Popular local rock act Spike & the Impalers make a return visit to Emerald Queen Casino I-5 this weekend.
A long time ago, in a more peaceful time when dinosaur bands ruled the earth and tobacco was still considered a vegetable, Spike O’Neill was born to poor bar owners in the Baltimore gin belt. Spike O’Neill was raised by loving parents in a modest-but-comfortable home that he would one day burn to the ground.
After a mildly successful seven-year college career, Spike O’Neill shunned formal education to pursue his fame and fortune in the social skills industries, eventually rising to the respected positions of used car salesman and singing bartender.
He began his radio career as a complaint caller to Bob Rivers’ show at Baltimore’s WIYY. “Bob immediately saw my natural gift as a sarcastic smart-ass, and asked me to come along with him to the Pacific Northwest,” Spike recalled, “and the rest, as they say, is a rap sheet.”
Since arriving in Seattle in the summer of 1989, Spike O’Neill has grown from an inexperienced part-time player to a fixture in the Seattle radio market and one of the most recognized writers and voice talents in the industry. Along the way, no sacrifice has seemed too great for the sake of entertaining the audience; on the air, Spike O’Neill has removed every hair on his body after losing a bet, pierced his nipples (no bet involved) and submitted to a prostate exam.
Spike O’Neill’s turn-ons include sunny days on his Electra Glide, and going for it on fourth down. His turn-offs include soft sweaty handshakes and indoor baseball.
He fronts the band with his trademark kilt; Bob Rivers positions himself on keyboards. Rounding out the talent are veteran rockers Dudley Taft on lead and rhythm guitar (formerly of Sweetwater and Second Coming,) Jeff Kathan on drums, Lynn Sorensen on bass guitar, and Joe Shikany taking on lead and rhythm guitar (all from Paul Rodgers’ band).
However, this is truly a homegrown workingman band at heart. Jay Powers, a mild-mannered capital investor by day, adds additional keyboards. The Impalers also feature Mark Russell (guitar) and their biggest crowd pleaser, 17-year-old guitar phenomenon Ian Crawford.
Spike & the Impalers play Emerald Queen Casino I-5 at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 13.