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What's up my fellow Zeppelin droogies?!? Well, guess who was at Them Crooked Vultures gig at the Roxy last night(Monday November 16, 2009)?

Yes, me, your ever-faithful Zephead Strider....bwaaahahahahahahahaha!

YESSSSSS!!!!!! This is why I live in Los Angeles! Where one minute you are sitting around with your pal watching Monday Night Football and the next you're standing mere feet away from John Paul Jones in a tiny club!

First off, I have to give SUPER-DUPER-ULTRA-MEGA-THANKS to my friend Trixie who tipped me off to the whole thing.

It started Sunday when I was trying to figure out who amongst my friends was going to the Wiltern show on tuesday and if anyone had extra tickets. Trixie got back to me and said she couldn't go to the Wiltern show but that there was going to be a surprise Roxy show on monday night and she was gonna try for that one.

Drats, I had to work monday and by the time I got off work, it was highly unlikely that there would be any chance of getting in to a show that I figured would mostly be filled with industry VIPs, with very little of the actual fans getting in...maybe 50 or so.

So I resigned myself with focusing on tuesday's Wiltern show.

Monday night, after work, it's around 8:30pm or so and I'm over at my friends watching the futile Browns(Brady Quinn is a joke LOL!) get spanked by the Ravens on MNF, when I get a text from Trixie that she is in line and that they are going to sell 500 tix for $50 and there are only about 250 people in line and she thinks I could probably still get in if I get down there and that the band wasn't going on til 10:30.

Well, I tell my friend and we sit there wondering if there really is a chance. I am thinking 2 things...1) 500 tix seems like a lot for such a small venue, especially considering the band's guest list would take up at least 100 of the club's capacity, which I think is less than 500; and 2) Even if there are 500 tix available, if there are 250 people in line already and each gets 2 that's 500 right there.

Rationalizing, I said it's unlikely by the time we made it to the Roxy that there would be any tix left as we were about a 30 minute drive away, and since we had the Wiltern show to fall back on, no sense driving out there for nothing.

So we sat put, watching the rest of the game and then an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, when at 9:14pm Trixie texts me again saying that the line hasn't grown much since last time she texted and she really thinks I'll get in if I come down.

Again I look at my friend and relay the message...this time we say hell ya let's go! In fact, my friend is in such haste that he conks himself on the head as he's getting ready.

Of course, we had to make a couple of stops along the way to the Roxy...one so I could get some cash and another to put some gas in the car as the gauge was on "E".

Now as we make the drive towards the Roxy, I start cursing my blase-ness...man if we had just left when Trixie first texted me we'd definitely be in. How could I be so nochalant about the chance to see the band in a small club such as the Roxy? The place where I saw Bruce Springsteen in 1975, Bob Marley and the Ramones in 1976, Jane's Addiction in 1987, Foo Fighters in 1995, and Queens of the Stone Age in 1999, among many many more great shows!

Then I start thinking how is it possible that there wasn't a mass of hundreds, if not thousands, lining up at the Roxy for a chance to see this gig? Usually for a band of this pedigree, with all the fans that each member has, to play a show at a place like the Roxy in an industry-town like Hollywood; for the average fan to have a chance to get in would entail a whole days worth of waiting in line. Is it truly possible that I could just roll up to the Roxy at this late hour and still get in to one of the most anticipated shows of the year?

To be mere feet away from John Paul Jones. I had seen both Josh and Dave in small, sweaty clubs when they were in their previous bands Kyuss, QotSA, Nirvana and Foo Fighters, but the smallest venues I had seen JPJ was at the House of Blues on the Zooma tour and the Wadsworth Theatre in Westwood when he toured with Diamanda Galas. All the Zep shows I saw were either at the Forum or the Long Beach Sports Arena.

About 10pm we pull up to the Roxy and I see the line...shit, it looks pretty long. I get out to suss out the situation while my friend parks the car in the $5 lot down the block.

Trixie texts that she has just made it into the Roxy and that it is nearly empty. I do a rough estimate of the line and guess that there's maybe 70-80 people in front of us. Nothing more to do than just cross our fingers and hope the guest list isn't too large.

At 5 to 10 minute intervals the line moves forward and we creep ever so tantalizingly closer to the Roxy box office. Oh man, PLEASE don't cut us off just as we get to the box office window! But then, it would serve me right for not high-tailing it to the Roxy immediately after work.

Some firemen show up and now I am really worried. With them looking on it would prevent the Roxy from trying to pack more people than capacity allows, maybe they would even undersell the joint as a precautionary measure to keep the fire marshall from closing them down.

But the line still keeps moving and finally at about 10:30pm on the dot, me and my friend get to the box office window and pay our $49.50 and with our wristband and stamp to but drinks, WE ARE IN THE ROXY!!!!

WOOHOO!!!! I can't believe we actually got in...my karma must be awesome, hahaha!

A short wait at the bar and wow, beers and margaritas are only $5...we get our drinks just as the band takes the stage! As the band launches into the first song, I thread my way through the floor towards the left side of the stage where Jonesy is...end up stationed between Josh and John with also a good view of Dave, whose drums are not on a riser.

The Roxy doesn't have the best sound sytem...the Wiltern will sound better...but except for a couple of moments, it's not as muddy as it has been in the past.

I don't have the album yet, so I don't know much of their songs apart from New Fang, which they play.

But there were at least 4 or 5 songs that immediately made an impression on me...the highlight being one they did about 2/3rds of the way into their set. It was a killer jam, with Jones playing an 8-string bass and then ending the song playing electric paino solo. It fucking ROCKED!

For this Joy Division fan, the Warsaw cover was a treat...and I recall liking the song Reptiles very much. Interlude with Ludes(at first I thought Josh said Lutes, haha) was hilarious with Josh affecting a lounge-lizard style and Jones on one of those keytard things.

As a matter of fact, Jones played all sorts of things...4-string bass, 8-string bass, slide guitar, organ/electric piano, electric mandolin, slide bass.

Like I said, I don't have the album yet, but after last night's(and hopefully tonight's) blazing gig, I look forward to hearing the album and getting more familiar with the tunes.

And for those of you who had a chance to go to the Roxy but passed it up because, like me, you thought there was no chance of you getting in because it was late; well, all I can say is that YOU SHOULD HAVE CAME! You missed the show of a lifetime!

Muchas gracias to the band for making this show possible and for making it accessible for the average punter and not just the industry schmoozers.

And muchas muchas gracias to Trixie...I am your slave for life girl!

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