Round II - My Current Adventures As A S.F. Rock Journalist

July 2001

It's alive, it's alive! This "Bonfire of the Vain -ities" on-going series has already become a living, breathing organism with a warped mind of its own, daring me to follow more wacky trails and flashing neon signs to "GOD-KNOWS-WHERES-VILLE" once again. The past and the present are twisting and turning and crashing head first into each other faster than the Daytona 500 (God rest yer soul, Dale Earnhart)and folks, let me tell ya - I couldn't MAKE this stuff up or time it any better. For God's sake, I interviewed Fee Waybill of THE TUBES in the March issue!! And attended their show at The Great American Music Hall on March 10 - as "Press"! How insane is that?? (The sold-out show was proof positive that time has not diminished the stellar musician and showmanship of this great band and particularly the considerable appeal of it's still commanding frontman, Mr. Waybill. {Even if he described the one song of mine he listened to as "Jewel-esque" - and has yet to expound any further about the music HE requested I send). You can still read his entertaining tete-a-tete with me on And now that this column is an "Extra, Extra! Read All About it!" monthly event - I'm gonna milk this cow till it's dry, baby! And hopefully, that won't be any time soon, given the response - thanks, SF Herald readers!! But FIRST, I want to thank all of you for attending my first two SF gigs at JAVA ON OCEAN on Feb 17th and Mar. 11th. We entertained the enthusiastic, caffeinated-up crowd and rocked the coffee-house, man! As promised, the illustrious publisher of this little newsrag, Gene Mahoney, was in attendance, strategically placing himself by the window where the copies of the SF HERALD are stacked. They went like hotcakes as I plugged the paper between songs and his fans rushed the potted palm he was hiding behind to get a look at their illusive idol. (That's what HE'D like you to believe). Actually, I did notice several friendly people paying very close attention to ME that I did not recognize and he thinks it's because they read the last article. E-mail me at and let me know! I can't wait to get out and play again - so make sure to attend the next SF Herald Night on Sat., May 26 at Circadia at 2727 Mariposa, where our own Lee Vilensky and his trio and my band will be the featured entertainment! Dinner, drinks and schmoozing with the SF Herald gang will commence at 6:30 pm, the music starts at 8:oo, and Mr. Mahoney will be hosting, so don't miss it! Call and make a reservation at 415-552-2649!

Speaking of which, before I take you "Back to the '80's, man!" where we last left our fame-seeking/soul searching Alice-in-Wonderland - yours truly - I want to share a few of the crazy daisy chain of events that unfolded as the last issue came out. A fourteen year old singer from New Jersey e-mailed me that she wanted to cover a song of mine because Marty Balin had sent her my tape after she met him backstage with her dad at a recent Jefferson Starship concert (wonder who's in that band, now?) !!! And the song she wants to do is one I co-wrote with Brenda Warren, who wrote BREAKFAST IN MARIN, the rock musical that Marty saw me in back in '79!! How did this happen? Fun Fact # 1: When I was in NY last Aug. for a friend's wedding, I read in the Village Voice that there was this art show in Soho of rock 'n roll musicians who paint, like Ron Wood, and Marty was the guest artist. I showed up, reminded him of BREAKFAST, which he claimed to remember, (uh-huh) and told him he was one of my favorite singers and gave him one of my CD's. Several weeks later, he e-mailed me that he loved my music and my songs and "could see himself doing one of them". I e-mailed him back and never heard from him again, even though I got an e-mail from his WIFE, Karen, who wanted to know who the hell was e-mailing her husband on HER computer (?) and now SHE and I are friends. I've STILL never heard back from HIM! Even though a guitar player I worked with in Nashville hooked up with him in Tampa, where they both live now , because I e-mailed Marty his new phone number! But Marty Balin sent some " Britney Spears wannabe" a tape of MY songs - whatEVER... Huey Lewis appeared on a VH1 "Behind The Music" and I've still never heard back from him, even though I sent him a copy of the SF Herald - who the hell does he think he was? Martin Sheen was the featured guest of the Saint Joseph the Worker Church in Berkeley to speak out about hunger and his career (a combo platter!), and by the time I called , it was sold out. So I called and left a message and Father Joseph (related to the Saint?) called me back and was SO nice and said Mr. Sheen would be sorry he missed me and just gave me the address of his agent! I sent both of them a copy of the Herald and a lovely letter and of course, have not heard back from either of them. (Snuffy probably intervened.) But Father Joseph rocks, man! Go say a few "hail Marys" for me...And Richard Lewis spoke at Booksmith on Haight Street about his autobiography, "The Other Great Depression", which is killer, by the way. It was better than any stand-up I'd seen him do - brutally honest, funny and REAL. I purposely waited till the end of the book signing line, we chatted about his book and some people we both knew and when I handed him my book to sign, he wrote, "To Kimberlye - Beautiful name, beautiful woman. Have a beautiful life." It was beautiful. But then I proceeded to tell him I'd "scored his book" and handed him a strategically ordered tape and lyrics, with a copy of the last "Almost Famous" stuck behind them. He said "Okay", and put it in a designer shopping bag with some other stuff he'd gathered and when I said, "I'm your evil twin - it's gonna freak you out", he raised an eyebrow, looked at me very seriously and said, "I'll be the judge of that." We had a moment. I walked out feeling "mission accomplished" and walked to exactly where I remembered I parked my car and IT WASN'T THERE!!! For an hour I looked and looked and finally broke down and called our illustrious publisher who stopped the presses and gallantly rescued me. We called the city and the car had NOT been towed and I had to report it STOLEN! The cops came and took a report! Luckily, I had the sense to go back the next day and it WAS exactly where I had left it - 4 blocks the opposite direction of where I was CERTAIN I had left it!!! I had to call the cops back and "un-report" the car!! (They were not amused.) And I NEVER heard back from Richard Lewis, either!! I guess the "moment" ended up being a dyed blond one - hope HE'S having a beautiful life....

Okay, enough current events that have led to nowhere - let's go back to living in the past, where those events led to.... ( hint: starts w/ a "n" and ends w/ a "e")

Still Stuck in LA - and in the 80's!!

One of the places I used to frequent was a Mexican Restaurant/Top 40 nightclub chain/major pick-up joint called THE RED ONION. This was the "Madison Square Garden" of Top 40 clubs, and a lot of the band members went onto play with really big name artists. (And with me.) I got to know several of the bands who would let me sit in and I'd hang out all night just to get up on that big stage and knock the swingin' singles out with my best Chrissie Hynde "Middle of the Road" or Eurythmics "Missionary Man". Hell, I even covered Guns 'N Roses "Welcome To The Jungle", a real showstopper for a chick to pull off, man! And speaking of G&R, Ted Andreadis, keyboard player/singer for one of those Red Onion bands, THE TEAM, went onto become G&R's "auxiliary" guy: harmonica, Hammond B3, background vocals, etc. for their last tour where anyone cared. (Use Your Illusion I? II? XXX?). That was AFTER he played keyboards in MY band, KIMBERLYE & THE BAND OF GOLD (which I will cover in more detail in a moment) and I sang background in HIS band, ST.THEODORE & THE SINNERS. (I was one of the "Sin-ettes") Rudy Guess, THE TEAM's guitar player, (who once played a wedding with me where we played "The Search is Over" by SURVIVOR as some unknown couple walked down the aisle somewhere in the Valley) went on to become Carole King's guitar player and produced several of her albums! He got a gig for Ted in her band and THAT's how Slash from Guns 'N Roses played on her records and performed with her live!! Uh, hello, maybe a background vocal gig for ME in there somewhere, guys???? (Fun fact #2 :I met Ted and Rudy when I was teaching AEROBICS at a Nautilus Plus Health Club in predominantly black Fox Hills, CA.!!)

In addition to hanging out in this fun-filled, "cream-of-theTop-40-crap, I mean, crop" environment and playing my own share of these kind of gigs in lower-class (i.e. paying) establishments all around the LA area, (in groovy bands with names like THE BEDROCKERS) I also spent several years singing background for this whacked out, diva-from-hell, total Madonna-wanna-be artist who named herself TUESDAY KNIGHT (her real name was "Melody", like that wasn't bad enough.) Her dad, Baker Knight, was some guy who had written some "hits" for Elvis Presley, and somehow she had gotten a deal on CBS RECORDS, which lasted for about five minutes. (Somebody once found her record in a fifty-cent bin in Venice.) Her married guitar player (who, it was rumored, she was having an affair with) was in Tina Turner’s band, she was married to a drummer in a big hair band on MCA called CANDY (who Gilby Clarke, the last guitar player for Guns ‘N Roses, was in) and we played every "happening" club in LA, like Madame Wong's West and The Palace. "Big things" were always "almost ready to happen" - like getting paid. She occasionally got guest parts on TV shows like FAME and I would get to go "hang out", thinking this was cool and somehow it would "lead to something". She always swore it would. (I did get to meet Lee Ving from the punk band FEAR, who was another one of the guest stars on FAME - talk about a sell-out, man!) She drove everyone who worked with her insane, constantly borrowed money from us and used everyone for everything, and yet had this insidious way about her that sucked you in and I kept falling for it and letting her do it! You know the type. She did get a "lead" role in NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET IV – (which break-out star does anybody recall from that series?). Last time I saw her was on an episode of LAW AND ORDER, where she was one of several hookers in the opening scene before the "buh, buh, buh, buh, BAH BAH!" part.

Fun fact # 3: One of her then unknown songwriter/producers was Frank Wildhorn, who has written JECKYL & HYDE, THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL, and THE CIVIL WAR which are all huge hit musicals on Broadway and is now one of the most successful composers of all time. He told me I was a great singer, used me on background vocals for all the demos, and then brought in all his own people for the record and I never got credit for ANY of it!! Fun fact #4: Years later, when I was temping for ATLANTIC RECORDS in NY, before JECKYL & HYDE opened on Broadway and jump-started the careers of everyone from David Hasslehoff to Sebastian Bach from SKID ROW (why??), Frank Wildhorn called my boss, was so "thrilled" when he found out it was me answering the phone, said he wanted to take me out to dinner and I could audition for the show and we would talk about it and catch up. Yeah, like THAT ever happened.... And this kind of stuff (and so much more) led to….

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