with Rock and Roll!") is great. He and his Sound City Players brought his new documentary Sound City to real life last night with a concert featuring many of the legends depicted in the story of the recording studio in the Valley that was so crucial to creating some of the most epic albums of all time. Fleetwood Mac's Rumors. Nirvana's Nevermind. Rage Against The Machine's Rage Against The Machine. Tom Petty's Wildflowers. Foreigner's Double Vision ... and the list goes on.

Grohl bought the sound board from Sound City, and made a movie about all the historical music made on it. Then threw a big bash of a show at The Palladium in Hollywood, that has rendered me physically sore today from all the rocking. That's because not only did Grohl and his Foos (Pat Smear, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel) play, but so did Alain Johannes (Eleven/Queens of The Stone Age). Chris Goss (Masters Of Reality/Desert Sessions). Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Lee Ving (Fear).  Rick Nielson (Cheap Trick!) Rick Springfield. John Fogerty. Aaaaaand ... Stevie Nicks!!! I mean it. Insane.

That's not even talking about the guest stars ... like um ... Krist Novoselic. Brad Wilk ("smooth as silk!" - D. Grohl), Corey Taylor. Rami Jaffee.  And my friend, Jessy Greene, who plays her violin and sings in both the documentary and the soundtrack album, and was a most welcome female presence on last night's stage. RULING. The whole night was a thrill to behold, and the jam-packed Palladium let the artists know it, screaming their lungs out the entire time.

The whole thing took a while to get started, which let us bump into friends, grab a drink/s, catch up, all of it creating a party atmosphere, and the celebration of music that I believe Grohl intended it to. The People were REAL ready when the lights went out and the screen began playing the great clips from the film. Even MORE ready when they saw their boy, Dave, who yelled out, "What's UP?!" And the crowd went wild, as they say.

The Alain Johannes set was first, and he's just great. I've loved everything I've ever heard out of the guy, and he and his backing band (led by Grohl - who played with everyone, the whole night) got the gig off to a great start. Did I mention Jessy was ruling? She was also ROCKING.

"We're gonna be here a long fucking time!," yelled Grohl to bring on the Chris Goss set. He was not wrong, but everyone in there wouldn't have minded if it was STILL going. It was a super hyper crowd, and Dave would just yell "HEY!" and the whole of the room would scream back extra loud "HEEEEEY!" It was a good old fashioned ROCK show, Man.

Clips from the film played in between sets, and every time a familiar tune or face came on the screen, shouts went up. A Rage intro would play, or Paul McCartney would speak on camera, and the crowd would scream, because on nights like this, in Los Angeles ... anything can happen.

I'm not gonna lie to you ... in a show night this long ... there are sometimes breaks. We took some. I missed a couple of notes here and there, but I told you, it was also a party. Black Rebel Motorcycle really made it feel like one in their set, with songs like their rad, "Whatever Happened To My Rock N' Roll?" Though the question was moot here, because the Rock was right in your face. And ears. And Heart and Soul ... which was the point of this show, that studio, and really, what music is all about. FEELING it.

Which the place certainly was for Lee Ving's punk rock throwdown scorcher set. I felt rowdy, and looking down at the sardine-packed floor, I was not alone. GOOD times. Followed by even better times when it was Rick Nielson's turn. Joined by 2/3 of Nirvana, as Krist Novoselic came out for this one. The crowd was bezerk all night, and sang along on every note of "Surrender". Killer.

People pretty much sang along on every note from thereon out, since it was the music we all grew up on or came of age to. Rick Springfield! Joyously belting out his 80's jams like "I've Done Everything For You" and "Jessie's Girl' - !!! Come one now. It was so very fun in there, let me tell you.

Then John Fogerty came out. He gave a little speech in his charming drawl, saying, "It's not about the technology in music. It's about the People". As we must all know, because that got about as big a cheer as all the classics he laid on us after that. "Playing In A Travelin' Band". "Born On A Bayou". "Bad Moon Rising". "Centerfield". "Fortunate Son". By the time he hit "Proud Mary" ... it was a madhouse of smiling MUSIC fans, singing throatily along to their memories.

But nowhere was that more true than when Stevie Nicks came out. More than one person was seen crying.

Tears ran down faces as some got to see this legendary gypsy woman for their first time, and belted along the words to their youth from those Fleetwood Mac songs that seem like they've always been on in the background somewhere ... "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" showed that Nicks is as strong a voice as she ever has been, and was joined sweetly and with obvious respect by Grohl and Company (including Jessy, playing with Stevie Nicks!!!).

Nicks told a story of how a year and a half ago she lost her Godson at 18 years old to an o.d. at a frat party. She said that they had all done a lot back in the day, but "We never danced with the Devil. This little boy did." Nicks wrote a poem about it, and when Grohl wanted to record a new song with her, she said, "It's dark. Do you want to go there with me, Dave?" and he replied, "I'm going there with you, Babe."  Everyone clapped and whistled their support, and they launched into the dark, yes, but impossibly lovely and haunting, "You Can't Fix This".

I told you there was crying. That didn't stop when next came "Dreams". Then "Landslide" (featuring Rami Jaffee's accordion that got its own cheer)! People were dying. While singing all along.

(Even though they tended to watch it through their cameras instead of their own eyes - in the moment. Sigh).

There was a dramatic intro and then everyone came on to play "Gold Dust Woman", capping the night off with that magic kind of dust that settles over shows that everyone there loved and will talk about for ages. Because it was Heart and Soul, Rock and Roll, shared between everyone.

"GOD BLESS SOUND CITY!!" yelled Grohl, and the long, fun ass night was over. We were ALL blessed.

Rock and Roll!