2/14/06 - Baltimore, MD
Valentine's Day...the day for lovers, & at Sonar, in Baltimore, MD, Lennon Murphy & Shannon Curfman rolled into town to play the club stage at Sonar. If you've never been to the club side of Sonar, basically, it's like seeing a band play in a basement with a bar. The walls are black & there are a few scattered chairs & sofa's, & the vibe is very dank & the sound is not nearly as good as the main stage side at Sonar.
I didn't realize it until Lennon told me herself, but this entire tour is an "unplugged" tour, meaning that there is NO full rock show..it's Lennon by herself with a keyboard & Shannon Curfman with just her guitar player. Regardless, the show was interesting. There were 2 local bands that opened the show..they had their friends & family pack the place, but by the time Shannon Curfman came on it was down to the fans of Lennon & Shannon, which equated to maybe 20 people counting the bartender. Shannon Curfman is a mix of Bonnie Raitt & Stevie Ray Vaughan..she can play the blues on guitar amazingly well & authentic, but it's her big, soulful voice that is simply amazing! I felt really bad for Shannon, because in the beginning of her set, the PA blew out & after about 10 minutes of noodling around, they decided to simply play straight through their amps & they actually left the stage & placed their stools in the crowd & it was like a campfire jam, minus the campfire! Perhaps the most interesting sidenote is that Shannon didn't use a mic..she has such a loud & large voice that she just carried her singing through herself & without the use of a mic! This was the first time I'd EVER seen a performer do this, & she actually pulled it off well!!
Jeff Pringle was really the superman of the day..he made sure everything was working alright & he must have had a nervous-breakdown with all of the problems that plagued this show! I was amazed how cool & collect he was though it all! Lennon took the stage & she played a free-form set that had new & old songs, & even some new songs that were not recorded yet! Lennon joked with the crowd & interacted all night, asking them what they wanted to hear, telling road stories, telling the crowd that she only got 2 valentines & that this was her 2nd best Valentine's Day ever! If you've heard Lennon's "Career Suicide" CD, you know that she can pull off unplugged very well, but seeing her do it totally by herself is something really unique! I actually got to watch the bulk of her soundcheck & she actually performed several songs & she's a true talent if you get a chance to see her in this form, as a solo artist minus her rock band! I got to do an in-person interview with Lennon before the show, & here's what she had to say:
Rock N Roll Experience: How's the tour been so far?
Lennon: Besides the 2 emergency room visits? ha ha, uhm, it's been actually really good, I had a hard week last week where I got really sick & the doctors gave me what I needed, I mean, like Thursday in Philadelphia was spoken word night..the crowd...it was one of those shows where it was a most endearing experience..I offered them their money back if they wanted it.
Rock N Roll Experience: When is your new CD coming out?
Lennon: Late May
Rock N Roll Experience: Is it going to be "I Am"?
Lennon: Technically it is "I Am", but it's called "Damaged Goods" & it has all of the "I AM" tracks that were on the international release & we added 4 brand new tracks that we worked on last year...there are like 17 tracks on the new record.
Rock N Roll Experience: How come you put "Brake of your Car" on every record?
Lennon: Well, they are different mixes..they are not exactly the same & it's a good song & it's the same thing we did with "My Beautiful"...they are great songs that really never got the chance that they needed so we did different versions & remakes. "My Beautiful" is the most expensive song I've ever written..there are so many different versions of that song...I actually have enough tracks to make a "My Beautiful" record which is really sad ha ha
Rock N Roll Experience: How was it doing Suicide Girls?
Lennon: It was interesting..uhmm, I love the artistic idea of it...we approached them about advertising...it was artistic & they asked me to do it & I looked at them & said no, then I looked at the photo's & it was actually kind of cool & it had nothing to do with music & I liked that..I wanted something that was different & more artistic & it was weird to see how many people on there already had the record, & I actually saw that they advertised the show tonight as "Suicide Girl - Lennon" so...
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you think doing Suicide Girls actually helped your career at all?
Lennon: It's just a wide fanbase on there that actually brought alot of people into it, so it was definitely a help
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you go on your Lennon - Myspace page much?
Lennon: Yeah, when I have internet access, which is rare, but I answer all of the emails.
Rock N Roll Experience: What is "Property of Goatfucker" about?
Lennon: Actually, what happened was, we were in the recording studio & my guitar player came up with the riff, so we recorded it & it sat around for a while & it's a 2 part story: My roommate at the time had this Latin tattoo on her back & we always got tired of people asking what it meant so we'd say Goatfucker..it was the family name, & to go back to the other story, My A&R guy had this thing about the explicit lyrics sticker...we could get away with one or 2 cuss words, but to spite him, when we named the song I called it "Property of Goat Fucker" & 2 months later I write the lyrics & they happen to correspond to the title basically, so Property of Goatfucker.
Rock N Roll Experience: Are you going to change the title of the song "Brake of Your Car" for the new CD?
Lennon: "Brake" will stay the same, but "My Beautiful" has to change. It has to be changed, because if we ever release it as a single again, it was released before, so it'll be confused, it'll be called "Where Do I Fit In"..real simple!
Rock N Roll Experience: Are you playing guitar still?
Lennon: I don't play guitar
Rock N Roll Experience: I saw you playing guitar when you opened for Stabbing Westward...
Lennon: Yeah, ha ha, that is proof that I don't play guitar. I studied guitar for a couple of years & I just never got it....it wasn't like piano where it was really hard for me...Piano you have to keep your fingers curved & guitar you keep your fingers flat, so it's kind of like 12 years of keeping your fingers curved....
Rock N Roll Experience: Who is currently in your band?
Lennon: ha ha, I don't know...
Rock N Roll Experience: Is it always different people?
Lennon: It's just how it happens...it's a combination of we tour so much that....we've gone out for 3 or 4 months straight & we played Christmas & Thanksgiving, so alot of times people have their families, or they get married & they can't afford to do it anymore, I mean we're not getting rich out here...so we need to find a group of people that are young & that can play...number one, can play, & do it for the money & finding someone you can get along with, esp. when we tour, I mean this acoustic tour is 3 months & 60 dates.
Rock N Roll Experience: How was the Alice Cooper tour?
Lennon: Oh, ALice was really good...Alice is family. We played Myrtle Beach on the first tour we went out with him & we're very disciplined..we get our stuff up there & get stuff done, like I say, it's more like a detriment when you're around people who are not like that, & so playing Myrtle Beach, & my guitar player Scotti's girlfriend is out with us for a couple of days & she was drunk & something happened where she pushed someone & a guy poured a beer on top of her & Scotti decides to jump off the stage & start beating the shit out of this guy in the middle of the show & no one onstage sees this but me, so I'm trying to keep going & he was able to get into this fight & run up onstage & pick up his guitar right before he had to play a solo & it was just a disaster, & when we get off stage the cops & everything, & no one told Alice, & ALice's daughter runs in & tells Alice & Alice says, "That's the most rock n roll thing that's happened on this tour in a long time!", so we were like, ok, cool!