In a move sure to cement its reputation as SOMA's premier cutting-edge rock and roll venue, Spike's bar has scored rockers Three Hour Tour for a one-night run in November.
Three Hour Tour, the newly re-formed retro group out of the Sunset District, has had a cult following for about three years and is already well known in the West-of-Arguello area.
Founder and drummer Paula Bocciardi is the only band member I've met personally, having had her as a student in two Rock History classes at S.F. State in the late 70s. Apparently Ms. Bocciardi never ceases to remind her friends that she "knows" me, simply because we supposedly once had a couple of beers together at some dive newspaper hangout on Mission Street. Frankly, I really don't remember who the hell she is.
Julie "Riff" Riffle, lead guitarist, is the other long-standing band member. Her regal onstage presence clashes poetically with her blistering solos and dizzying array of notes. Although Ms. Riffle worships Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, she bears a much closer resemblance to Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.
Rhythm guitarist Traci Szabat and bassist Cole Rowan joined the band in the Spring. Ms. Szabat's tastefully distorted Stratocaster and ringing licks have given the band a stinging shot in the arm. Word is that Traci also just bought a Rat, which she has been fiddling with obsessively for the last week. [Ed.'s note: A "Rat" is some kind of guitar pedally thing.]
Ms. Rowan's offbeat bass style and (yes!) 5-string bass guitar have been all the buzz lately in underground music circles. Cole seems to have given up the practice of taping yellow Post-Its to her fretboard to remind her where the notes are. Some fans are unnerved by the change, but it appears to be permanent.
Newcomer Sharalyn Lawrence is a young rockabilly/urban/punk/retro/grunge/funk singer who sang professionally in the Portland area ten years ago but then mysteriously disappeared from the music scene. Despite desperate appeals from Portland's civic leaders, Ms. Lawrence chose to wait a full decade before resurfacing as the lead vocalist for Three Hour Tour. How fitting.
Those of you who read my columns know that I find it obligatory to mention the physical characteristics of female musicians. Of Three Hour Tour, let me just say that the whole band is babe-o-licious. Or at least one hell of a lot more attractive than those women at the Paradise Lounge who look like heroin addicts.
Now listen closely: Show up EARLY to see this extraordinary band. The club is small and you may not get in if you come late.
Date: Saturday, November 19, 1994
Time: Doors open at 8:30, there are two opening bands, and Three Hour Tour plays at God knows when
Cover charge: $5
Place: Spike's, 139 8th Street at Minna (between Mission and Howard)
Spike's is now calling itself a "women's speakeasy." But you don't have to be a woman to get in.
As the great Tom Petty once said, "The w-a-a-a-i-ting is the hardest part."
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