Jet 68

Jet 68
Viper Room
By Lucky

“Oh you pretty things, you look so lovely tonight I wanna take you home”. After ten long years Jet 68 ceased the torturous wait and put differences aside  long enough to unite once again at The Viper Room in Hollywood California. Ok, I really don’t know if there were any differences or not, I just like to dramatize. But there they were, all the original members, on stage, just a few short hours ago, bringing back memories and creating new.

Jet 68 packed the room and as the curtains drew the fans erupted to the familiar strains of “Pretty Things”. It must have been an amazing experience for both band and spectator, but not for me, I was still parking my car. Yeah, what the fuck, the band actually went on when they were suppose to. Ass wipes. Not only did I miss “Pretty Things” with its glorious nod to masturbation, but I also missed most of “Oxygen”. “Little things they mean a lot” rang true to my ears as I approached the front of The Viper. Realizing they were already playing I raced to the main entrance and after a microsecond helloflyer to our friend Joseph Holiday I was in and  ran smack dab into a solid mass of people. There was no way I was getting close enough to utilize my camera, so no live pictures for this review.

Guitars rang true like mission bells, signaling the interlude to “Bleed”. Complete with crescendos, cascades, and rat ta tat, “Bleed” s passion in music and lyrical composition make the song soar, now and then.  Kenny Price was front and center sporting the latest and greatest limited run Jet 68 reunion t-shirt accentuated with neck-tie for dress up fun. Looking fit these days, perhaps due to loss of sympathy weight put on during Joni’s pregnancy, Kenny still wows them with looks, enthusiasm and vocal powerhouse. More than once, I have heard utterance that Mr. Price is one of rocks cream of the crop.

Two songs that were not on the Super Queen release, “Crack Whore” and “Whitebread” were next on the agenda. Leaving me to wonder if they were in the bands arsenal back in the day, or dare I dream it, new tracks formulated with a future Jet 68 presence in mind. I highly doubt the latter, as it has been reiterated more than once that this show was a “one night” only performance. Plus, something about “Crack Whore” hit familiar, perhaps my own past rearing its ugly head?

Kenny told us the next song was about a cocaine dealer, and there it was, perhaps my all time favorite Jet 68 cut, “Get you High”. I fucking love this song and it has never got old or lost its magic. It occurred to me during the set, that all these songs performed sound fresh today, not old rehash or dragged out oldies, and that Jet 68 still could be a viable entity of today’s scene.

“Fallen” poignantly followed “Get you High” with the meaningful line, “Wake me up when this is over”. I cannot begin to tell you the amount of tough times that lyric carried me through. Fountain of youth Eddie Robinson slung low with his red Gibson, identical or the same as the one he played back in the Pretty Ugly days, while Vince Flores sported a beautiful clean gold top. I’m talking guitars here people. Clearly Vince was enjoying the show as he showed the pearly whites multiple times.

Jamie Scrap commands a level of respect in any urban environment via presence, ability and head wear. His rock solid bass lines set like a concrete foundation melding with Mike’s power hits of the tom toms. I think out of all the members in Jet 68, drummer Mike Penketh looked the most different, probably due to the fact that he was perhaps just a lad when Jet 68 hit. Was it really him, or a doppelganger in disguise? Inquiring minds want to know.

The title track of Jet 68′s smash, “Super Queen” was met with the crowd’s stamp of approval and after three and a half minutes of pure bliss received riotous rounds of applause.  Reasons why this song was chosen as the “stand out” and promoted with the classic Jet 68 music video were abundantly apparent during tonight’s show.

All things must pass and so it was here as well. Eddie said it best as he stated into the microphone, “And just like that, it’s over.” I can’t speak for the rest, but a glimmer of sad resided deep within as Jet 68 closed it up with rocker “Another Day”. “You know the end seems so far away.”

In conclusion: What “Rock and Roll Suicide” is to Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, “Time to Say Goodbye” is to Jet 68’s Super Queen, a bittersweet valediction of triumphant grandeur. Was I bummed Jet 68 didn’t choose to add this classic to tonight’s set list? Major. But I made it happen via my Super Queen CD and the ride home. Cranking it up as I headed down Sunset, the lyrics rang true, “Time to say good bye again, really gonna miss you”. Goodbye Jet 68, I hope we meet again.