Local Rockers' Blast From The Past
Taking the stage for the first time in seven years, a reunited Journey provided the centerpiece of the second annual Thunder Road Roast and Jam Saturday at Bimbo's, a four-hour cavalcade of more than 50 musicians celebrating the career of Herbie Herbert, who managed the multi-platinum supergroup.
Substituting for recalcitrant vocalist Steve Perry, Kevin Chalfont sounded like a dead ringer for the signature vocalist of the band's string of hit records, soaring through "Don't Stop Believin' '' or "Separate Ways'' during the band's brief but sensational performance. Also appearing were Huey Lewis, the Tower of Power horns, Gregg Allman, Dan Hicks, Joe Louis Walker, Angela Strehli and Robben Ford. The show concluded with guitarists who had appeared during the evening matching licks in a whirring free-for-all. Even Herbert picked up a guitar and played the marathon show to a close with a blues.
The five-man Tower horn section supplied the evening's brightest musical polish, backing bluesman Walker, vocalist and event organizer Keta Bill as well as Huey Lewis, but the emotional epiphany of the evening arrived earlier when a reformed Moby Grape brought out an ebullient Skip Spence, who has lived in institutions off and on for the better part of two decades, to sing a number with the group he helped found.
The Grape members all posed for photographs in the lobby with Grape fan Robert Plant, enjoying a rare night off from touring by attending the fundraiser for the Oakland-based Thunder Road teenage drug and alcohol treatment facility.
Ex-Moby Grape guitarist Jerry Miller was joined by Bobby Scott and former Journey guitarist Neal Schoen at Saturday's benefit -- four hours of jamming and roasting
Copyright 1993 The San Francisco Chronicle