with Ike Willis
State Theater, St. Petersburg • 3.13.98
Editor’s Note: This is a piece of seasonal hyperbole. No actual superheroes were harmed at this show. Events that actually transpired are quite different. In other words: April Fools! What started out to be a great show featuring legendary Frank Zappa vocalist Ike Willis turned out to be one of the greatest disasters in recent music history. I’ll tell you why, if I can remember correctly.
When I arrived at the door, someone had mistakenly left my name off the guest list. I felt a greater deficiency of due process than James Pitts ever had, and thus flew into a rage. I went to my minivan to retrieve the $45 admission (in nickels and pennies! Now you understand my anger!), and returned wearing only a Roland ACI-120J (I think the J is for Jigawatts) strapped loosely around my waist. I beat the doorgirl senseless with the bags of change, entered the club, and proceeded to the back row of the balcony.
Sure, “things could only get better” is what you’re thinking. Well, they did. For a few minutes. Ike Willis came out and performed a beautiful version of “The Idiot Bastard Son” with only piano accompaniment. After a brief intermission (the show had just started!) Ike returned to the stage (drowning in applause) and then gave a lecture on Goldfish (of all things!)… not the animal, the cracker! Unfortunately, it ran longer than a few minutes. FOUR HOURS later, I was glancing nervously at my watch, very much in need of some sleep. “And now we will move onto chapter 5. Flavors available. They come in different flavors: nacho, taco, pizza, broccoli and cheese, fish and chips, wooden hotdog, sour cream and onion… ” and then… get this… Batman comes crashing through the glass ceiling. Is that cheesy, or what? I had had enough. So I got up and left. This chair-face Chippendale had never felt so ripped off in his life.