Iron Butterfly. Steppenwolf. Jimi Hendrix. They are among the founding fathers of a music revolution the legacy of which is still felt to this day. These American psychedelic rock artists of the late 1960s, and those of the British Invasion, carried music to a new high that ultimately opened fresh vistas for rock-n-roll to stretch and grow. These are the ancestors of rock whose contributions to our musical landscape will be brought back to the stage in a live concert May 12 at ShoWare Center in Kent.
The triple bill includes: Iron Butterfly, with original members Ron Bushy on drums and Lee Dorman on bass; Magic Carpet Ride, with an all-star lineup of eight players who know a lot about the music of Steppenwolf; and The Xperience featuring RG Valentino who has Hendrix nailed down note for note.
Together, these three bands will take their audience on a ride with a vibe like rock concerts were back in the day – without the pre-recorded lip-sync, autotune, outrageous ticket prices and venues that include a “nosebleed section.” Instead, they will play and sing live in an intimate, club space created by dividing the ShoWare arena in half so that the audience can get close to the stage and have that total concert experience – and tickets are just $15-$20. A laser light show provided by Northwest Laser Light Show will accompany the well known songs and greatest hits all three bands will play, helping to transport the audience back to the glory days of the Psychedelic ‘60s.
Glen Bui plays guitar in Magic Carpet Ride. He has a wealth of experience in playing Steppenwolf’s music. He toured and performed for Steppenwolf Productions and throughout the years performed with several original members of Steppenwolf before the band broke up in 1976, giving way to many variations of bands playing Steppenwolf's greatest hits. Bui has performed with and backed famous artists like Eddie Money, Tower of Power, Cathy Metea, Waylon Jennings and Roger Fisher of Heart, among numerous others. He is co-founder of Epic Recording artists Pegasus.
“You can’t get any more authentic than us,” he said of Magic Carpet Ride, which is licensed by Steppenwolf Productions. With Bui, the band includes Mike Stezer (bass, vocals), Danny Ironstone (formerly of Steppenwolf), Randy Bailey (guitar, lead vocals), Freddy Allen (drums), Scott Kasper (keyboards, organ), Dennis Mitchell (guitars, vocals) and Dan Crenshaw (guitars).
Bui said he and longtime Iron Butterfly guitarist Charlie Marinkovich had talked about wanting to bring this type of show together. When they approached ShoWare Center general manager Tim Higgins about it, Bui said he was all for it because it fit well into ShoWare’s plan to host more such intimate concerts.
Bui said he’s excited to see Iron Butterfly perform. “The thing about them is they were the first rock band ever to win a platinum album (for ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’),” he said. “They’re iconic in that they’re still selling records and downloads.”
Iron Butterfly’s bassist going back nearly 45 years, Dorman has been involved in the music industry ever since. The band has been touring all over the world, and just got back from a European tour. Other gigs have been in Romania, Barcelona and the Canary Islands. Next week they play in Brazil. Dorman says he is loving every minute of it.
“It’s like a vacation and a payday.
“For the past 15-18 years, Ron (Bushy) and I have played as Iron Butterfly and it seems okay with people that there are only two original guys,” he said. Their band mates are Charlie Marinkovich (lead guitar, vocals) and Martin Gerschwitz (keyboards, violin, lead and back up vocals).
A Tacoma native, Dorman grew up in Lakewood and fondly remembers his youth at Lowell Elementary School and Annie Wright Academy. When asked if he ever thought he’d be playing onstage this long in his life, he laughed and said, “No, I thought I’d be dead!
“It’s astounding the band has had such success. When I first started playing, it was about the beer and the babes. I never had an idea I’d make the albums I did and still be healthy enough to play and that people want to hear it. I’m really looking forward to this gig,” he said about the upcoming show in Kent.
Musician, songwriter and producer RG Valentino headlines The Xperience. A highly sought-after studio musician, Valentino has done guitar arrangements for Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, Quincy Jones, Prince and George Clinton, to name a few. A guitar virtuoso in his own right, reviewers and fans alike praise Valentino and The Xperience for their skill at every detail in re-creating the Hendrix experience.
Door open at 6:30 and the show starts at 7:30. Tickets are available at ShoWare Center’s box office in downtown Kent (625 W. James St.), online at www.ShoWareCenter.com or by phone at 1 (866) 973-9613. Co-presented by the City of Kent Arts Commission. Check out www.magiccarpetrideinc.com, www.ironbutterfly.com and www.facebook.com/XperienceJimi.