Friday, June 17, 2011


Fascinating evening at Beyond Baroque in my old haunts of Venice, California*. Eve Brandstein/Poetry in Motion presented a mix of live music and highly entertaining Spoken Word performers, sometimes even simultaneously as with the segment of Michael Des Barres' (pictured above and below.)

Des Barres, whose much in demand rock frontman career began with 1970s Glamsters Silverhead, advertised this on Facebook as, strange as it seemed, his first ever solo gig. Insofar as his "day job" has been equally steady work throughout the intervening decades as the go-to actor for edgy outsiders or rocker types, it's puzzling that he hasn't happened on this mash-up of playing his own songs and hilariously raconteuring before now: the combo is a natural for this extrovert who had the audience enraptured with his every word.

Easy rapport with the audience!

Ron Zimmerman (above) evinced a genuine, Jeff-Bridges-casual charm (but with more bite and Bizarro Worldliness) via his dry but riotous humor. Check into IMdB for his extremely extensive television/writing/producing C.V., Google(TM) for extraneous lovelife stuff.

Comedienne/writer Suzanne Whang, sardonic and beauteous (sorry, but it's true.)

Best idiosyncratic delivery: a tie between Rick Lupert (whose resemblance to Danny Strong, comic supporting actor seen in most seasons of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" initially threw me,) left and Ellyn Maybe, right.

Ben Brandstein (fils d'Eve) above left, and Mason Summit, right, bravely made it a truly all ages gig. Charismatic young Summit performed a rousing "I Ain't Marchin' Anymore" worthy of its writer the late Phil Ochs (subject of a well-received recent documentary "There But For Fortune.")

Des Barres' spellbound audience (assorted Brandsteins visible.)
"J'accuse!!?" No, unexpected props to your trulys from onstage. Thank you Michael.

"Can I borrow your capo, Mason?"

Photo op: Evita Corby (right) and friend get noticed.

*An ad hoc Venice cruising proved that twenty years later, the Jolly Roger Motel still stands. Twister and I knew it well as an annex. Our Lilliputian beach house was too tiny for houseguests...RELATED:
This Ron Zimmerman video is from a 2007 book signing for Catherine James' memoir "Dandelion," which I like to plug as it's a worthwhile, poignant and entertaining read.

Michael Des Barres (with band at SXSW) performing his song (co-written with Holly Knight) "Obsession"

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