Stallions Playing Final Gig This Saturday
The Stallions: Blues With A Kick. It's a phrase that has served this band so well all these many years. The ride comes to an end this Saturday night in Sioux Falls as the band has decided to go their separate ways.
Let me tell you about my friends band. Their very first gig was was in the early morning hours of August 18, 1969. Shortly after Johnny Winter left the stage at Max Yasgur's farm at Woodstock, and before Jimi Hendrix closed the festival, these six very young men took the stage armed with one original tune, a handful of covers and thousands of very inebriated people in the audience. They ripped through songs from Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Son House and Buddy Guy, catching the attention of Hendrix who met the band backstage and asked them to travel with the Experience.
While touring with Jimi, they were introduced to Bill Graham, the legendary music promoter who was so taken with the Stallions, that he made them his 'go to' band to open shows at the Fillmore West in San Francisco any time he had Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service or The Doors play his club. As you can see, the guys became fast friends with Jim Morrison and the guys.
The Stallions morphed their sound to fit with the times, sliding effortlessly from their blues roots, into the psychedelic early 70's and later, even dabbling in disco as they became regulars at Studio 54 and rubbing elbows with Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol (pictured below)
Luckily the disco era burned out quickly as the Stallion criss-crossed the country, coming back to the music they loved so much: The Blues.
They spent some time in Austin, Texas backing a very young Stevie Ray Vaughan before being replaced by Double Trouble. They ran with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, inspiring them to write the Blues Brothers characters and cast them as extras in the final jailhouse scene. Aykroyd also had the Stallions play the grand opening of a little club he started in Cambridge, Massachusetts in '92 called the House of Blues. They played Woodstock '99 where bass player Mike McClintock started a feud with Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit that lasts to this day.
They got tired of the whole international touring scene, eventually settling down here in South Dakota where they became regulars at the Broadwater in Madison, SD and for a number of years, hosted their own festival called 'Beckfest'. The Stallions long journey is coming to a close for this legendary band.
Now as you probably have already figured out, most of what you've read is a complete fabrication out of my slightly twisted mind. I asked the guys repeatedly to give me a little history of the band, and when I couldn't get an answer, I took care of the rest!
What is true? They hosted Beckfest for a number of years, they're a fantastic band, their final show is this Saturday night at 9pm at the Alpine, and they're my friends.
I know there's a lot going on, but you've probably caught a show or attended a Beckfest in the past. I know Jim, Scott, Randy, Derek, Mike and Newmie would love to see your smiling face this weekend. There's no place else I'd rather be, so I'll see you there.