The Eve of 1999--Party favors for everyone
Thursday, December 31, 1998
"Prince is coming to McGarrett''s," said club owner Brooke Lewis. "Isn''t that perfect? We''ve been playing that song ("1999") for over 10 years. This time it''s finally going to be 1999, and Prince will sing it."
Then Lewis laughed. "Well, not the ''real'' Prince, but the next best thing: Sir JAC."
A few days later, I met with Joseph Anthony Colon (a.k.a. Sir JAC) in Seaside''s Breakfast Club. As Colon stirs the whipped cream into his hot chocolate, I covertly stare at his face. Even out of character, the resemblance is astonishing, right down to the tuft of facial hair. The youngest of six children, he came from Los Angeles in 1989. Prior to the move, he''d never performed live, nor did he ever think he would. Says Colon, "I am a songwriter/producer, a behind-the-scenes kind of guy. Performing was the last thing on my mind."
Music, on the other hand, has always been on Colon''s mind, but until he was 21 years old, he did not play a single instrument, then he taught himself how to play rhythm guitar, piano and the drums. But first, Colon turned to dance.
"I am constantly looking for an energy outlet. Dancing has always done that for me," he says, with a serene smile. I blink. Energetic just doesn''t come to mind. However, Colon''s ''energy outlet'' and the resemblance to a certain performer didn''t remain unnoticed.
Soon, people began to approach him, giving him his first ideas. He started with open mic nights at clubs like Whitey''s Place. "I did everything myself, the lighting, the set up," says Colon, straightening up in his chair, and suddenly, there is that energy. "I sang and danced, and did some stunts that had people worried about my safety on stage," he wickedly grins. "The biggest mistake is to tell me that I can''t do something; for whatever reason, I will do it. It is not because I want attention. It''s more personal. To succeed satisfies me, and that is what matters. I guess I''m somewhat of a daredevil."
Sir JAC''s one-man act has evolved into a seven-person, Prince impersonation production. Sir JAC, the band, consists of Paul Hunt (guitar), Jerry Rehn (drums), Jeff Boles (bass), Geoffrey Lewis (keyboard), Carla Kamelean (background vocals), Katt (the dancer), and of course Sir JAC, as himself. Also part of the act will be special guest/vocalist Ramsey Martin. Schtick or not: Tonight we''re gonna party like it''s 1999. There''ll also be party favors and a 1,000 Balloon Drop at midnight.
Sir JAC, Thursday, 9pm, $20/advance, $30/person, $50/couple, McGarrett''s, 646-9244.
If you''re not only in the mood for New Year''s entertainment, but hungry as well, go on over to The Blue Fin Caf and delight your taste buds with their 12-course holiday buffet (7-9pm). After that you can opt for a little bit of pool (at no charge from 7-10pm), or swing that dance leg to the music of the Monterey Swing Sextet, featuring vocalist Kim Weir.
Weir has been performing around the world since the early ''80s. In 1997, she sang background vocals for the Broadway Blues Band that performed live at the Monterey Jazz Festival and New Orleans By The Bay, among others. Playing the guitar is Daniel Krasner, a member of the Monterey Jazz Festival All-Star Big Band. Another All-Star Big Band member, Milton Fletcher, will play the piano. He started his music studies at age four, and has become an accomplished pianist, as well as a promising young composer.
The band also includes bassist Tuan Nguyen, who is a member of the Monterey Jazz Festival Honor Band, and has played with the CODA Orchestra, the All-Star Orchestra and The Youth Monterey Honor Orchestra. Rounding up the sound are drummer Gene Short and trombonist Daniel Bebemeyer. Both have toured Europe and Japan, and performed with the Monterey Jazz Festival All-Star Band. A complimentary champagne toast, party favors and door prizes, will help you welcome the New Year.
Monterey Swing Sextet, Thursday, 9:30pm, dinner package $70/couple, $40/single. Dance only: $10, The Blue Fin Caf,649-8050.
And there''s more dancing with The Real Deal at Whitey''s Place. Vangie Magpusao (lead vocals), Rancy Uchida (bass), Gary Machado (drums), Tom Daly (trombones), and Paul "Chappy" and Allan "Mag" Magpusao (guitar/keyboard/backup vocals) make up this funky, high-energy local dance band. You''ll hear songs from the likes of Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Earth Wind and Fire, and perhaps even some Sheryl Crow or Tracy Chapman to entice your dancing shoes. There will be a complimentary champagne toast and party favors along with a load of New Year''s fun.
The Real Deal, Thursday, 9:30pm, $15, Whitey''s Place, 646-8383.
For all ye faithful fans: Contrary to dark speculations earlier this year, The Uninvited will once again rock the house at Doc''s Nightclub. And you don''t have to be a fan to come and check them out. Originally from SoCal, then transplanted to San Francisco, this band will win you over with its clean, upbeat sound. Doc''s will ring in the New Year with a complimentary champagne toast, balloons and more.
The Uninvited, Thursday, 9:30pm, $20, Doc''s Nightclub, 649-4241.
Now, turn your eyes to the San Francisco-based quartet, Mover, which will play at Whitey''s Place right after the New Year Hoopla. If you are a Rolling Stones fan, then Eric Shea (lead vocalist/rhythm guitar), Paul Tyler (lead guitar/backup vocals), Paul Burkheart (drums) and Mike Therieau (bass/vocals) rock right up your alley. Already they''ve been dubbed the ''Rolling Clones'' by a Bay Area radio station, after playing a tail-gate party at the Rolling Stones Bridges to Babylon concerts.
"We avoid (talking about) our influences because they are obvious," Shea has said in previous interviews. "Does that mean Mover is locked into emulating the past?"
A rhetorical question, and proof that we always like to compare bands with one another, while completely missing the originality and creativity of each band''s individualism, and personal voice.
The fact is, Mover plays a solid, blues-based rock revival with a dash of country and a dash of gospel. Fact is that their sound is very much influenced by artists such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Byrds, Carol King, Bob Dylan, Gram Parson, and especially the Rolling Stones. Fact is that this does not make them clones or wannabe''s.
"Basically what we''re doing, is carrying on where a lot of good musicians left off," explained Shea. It''s philosophy which seems to work well. Mover has only been around for two years, and in that time has released two CDs: Original Recipe on Man''s Ruin Records (1997), and The Only One on Mod Lang Records (1998). Both albums have received positive reviews. It has been hinted that Mover is merely caught up in the current retro whirlwind of the ''70s revival, and that theirs is but a fleeting success.
Says Shea, "Our music is about getting in touch with passion rather than fashion." When you catch their live act on Friday, you just might find yourself in agreement.
Mover, Friday, 9:30pm, Whitey''s Place, 646-8383. cw