Saturday, January 30, 2010

LITTLE CAESAR (the band): Rox Redux

all photos (C) 1989 - 2010 Heather Harris. All Rights reserved.

Their self-description of "Ray Charles meets AC/DC" comes close enough to encapsulate the essence of Little Caesar (the band) (not the Edward G. Robinson classic gangster film) (and certainly not the fast food chain with its different spelling) who boast a dynamic, genuinely soulful singer over hardest, nastiest rock (with the occasional reflective ballad
. Hey, ya gotta look back when your band has been rocking off and on for over twenty years.)

with a new 2010 release "Redemption" sporting, on some songs, all its original members from the Golden Era of Geffen Metal (their label for their first three releases circa 1990 - 92. Remember their rockin' rearrangement of "Chain Of Fools" all over the radio?) plus some excellent new players, they sound just as superb if not even better.

Their modus operandi includes wild double lead guitars, referential soul/R&B, timber-toppling beats, arena-worthy hard-coreness, five distinct personas interacting with much playfulness onstage, and the cleverest rock lyrics since Randy Newman and Bon Scott. And they're gigging again- don't miss out this time around.

I've enjoyed photographing this great band from 1989 through Right Now. The sole cover on "Redemption" is, for wont of a better lexicon, a Hard Glam cover of "Every Picture Tells A Story," so I offer the following gallery of Little Caesar from 1989 to 2010 on this blog entry in hopes that it displays their unique bad-boy-next-door camaraderie as well as all-out devotion to their unique music.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


all photos (C) 2010 Heather Harris. All Rights Reserved.

Leanna Asheton just did a nice thing for her late uncle, guitarist Ron Asheton who passed away unexpectedly a year ago Jan. 6th, as well as did a highly accomplished, professional thing. As promoter, she commemorated his Stooges' legacy in her tribute to Ron Asheton Jam at the Roxy, Hollywood, Calif., January 13, 2010.

Belying her youth (she's 18) Ms. Asheton ably produced a show that featured performers with connections to the Stooges, both as legendary participants or as edgy young bands on the ascent, with the following lineup of the jamming and groups: Billy Boy On Poison; The Entrance Band; Night Horse (from Leanna and the Stooges' native Michigan); The Living Things, a group of brothers like The Stooges; drummer Scott "Rock Action" Asheton (original and current Stooge) and Leanna's father; Mike Watt (current Stooge); Steve Mackay (original and current Stooge); Scott Thurston (original Iggy and The Stooges Stooge); Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction); Chad Smith (drummer, Red Hot Chili Peppers); singer Anna Rose; Derek Stanton (singer/songwriter/guitarist of Ann Arbor MI's fabulous Stooge-esque-but-noise-band power trio Awesome Color); Mike Jtone, singer of Circus Boy (from Ann Arbor MI as well); The Raw Power Rangers (a Stooges circa 1973 tribute band comprised of L.A. punk luminaries); Steve Baise and Don Bolles; and even a random audience member (one Trevor Swenson) pulled onstage to karaoke "I Wanna Be Your Dog." No bottles or cameras were thrown.

Pictured at top: Mike Watt, Scott "Rock Action" Asheton and Scott Thurston, Stooges all, left to right. Current Stooges reunion's Watt had not publicly performed before with Raw Power vintage Stooge Thurston, initially the keyboard player (I took live Stooges photos from that era!) here pinch-hitting on guitar for Raw Power's James Williamson who had to return to Anaheim that night for his pre-booked (way before the Ron Jam was announced) participation in the NAMM show, a giant electronics/technology/music/musical instruments annual event. In fact, I took the photos of James for Blackstar Amplifiers as showcased therein and for its current print ads (see photo blog HERE.)
Above, Leanna's dad, Scott "Rock Action" Asheton, the drummer who has influenced everyone, and her late uncle Ron Asheton circa 1992. (next, time warp to a two years later portrait of Leanna.)

Yet another original Stooge, saxophonist Steve Mackay 
of "Funhouse" notoriety (and an essential component 
of the current reunion tour spotlighted on Youtube in 
their Brazil Nov. 2009 gig that featured the return of James Williamson to the Stooges after his 38-year-absence, slashing out his breakneck-speed "Search 
And Destroy" simultaneous leads and chords as if 
he never had left. Mackay's riffing works as a 
second guitar fill, while his soloing provides 
an interlude to clear the stage of audience 
member-dancers invited onstage by singer 
Iggy Pop to rowdily commune, 

Astonishing bassist/singer Mike Watt in action and with Scott Thurston, Stooge to Stooge.

Singer Lillian Berlin, right, of The Living Things, the band of brothers, is the husband of Floria Sigismondi, director of the new biofilm on The Runaways with Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie and that Twilight girl as Joan Jett, due for release early this year. Good pedigree!

Fetching and talented bassist Paz Lenchatin from The Entrance Band, an electronic effects-loving guitar/bass/drums trio.
The Raw Power Rangers (Stooges' tribute band) singer David Arnson gets backed by a real Stooge and a Germ.

Awesome Color guitarist Derek Stanton, right, nobly emotes while Circus Boy singer Mike Jtone prepares to trash his jam band members Steve Mackay and Scott Thurston's instruments, careening around spilling beer and unbottled water on keyboards, sax mikes et al. I found this a puzzling response to the recent redemption of the longtime feloniously undervalued, underdog Stooges, heroes of myself and most in the know for the last 40 years. IMHO, it came off as a lame shtick. Steve Mackay's onstage reaction is posted last...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

JAMES WILLIAMSON for Blackstar Amplifiers

James Williamson of Iggy and The Stooges proved a dapper model indeed in our shoot for Blackstar Amplifiers. This photo should be appearing on ads in Guitar Player magazine and assorted promo centered around the NAMM show mid-January in Los Angeles, which the celebrated Stooges' guitarist will attend.

Friday, January 1, 2010


photos (C) 2010 Heather Harris (hey, a new decade to copyright!)
A terrific way to ring in the new year: The Dogs co-billed with The Zeros at the Redwood, downtown L.A. last night for New Year's Eve. Anyone local here who wants to see monster players like The Dogs in action along with the always likable and popular Zeros, these two bands, both veterans of the 1970's L.A. punk scene comprised of original members, are appearing at the same venue tonight Jan. 1 as well.

Now, off to see the Scripps-Miramar Saddlebred horses in the Rose Parade on tv, survivors of the horrendous San Diego wildfires a few years ago. As a fire-evacuated horse-owner myself this last year, I empathize.
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