The Whisky Go Go is a venue that has long been associated with the biggest acts in rock history Alice Cooper, Oasis, Janis Joplin, Led Zeplin, The Doors and many more. At 3pm on 26th August 2012 Purple Mafia walked through the doors of the famous venue for sound check, thankfully unfazed, by the glamour and glitz of nearby Beverly Hills. Before jumping on stage for sound check the boys had a quick scout around the legendary venue. The sound guys Jeff and Luis were really great and when it was time for Purple Mafia to sound check they were settled in and got the job done quick. True professionals.
Then it was off to West Hollywood's famous Barney's Beanery http://www.barneysbeanery.com/ for some very large portions of American food, (chili is a speciality) and table shuffleboard, something the guys had never seen. Then it was time to get ready for the show. Casual wear with of course hints of purple. Then Unison Music label manager Mitch Goodman shuffled off the boys to the show. In a black suit, purple tie and fancy fedora, this guy is a bundle of cosmic energy that obviously loves Purple Mafia with a passion.
The other bands were a strange mix of music, several from overseas, a singer songwriter from the States, a duo from Germany, a hard rock band from Italy, and our British Boys Purple Mafia. Although the other bands were ok, once Purple Mafia hit the stage it was obvious that something special was happening in Hollywood. A group of girls that the boys had met the day previously at Venice Beach showed up as promised, dancing and screaming with their arms flailing at the front of the stage.
Standing in the center of the stage, like so many Great Music hopefuls before them, singing their hearts out Whisky Go Go was brought to life and they blew the jam packed venue away with a staggering performance, There was no relying on gimmicks, no unnecessary theatrics, just some good old fashioned pop music. When the band kicked off, it was clear that the crowd had their dancing shoes on. The front row consisted of an impressive array of new found teenage devotees: baby Baywatch blondes screaming at them.
I stood at the back of the venue and watched Producer Bruce Witkin's reaction to the gig. I could see his masterful, musical mind thinking how he would capture this kinetic energy in a recording. Bruce also played the hero and saved the day when Harry's amp went dead. As quick as a mongoose, but as subtle as the invisible man, Mr. Witkin found the problem within seconds and the music continued with hardly anyone even noticing.
By the end of the set, it was clear the band had many new fans. Out of nowhere appeared several purple beach balls, which the boys autographed for their new, West Coast fans. This somehow turned into serious Sharpie shenanigans. First the girls asked if the band would sign their arms, which led to art on their faces, which led to thick, black moustaches on these crazy young lassies. Can't imagine what their parents thought when they got home! The guys did not survive unscathed. One of the young teen queens wrote on Harry's chest: "I love the rocket in your pocket" a lyric from their songs. Another signed Dan's chest with " Biggest fan". Can you say ROCK AND ROLL?
After the set I went up to the boys and asked how they thought it went, Josh beamed "It was our best show ever" and the club management was very pleased if their smiles were anything to go by, as was Mr. Goodman, who has obviously taken these boys under his guarded wing.
Trying to crack America is something of a tightrope; it could be the making or breaking of Purple
Purple Mafia. It can take months and months of constant touring and promotion. And the boredom and pressures (pleasures) of being on the road have driven many a band to self-destruct. But from the faces of the crowd it was obvious that Purple Mafia was the band of the night, and become rockers. A really tough gig being late Sunday, a school night, right at the start of the new term, but for a half an hour it was a total rock-a-thon. The energy coming of the stage was electrifying and people were rocking out and singing along to songs they had never heard before. The band took the crowd by storm and their most outlandish rock 'n' roll fantasies started to become a reality.
The young musicians finally pulled away from the ladies and headed back to Jim Morrison's apartment. It is strange how many references to the Doors and Jim Morrison are in Los Angeles. A city that is very proud of its rock and roll history. Just as so many bands have catapulted their careers by playing this holiest of Hollywood hot spots, Purple Mafia most definitely made their mark at the Whisky a Go Go.
As I watched the lads drive away down the street I heard some young ladies say "who were those guys", they are of course Purple Mafia!
Get Over Yourself
Back To Life
Gadgets For The Girls
She Thinks It.
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