On March 27th, I drove down to LaRocca's to attend the 40th birthday celebration for my brother Micheal. I was only going to stop in for a few, say hello, wish him well and drive home. When I pulled up to park with my friend Jerry Meisel, I noticed the Sawdoctors were playing at Bimbo's 365 Club on Columbus St. I had enjoyed a few of their songs but never had seen them in concert. Anyways, I went into LaRocca's and hung out with family and friends.
Around 8pm I walked over to Bimbo's and spoke with LLoyd a friend of ours. I noticed a sign on the door that said no cameras, no recording devices and no getting on the stage. I asked Lloyd the doorman/bouncer, "did the owners put that sign up or did the band." Lloyd replied,"the band put it up and we were asked to stop anyone taking photographs". I have known Lloyd for years and he knows I am a photographer. If it was anywhere else I would ignore the sign, however I didn't want to disrespect the owners of Bimbo's, Lloyd or any of the other bouncers most of which I didn't know. I told Lloyd I'll speak with the band and talk to him later.
With the bus parked right outside Bimbo's I stood and spoke with friends that were either ready to get in line or were on their way over to LaRocca's to see Micheal. I was talking to a friend when I noticed over his shoulder the tour bus door open. Out walked a man with a laminate around his neck with set lists in his hand. I asked him, " Excuse me, would the manager be available"? The man replied,"He is the one on the phone there on the bus. His name is Niall". I looked and noticed a man talking on his cell phone while standing on the bus with the door open. I then asked, "do they allow press inside to shoot the show"? The man answered,"sure we do". I thanked the man and off he went into the venue. Later I would see when the band came out on stage that this polite gentlemen was Davy the singer and guitar player.
I approached Niall introduced myself, and asked him if he was the manager. He said that he was the tour manager and that the manager was back in Ireland. I then explained that I was with SF2Night.com and that we would like to photograph the first two songs. He thought to himself and answered," That really has to be asked of the manager in advance". I accepted his reasons and was about to say thank you and walk away when all of a sudden a man walked up and asked Niall if he was indeed Niall. Niall told the man, "I am busy with this gentleman and I will be with you in a minute". Niall once again thought to himself and said,"how many songs do you want to photograph"? I explained to him knowing if I wasn't greedy he might allow me. The norm is the first one, two or three songs. I replied,"the first two".
Once again someone walked up and said,"Crowley what's up bro!" I told the friend Mike Spone, "I am busy with this gentleman and I will be with you in a minute". Niall and I agreed on the first two songs and I then asked if he could talk to Lloyd and have him inform his crew that I would be photographing the first two songs. We both walked over, spoke with Lloyd and then Niall and I shook hands and I thanked him for allowing me to photograph the show.
I then found Mike Spone and we went inside and talked for a while, he over a beer and me drinking Red Bull. We talked about the old days, real estate, life in general, my new job, and how I remembered how he took me to see the Grateful Dead back in 1978 when they played Winterland just back from Eypt. It wasn't long before all the bros made their way over to Bimbo's from LaRocca's to see the show and celebrate Micheal's 40th with the Saw Doctor's.
Around 9:45pm the Sawdoctors took the stage. By this time the place was a sell out crowd and standing room only. The band opened with N17 and within the set played all the favorites, hits and sing alongs. It wasn't long before they played my all time favorite "Never Mind a Stranger". It was a nice evening hanging out with my brothers Jerry, Micheal, alot of peoples I hadn't seen in years and the rest of the crew.
I would like to Thank Lloyd, Bimbo's, Niall Barrett and the band for a great evening. Erin Go Bragh!
©2004 Jim Crowley Photography