Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to play Medina Friday
My favorite band out of Long Beach, California is coming to town Friday night. No, not Snoop Dogg. And not Sublime. That dude's so dead. And I never liked them, anyway. Swear to god! (And if you've ever heard me singing along to "Santeria" on a jukebox, you can just keep your damned mouth shut. I don't prac-tice San-te-ri... oh shit, you got me.)
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, my actual favorite band from Long Beach, play the Medina Friday (with local openers The Killer Hayseeds, 7:30, $24-$31). I've never been to the Medina, but I imagine it's kinda like that bowling alley Jeff Bridges plays at the beginning of Crazy Heart. And, holy shit, it's not just my imagination -- the Medina has an honest-to-god bowling alley! Perfect locale for seeing the band perhaps best known for singing your aunt's favorite song to caterwaul along to at wedding receptions, "Fishin' in the Dark." Here are a few other things you may not know quite so well...
Five Facts about the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Five Songs I Like and Hope You Will Like, Too
The band has opened for such diverse acts as Jack Benny, the Doors and Bill Cosby and has played with Earl Scruggs, members of the Carter Family, Roy Acuff... and Dizzy Gillespie.
They make up the most credible part of the record collection I inherited from my mother*. With Pablo Cruise, Judy Collins, Jane Fonda's Workout Record and the ilk comprising the rest, that's really saying... a lot? Hey, I was happy to steal her hardly-played copies of 1972's Will the Circle Be Unbroken and '74's Stars & Stripes Forever.
Jackson Browne helped start the band in 1966, then a six person jug band that played in pinstripe suits and cowboy hats, but soon departed to focus on his solo career. He also used to beat up Daryl Hannah. I mean, according to the tabloids.
"The Dirt Band" (making it cool to shorten your name long before Jefferson Starship nee Airplane became just Starship) was the first American group allowed by the Soviet Union to tour Russia. Their televised appearance and concerts are estimated to have been watched by 145 million people.
They are a very, very serious band. Very serious. In addition to appearing on "Saturday Night Live" they provided backing for Steve Martin (under a fake name) on his novelty hit "King Tut."
No YouTube video for one of my favorites, 1985's "High Horse" but I found you this link to it right here. Don't like country music from the '80s? Yeah, I know you don't. You can eat an equine's YOU KNOW WHAT.
*Mom corrects me by text: "That was one of dad's...You may have been to see them when u were 5 or 6 same time we saw alabama." "I thought you said that was zz top?" "I'm not sure there were a bunch of bands...it was in a field probably 50 miles from abr**. It was similar to what detroit lakes does now. They only did it one year***. I'll see if I can come up with more info."
***They sure as hell didn't do this 50 miles from Aberdeen when I was growing up. And I'm pretty sure my first concert experience trumps all'a'yers. Except Jake Luck from Leisure Birds, because I'm pretty sure his was Parliament or Funkadelic or some shit. I know, right?
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