Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Buddy Miles at Hard Rock AC

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Budy Miles Tears Up the Taj
Nightbeat – The SandPaper Friday, May 23, 1997

Most casino shows are short and sweet, a little more than an hour, and then get the people out the door and onto the casino floor as soon as possible.

But the Atlantic City Hard Rock Café at the Jaj and Buddy Miles are exceptions.

When the classic rocker came to Atlantic City last week you couldn’t get him to stop playing, and nobody tried to give him the hook.

Buddy Miles, who at one time played drums behind Hendrix and then saddled up next to him on guitar, is probably the only person to win Playboy magazine’s music poll in two categories, drums and guitar, and he played both at the Hard Rock.

Opening with a laid back version of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” he stretched the first set over an hour, took a break and then played, and played and played until the last call, at nearly three o’clock in the morning.

Currently won tour with a good tight band – Roderick Kohn on guitar, Charles Torres on bass, Mark Leach on keyboards, and Ken Mootenoit on drums, Buddy Miles seems to be getting bigger rather than older.

Lake a Budda with drum sticks, he set the beat for an evening of music, then would occasionally come out and sit in a chair in front of the stage and pick the guitar and sing, his voice reminiscent of the classic songs he did with groups like Electric Flag, Eric Clapton and other, mainly British Invasion bands that recognized his greatness.

At the Taj a lot of people recognized his greatness and came out for the show, but after three or four hours – it was a mid-week school night, the back of the room began to empty out, and people moved up closer to the stage.

Those who stayed got a special treat, and after midnight, when the graveyard shift got off and kicked back, off duty waitresses, dealers and pit bosses came in to watch the show.

Many danced, but most just sat back and watched in awe as Miles and his band jammed into the early hours of the morning.

I started to keep a song list, “Whole Lotta’ Love,” “Ramblin’,” all starting out slow and meandering before picking up in tempo and rocking. “Turn on Your Love Light,” “Down by the River,” “If I was a Carpenter,” “Born Under a Bad Sign,” “Hey, Joe” and an extended version of “I’m Just Expressing Myself” and “Them Changes” kept things going into the night.

At one point in the proceedings Miles recalled playing the 1969 Atlantic City Pop Festival, which was held at the Atlantic City Race Track the weekend before Woodstock and included most of the Woodstock lineup.

He later said he couldn’t remember too many of the details of that engagement, giving credence to the saying that if you remember the 1960s you weren’t there.

But there were a lot of 60s flashbacks going on, and there’s more to come. The Atlantic City Hard Rock Café is the only one in the world that offers live music in addition to rock & roll and hamburgers.

See: Photos of Buddy Miles at the Hard Rock Café, Atlantic City.

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