In a country where interstates don’t take you to new places, but to the same places, where everywhere you go you’ve already been or you’ve just left, The Bottle Rockets’ new album absolutely nails a sound and a vibe with a palpable sense of place. Lean Forward is suffused with the determination and resilience of their distinctly midwestern roots; theirs is a celebration of pragmatism and tempered optimism, not the delusions and exhortations of glassy eyed zealots—they aren’t going to fall for that. Oh, it’s a flat out, smoking rock record, too.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
The first concert I attended was Willie Nelson at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, MO sometime around 1977. We hadn’t originally planned to go to the show while at the fair, but my brothers and I talked our Dad into buying concert tickets. Willie played Whiskey River twice that show, and he still does that today.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
Among my favorite shows we’ve played was a sweaty club show in Madrid, Spain. It was a packed house on a Sunday night and the crowd had the vibe of a 1970’s concert, complete with girls sitting on their long-haired boyfriends’ shoulders and a dude waiving a crutch in the air. And fans were taking photos with actual cameras, not with fucking cel phones.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
My favorite show ever was Neil Young and Crazy Horse at the Fox Theater in St. Louis, MO on his Live In A Rusted Out Garage Tour in 1986. The show was loud and funny and dangerous and smart. The production was brilliant and Neil with Crazy Horse was incendiary – he thought of everything on that tour.
Gig you would most like to play?
See next answer.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
Since this is a make-a-wish dream question, I selfishly choose for The Bottle Rockets to open one show for the original Led Zeppelin in a small club in 1979. Their fans would hate us and it would be a miserable time for our band, but that wouldn’t matter for one show because it would be amazing to be that close to John Bonham while he plays. Or maybe I should just wish to be Bonham’s drum tech for a night…
Catch The Bottle Rockets at Loco’s Grill & Pub.