Rock Bottom Remainders
The three-date tour de force stops in Seattle (April 23), San Francisco (24) and at the Los Angeles Times Festival Of Books fete in sunny SoCal (26). Currently, Groening will only be on the Los Angeles date and Stephen King – band member from the past – is not yet confirmed for any shows. However, according the group, all other members “can’t wait to rock da West Coast.”
“For this first West Coast tour, we considered learning how to tune our instruments but we’re afraid that will destroy our unique sound!” lead guitarist Barry said. “We’ve been called more frightening than a Stephen King novel but it’s a chance to goof off for a good cause every year.”
“Real” musical contributors to the group include drummer Josh Kelly and saxophonist Erasmo Paulo. Playing with them for this tour is former member and founder of The Byrds, Roger McGuinn.
The Remainders were formed at the start of the ‘90s by Kathi Kamen Goldmark. “In the fine rock ‘n’ roll tradition, The Rock Bottom Remainders were conceived in a car,” Goldmark said. “As a semi-pro musician with a day job in book publicity, I spent a lot of time driving touring authors around San Francisco. I decided to form a band of authors!”
At one point or another during the band’s illustrious career, the members have included Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Stephen King, Scott Turow, Amy Tan, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., Matt Groening, Kathi Kamen Goldmar, and Greg Iles.
Perhaps inspiration for group membership is that “people are throwing panties at you,” Groening said. “They certainly never do that at my book-signings.”
Although they have no music videos, no record contract, no Grammy nominations and 3,500 Google hits, the Rock Bottom Remainders have in fact shared the stage with Bruce Springsteen, Warren Zevon and Gloria Gaynor. But don’t get too impressed: they can only play songs with “E” and “A” chords.
Tickets are $40 for general admission concert seats, or $200 and $250 for VIP reception with the Remainders. The Los Angeles concert is free, thanks to some very generous sponsorship.