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Ok.. I admit it! I really do still Love 80’s hard rock and heavy metal music. I just can’t help it. It’s something about the electric guitar sound – it’s awesome. My mom and I actually still laugh to this day about how when her alarm clock would go off in the morning, Guns N’ Roses, Welcome to the Jungle, was always playing. That’s enough to wake anybody up!

I was going through pictures on in my Facebook album and chuckled when I came across my very smiley goofy grin standing next to Brian Robinson of the Black Crowes. I was a sophomore in college and was so excited to see them at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ.  To be able to see a band of that caliber up close in the intimate setting The Stone Pony offers was a dream.

I waited outside before the show hoping and praying to get my picture taken with the band, and Brian was gracious enough to oblige several of us before going inside before the opening act came on. For anyone that has waited outside a tour bus and venue hoping to ‘meet somebody famous’, there’s always lots of other people around just like you to talk with, and that was the case that night. You talk about everything music.. what bands are playing where; what albums have come out recently; who left what band and ended up where… just a mish mash of conversations about music. I remember one of the guys hanging out with us outside was really fun to talk to, and I wondered if we’d get to hang out once we got inside.  So the doors open and the rush to get a good spot to stand begins. I’m able to get in front, and there is nothing between me and the stage except a ‘barrier’ constructed of square cocktail tables surrounding the stage. Awesome. I had no idea who the opening band was, but that was Ok. If they were touring with the Black Crowes.. they had to be good. So the music starts and I get my camera ready. To my absolute shock, the guy I was thinking was so fun to hang out with outside…. is on stage singing.  Yes, he turned out to be the lead singer of the opening band, The Four Horsemen. I remember asking/screaming to him ‘why didn’t you tell me”.. as in , why didn’t he tell me he was the lead singer of the opening band? He just shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘You didn’t ask!’. 🙂   Their music was really good and reminded me of GNR.  The Black Crowes totally rocked too, and I got some really good pictures. Iwas never able to re-visit The Stone Pony, and still like The Black Crowes, and played them often during my 2-year hard rock & heavy metal college radio show, ‘Hard & Classic’.  As the years have gone by, when I go through my ‘heavy metal pictures’, (my teenager can hardly believe her eyes when I show them to her!), I come across the photo shown here of the lead singer of The Four Horsemen, who I’ve come to learn was Frank Starr.

Frank Starr at The Stone Pony

Frank Starr at The Stone Pony

He was hit by a drunk driver while riding his motorcycle in 1994, and remained in a coma on life support until 1999. I was so sad to hear that. 😦  You just don’t know when your life will change.  All I think about when I see this picture is what a fun night that was… great music,  met some cool people, and took lots of great photos. RIP Frank Starr and long live Rock and Roll!

-Kari



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