OK, here's the thing about Rocky for me. I feel I have to explain because every guy friend I've ever known thinks that I am in love with Rocky, and I can honestly say, that is not even close to why I 'love' Rocky's music. I should rewind and say that the very first time I heard one of his songs, I was instantly a fan. This was all post Waxwing, but when he released "Burning My Travels Clean". Shortly after hearing "Without Eyes Still Seeing" (2003?), I bought his album and was hooked. I've seen him play in really random places in San Diego since, and also many times at the Casbah with various bands, sometimes headlining, somtimes supporting other bands (like Lucero or Murder By Death).
The thing is, it's not love, but just being a pure fan. Or maybe not even that. There are the words and then there's the delivery and I can't figure which cuts me more. His songs speak to my relationships in the past and the way I hope they'll be in the future. I mean, if some guy told me "I knew you before you were born" or "there's nowhere I'd rather be than on my way home to you tonight," I'd be his forever. And I guess that's where I stand with Rocky's music. He reminds me of shitty relationships in the past, the things I've learned from said relationships, all the while giving hope that "love is the only answer". This doesn't even include the songs that I relate to on completely different levels, like "Tennessee Train Tracks" which begins "Come dry me out 'cause I've been drinking all night. Before I pass out I need your ghost to tell me this bloodless voice is as meaningless as it sounds" or songs like Suicide Medicine that even Cullen admitted raised the hair on his neck, or songs that remind me of road trips or depression or family or whatever. Rocky covers it all. So while I love Rocky Votolato as a musician, and think he's a cool guy in as much as I know him, the truth is I've never found a musician that speaks to me personally more than he does. For that I'm grateful, but it's not even close to real love or even a crush, I really, truly, deeply just love the music.
Rocky had his brother come help out on White Daisy Passing, to which Chad commented (jokingly) that he was 'stealing his thunder'.
Chad (from Drag The River) is still playing with Rocky
After the show there was the usual drinking and hanging. Here is Cullen, Abraham and Rocky.
And Rocky and Josh from Slender Means
And I did catch a pic of Jesse Sykes with Matt (The Long and Short Of It)
Matt and Cullen
Anyway, it was another great Rocky performance, and most of the show I was up front singing right along (and I think I even dropped a tear or two, which I quickly attempted to disguise. Must be the smoke in the air.) There really was no real chance for post-Casbah partying. Rocky's wife April is on tour with them and they all seemed ready to call it a night and the other ones who wanted to party wanted to go someplace I won't go. Oh, and there was a staggering Rocky fan who could not drive home. So I ended up driving her home in her car and Abraham followed and dropped me back at my car so I could get home. Still, it was a beautiful night and a beautiful escape. So, Rocky, if you ever read this, thank you.
Rocky Votolato Setlist, Casbah, 10/24/07
note, for the encore, he only played Mixtapes/Cellmates. I think everything else is accurate.