Thursday, May 11, 2006


From December 1990, ZEBRA and AGNOSTIC FRONT were the headliners in Allentown, advertised on the Nightclubbing page.


Yessirreebob, it sure is nifty to see an act like Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen -- a band with such unfortunate physical attributes that a gander is enough to startle a buzzard off the proverbial manure wagon.

There was the Commander -- looking just like a walking, talking ham-hock. There was guitarist Peter Walsh, whose unique bald-head and backshag combo scared my date while neatly dispensing with the need for a toupee.

But the crowd at the Hearth didn't pay good money to see pretty boys. It just mattered that the entertainment be entertainin'.

And the Los Planet Airmen were that, blowin' more than two hours of woogie-filled boogie up the noses of the audience.

Billy C. Farlow, the only member of the Airmen who doesn't look like a truck's dragged him a mile on a concrete road, supplied the Elvis impersonation on "Flip, Flop & Fly" and the occasional quack-tweet from a mouth harp.

Walsh sang the world's saddest song, "Seeds & Stems (Again)." The drummer, whose name I forget [actually, it was Lance Dickerson] brandished his sticks crazily at the rest of the Airmen. I do believe he was the same guy who pounded the tubs for Mitch Woods earlier in the year, bless his heart.

The Commander did Meade Lux Lewis imitating Bo Diddley, if such a thing could be said to happen on "It Should Been Me With That Real Fine Chick." Eating ice cream and cake.

These guys peddled T-shirts, too. Give them complimentary passes to next Labor Day's memorial pigeon shoot!

Opening for the Airmen was an unknown solo guitarist who badly wanted to be David Bromberg. Before he played a single note, a new-fangled tuning device slipped out of his hand and smashed in two on the floor. Panic filled his eyes. His knee jigged nervously. He smiled thinly and began to play but it was all over as far as the crowd was concerned.


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