We see rock stars on TV, we hear them on the radio or over the internet, or we go and see them perform in person. This is same way we consume our passion for sports. My life, as a middle aged dude, has retained the same interests I had as a 12 year old dude: Girls, Football, and Music. You may call this an acute case of arrested development but I call it having refined and focused tastes from an early age. Musicians and athletes train exhaustively to hone their skills before putting those talents on display for us all. To see those talents displayed to their fullest is a thing to behold and last night I was fortunate enough to see the super talented John Corabi and get to talk a little football with him. Another example of why we need sports. It gives people from different walks of life common ground and brings out the shared passions in all of us.
John Corabi is a rock n roller of the first division. The Philadelphia native ventured west to, as he put it, “find his pot of gold”. Now, I can’t imagine leaving Philly for L.A. but you know how those crazy artistic types are….. John has found a boatload of gold (and I hear it’s the currency of the near future) as a singer and songwriter and guitarist for bands like, The Scream, Motley Crue, Ratt, Union, and now as a solo performer. My buddy, Kurt Grottenthaler, plays bass guitar and sings for a hard rock band called Raising Mother Kane. The boys of RMK had the opening slot for the John Corabi show last night at Grimms Roadhouse and Kurt took me along as his bass tech. Being a bass tech for Kurt is a taxing job: I carried one guitar case in the door and then I drank Jagermeister the rest of the evening. Damn am I tired today!
I saw John Corabi enter through the kitchen, just like a guy who has sold a couple of million records is supposed to, looking 100% rock star but without any of the rock star attitude (I’m talking to you, Axl). Corabi didn’t hide out back stage until show time; instead he mingled freely and was very friendly to everyone that wanted a minute of his time (are you listening, Axl). The club was packed with people eager to see Corabi in such an intimate setting and John had a crowd of fans around him all night. I saw an opening between MILFS and went over to meet the man. I complimented his amazing voice and the work he did on the Union albums. He was very gracious and said he was “still out here, pluggin’ away”. I told him I did a little blogging and asked him if he liked football….. HOLD THE PHONE! Corabi’s eyes perked up and he gave me a “YES”. He began by explaining that he was an Eagles fan. He didn’t say Flyers so I was good with that. He said he would love to see an all Pennsylvania Super Bowl and it struck me that I never gave that much thought but damn if it didn’t sound like a great idea coming from the ‘Hooligan’s Holiday’ singer. I thought maybe he was softballing a bit since he was in the heart of Steelers country, so I pressed him for an opinion on Andy Reid. Corabi gave a full endorsement of the corpulent coach and praised his steady approach in the face of an ever changing roster, fickle fan base, revolving door of coordinators and assistants (of which John could name ALL OF THEM) and the temptation of all those Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches (I totally just made up the sandwich part). He then raved about the pass rushing abilities of Jason Babin and Trent Cole; complete with accurate sack numbers for each of them. Corabi made insightful comparisons to both Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick, highlighting the need for both of them to stay healthy to give their team the best chance come playoff time and how each of them should lean on the running game more (still listening Axl, I mean, Todd). He knew Shady McCoy’s touchdown stats, both rushing and receiving, and was damn close on his rushing yards.
John Corabi is not a casual football fan, and although he roots for the wrong side of the state, I respect his passion and obvious knowledge of the game. And then he took the stage. His set was amazing! I am not typically a fan of a guy banging away on an acoustic guitar but this was an exception. His voice was in great form; showing no sign of losing any of the trademark grit and power. The new material he showcased was very solid and accessible. He interacted well with the standing room only crowd and even treated us to a spot on Steven Tyler impression. Hilarious. In the time we have before the draft and someone pulls the pin on the Todd Haley grenade, we have life spent looking at girls and talking football with rock and rollers. Life is good! John Corabi’s acoustic album titled ‘John Corabi’ drops in March. Check out John’s website www.johncorabi.com Now I have to get back to Grimm’s Roadhouse…. I think I left Kurt’s bass in the parking lot.