sunnuntai 24. tammikuuta 2010

Local hero

It must be every hardworking local band's dream that, midway through their set they're joined by a famous guitarist, who steps up from the audience, borrows a guitar from one of the band members and proceeds to jam with them ...yeah, only in the movies, right? Well, wrong, actually, because for West Haven, Connecticut covers band Liplok, this is exactly what happened during their gig at Z's Corner Cafe last month, when none other than Children Of Bodom's Alexi Laiho took to the stage (well, more accurately the floor - it's a tiny venue) to join them in a couple of songs.

Alexi was at Z's with Rock House Method instructor and co-owner, John McCarthy, who also happens to be a long-time friend and former guitar teacher of Liplok's lead singer/guitarist Kevin Lawless. We asked Kevin to fill us in ...

"We were about to go on for our first set at Z's Corner Cafe in West Haven, a small bar that only fits about 45-50 people ... John and Alexi (who I'd previously met a couple of years ago when he was in town filming his first Rock House DVD) walked in to the bar and I said to them that, if you feel like playing anything, just come on up ... We played the first set and the bar got pretty crowded and then right before we started the second set, John and Alexi asked if I knew "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns 'n' Roses, which I did ... my bass player, Glenn Celentano, had only just joined the lineup and didn't know the song but in the audience, my friend and sometimes fill-in bass player, Mike Winters, knew it and came up to play. Alexi grabbed my black Les Paul - the first thing he said was, 'Wow! These are heavy!' The three guitarists fiddled for a minute to make sure they were all playing it right, then ... off we went. Song went great and at the end, Alexi turned to me and said, 'Cool dude! You hit that hard note!' and gave me a fist pump ... that was cool for me, and the people there loved it and went nuts!"

The guest musicians started taking off their borrowed guitars but the crowd, not surprisingly, wanted more, so Kevin handed the set list to Alexi and asked him if he wanted to play another song ...

"He saw Metallica's "Enter Sandman" and said, 'I know that!'. Our bass player Glenn grabbed his bass and, with drummer Geoff Permison, we started the song ... it went really great, too and again the crowd went nuts ... It was truly very cool of Alexi to just get up with a local cover band, with no practice at all and just jam and have a good time, which he did, as you can see him smiling in the pictures."

John and Alexi left shortly after because they had an early morning video shoot, but what a night to remember for Liplok and Z's lucky audience. A final word from Kevin:

"It was a great time for me, my band and the people in the bar. It was an honour to play with Alexi, and I thank him and John McCarthy for understanding the fun side of music and just playing to have a good time ... to have someone of his stature and unbelievable musicianship get up with local musicians in a tiny bar shows what a great person he is. Plus, he bought me a shot of Jameson's Irish Whiskey!"

Check out video footage of Alexi and Liplok here

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