So the Yardbirds went on to play in Santa Cruz the next night, then LA on Wednesday, then San Diego Thursday, then Vegas on Friday and then back up to Petaluma for the last show of the West Coast leg of their tour on Saturday at The Mystic Theater.
Saturday (April 7th) the entire band went up to The Mystic Theater in Petaluma to see the Yardbirds play. Being a dedicated Yardbirds tribute band we figured we might as well all see what they are doing now. I guess we are probably the only Yardbirds tribute band actually so going to see The Yardbirds was a treat for all of us. The Mystic Theater is a fine venue. Good staff. Nice backstage area with amenities. The bands eat at the restaurant (McNear’s) connected to The Mystic Theater itself. The Mystic is an old movie theater converted for shows…the entire floor slopes gently downward towards the stage and combined with the balcony seating most everyone has a great view of the band.
Here’s the fun part. So all of The RaveUps were on hand to see The Yardbirds at this show in Petaluma. As it turned out that was a good thing for us and The Yardbirds. We all went next door to McNear’s for dinner…low and behold…there were all The Yardbirds eating after soundcheck. We hadn’t been there but about ten minutes when John Idan (bass & lead vocalist w/The Yardbirds) & Ben King (their guitarist) came over to our table and told me about having a predicament with their harmonica guy (Billy Boy) taking ill (pneumonia it turns out). Here’s the kicker…they asked if our singer/harp player (Dave Seabury) would play the show with them since their guy was so sick.
At first when I asked Dave if he wanted to play with The Yardbirds he thought I was kidding. After convincing him it was on the level Dave looked me straight in the eye and said “YES”! Off they went backstage to prep, rewrite the set for that evening. Dave went on to play all evening with The Yardbirds…he went out and R-O-C-K-E-D & did us proud! The added bonus for me was that just before their set was to begin I was out in the audience. I got tapped on the shoulder again and it was Joe their tour manager. He said that Jim McCarty & Chris Dreja wanted to talk with me. So I went back stage about 5 minutes before showtime and as it turns out they asked me to come up on stage and introduce them for their set…you can imagine I was proud to do it! They really like & appreciate what The RaveUps are doing so I’m like a proud papa 😉
As it turned out we got to hang with them for the evening before and after the show…took pictures and heard some great stories! The way things worked out was quite amazing. The RaveUps are a truly a labor of love. We all really respect all The Yardbirds are now and have been! The body of music they created has impacted us all mightily. We feel incredibly lucky to have connected with them on so many levels. Some incredible memories and experiences in the last week. I’ve been in a number of ‘professional hangs’ and the like over the years but the guys have all been weekend warriors until joining The RaveUps and so to see them light up and beam like kids at Christmas with hanging out and meeting The Yardbirds was a joy. There you have it…a fun little adventure we all got to share.
Lead Guitar – The RaveUps