When was the last time you went to a BIG party with lots of “stars” of whatever kind? Yeah, me neither!! So the amount of butterflies I had in my stomach all day Thursday in anticipation of the Opening Rock Fest cocktail party at La Estancia Resort in Nuevo Vallarta became intense by the time I made my way there last night. I was so excited!
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The party was held in a private room with a beautiful portico patio off the resort. I certainly knew I was at the right event upon exiting my taxi as the rock music was filtering out onto the street. A lively atmosphere with strobe lights, living room sofas, jovens (waiters) serving you the drink of choice the moment you entered the room, luscious cocktail food, and the Black Sheep, a local band, playing and singing their hearts out. Fabulous tunes that made you move and want to dance, but no one did.
As I looked around the room hoping to catch sight of someone – anyone that was a band member of any band that was playing this weekend, I noticed a group of three. Turns out it was Brophy Dale, guitarist, and Jimmy Sage, drummer, and Jimmy’s wife, of the Lee Rocker band. They were delightful to speak with. Turns out Brophy wanted to know much more about Puerto Vallarta and was very excited to be here. Looking forward to hearing them and their lead rock-a-billy double bass player, Lee Rocker, formerly of The Stray Cats.
Then there was a couple that had to obviously be part of a band. The picture turned out great but by the time everyone else had their time speaking with them they disappeared on me. So I never got to find out who they were. I guess I’ll find out when their band plays over the next 3 days.
The Black Sheep quit playing after an hour or so. It was then that the organizers of the festival, John Zaring of LA based Zaring Group came up on stage to talk about how the event became a reality, to announce the coming events, and to announce that Lou Gramm (The Voice of Foreigner) was not going to be making it to PV, as unfortunately his father passed away yesterday. And, family comes first. Thanks were also given to Jesus Carmona of The Hotel Association of Riviera Nayarit and Luis Cantu of the PV Convention & Visitors Bureau. It was also announced that Foghat had missed their plane connections and wouldn’t be getting in until midnight. In fact, many of the bands had not arrived yet, which is why there were so few there at the party.
But there were still plenty of people milling around, so I hung back to see if anyone else would show up. And, I was so rewarded!! Micki Free, 5 time Native American Music Award Winner, and Gary Moon, formerly of Night Ranger, arrived in very fine fashion. Lucky we got to have a photo op. They asked me if I had ever had my picture taken between two hat guys. Of course I said no, but that I was delighted to now have had that opportunity!
Then, right behind them, three members of Pure Prairie League arrived – Donnie Lee Clark, guitars and vocals; Mike Reilly, basses and vocals; and, John David Call, pedal steel guitar. What a bunch of great guys! Enjoyed getting to know them and talking about all sorts of “life” situations. As I had lived in TN and in the New York area, we talked about their home towns of Nashville and the Hamptons. John was delighted to be here out of all the nasty winter weather back home.
The party wrapped up a little after 10pm with excited anticipation of what is to follow at the beautiful venue outdoors next to the Hard Rock Resort. The incredible House Band consisting of Elliot Easton (The Cars – guitar), Kenny Lee Lewis (Steve Miller Band – bass), Billy Burnette (Fleetwood Mac – guitar), Jeffrey “Skunk” Baxter (Doobie Brothers & Steely Dan – guitar, Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp, John Fogerty – drums), Curly Smith (Boston, Rick Springfield & John Waite – drums), Kenny Gradney (Little Feat – bass), and, Teddy “ZigZag” Andreadis (Guns’n Roses & Alice Cooper – keyboards), will be opening the event today at noon.
So come one, come all !! This will be an event not to be missed !! The FIRST ALL CLASSIC ROCK FEST right here in Nuevo Vallarta !
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See ya later taters….
Tricia Lyman is an independent blogger and writer of Lyman’s Journey