Saturday, November 25, 2006

Glenn Schwartz And My Cleveland Invasion In General

I have spent the last few days in my hometown of Cleveland, where I came to celebrate the popular Thanksgiving holiday and see some friends and family and whatnot. Last night, I met a couple friends at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, where Pere Ubu was playing in one room and Blue Cheer were playing in the other. I dig both bands a lot but- since I was seeing folks I hadn’t seen in a while- I have to admit I spent a lot more time talking than I did focusing on the rock.

One act I did give my full attention to was Glenn Schwartz, who was opening up for Blue Cheer. Glenn is an amazing guitar player who chose the Lord and just being, well, sorta nutty in general over rock stardom back in the early ‘70’s. Jimmy Page, Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Carlos Santana, and Jeff Beck have all been fans over the years and Jimi Hendrix even asked him to play at his last birthday party (the one he had before he died). In short, he is a motherf*cker (in a really good way).

I’ve never been a huge fan of blues guitar but Glenn plays it in a way that transcends the genre. One second, he’s whispering through a few licks as if they are taking place in an alternate universe or maybe just inside his head, the next he’s kicking you in the nuts with some full-on shredding. He plays the guitar with his teeth even though he appears to have almost none. He is one crazy badass. I’d seen him play a couple times before a few years ago, but last night’s show reinvigorated my enthusiasm for the man. Hopefully one day he’ll get it together to take the show on the road. Until then, you’re gonna have to road trip it to you Cleveland, which would be worth it. You can find out more about him here.

Dave Hill


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