A Swell Bunch of Guys

Friday, May 8, 2009
The Brewery, Raleigh NC
Steve's Birthday Blast
Aging disgracefully
and proud of it.

"Steve Quinney is 60? No sh*t?" Those words could have been spoken by any number of folks, us included. Steve is a respected, upstanding citizen these days compared to back in the day. To celebrate the arrival of his 60th birthday, the boys convened in Raleigh during the first week of May and proceeded to kick some ass with a couple hundred of our closest friends.

The band, this time around, consisted of the birthday boy, Steve Quinney, on vocals, Sean Carmichael on guitar, Randy Lee (the God of Thunder!) on bass, and Kelly Craven on drums.

Kelly arrived first, getting to spend a few days getting over the jet lag after flying in from Seattle. Sean arrived on Saturday the 1st, and first practice was on Sunday the 2nd. The week was spent in Terry's garage, who graciously allowed us to blast the neighborhood for 4 or 5 hours each day. Luckily, he lives far enough out to have LOTS of space between him and the neighbors and as far as we know, nobody complained, so we're grateful for that, too.

It was a great week–everybody was nice and relaxed, we scoped out some authentic NC barbecue, got to see the way cool Andy and Opie statue in Pullen Park, had a great time hanging with old friends and got to make some good music.

Showtime arrived quickly and the club filled up nicely and promptly at 9:00, Rock of Ages opened the festivities. Steve and Randy were joined by Jay Ruznak on guitar, Denny "Mad Dog" Cole on keyboards, and Dave Cook on drums and played a spirited, kickass set that got things off to a fine start.

Old friends Driver were up next–they were on the road the same time as us and we sure chewed a lot of the same dirt, didn't we guys? They tore it up with a rousing set led by lead vocalist Stacy Dennis, who sounded as good now as always.

Cirkus hit the stage around 11:30, and starting off with a command to "Make some noise motherfu*kers!", proceeded to kick ass and take names for the next 2 1/2 hours. There were several surprises in the songlist–things that Cirkus had never done before like…have a keyboard player. Mad Dog sat in with us on 2 tunes never played by Cirkus before, one by Led Zeppelin and one by The Who, and man, did they rock.

Steve's grandson Jeffrey sat in for a few AC/DC tunes and brought the house down with his Sin City solo. Jeffrey sat in with us at the first reunion at the ripe old age of 13; 6 years later, the difference is amazing.

We even sat down and played a few acoustic tunes. Steve and Sean were joined by Jay from ROA for a couple of Led Zeppelin tunes and one other.

The rest of the setlist consisted of Cirkus favorites, ranging from original material to Van Halen, and proving that old guys can still rock with the best of them…

Of course, it might take us a little longer to get out of bed the next day.

Rehearsal: May 3-7

Soundcheck: May 8

Showtime: May 8

The Party: May 9