Roadmaster, long and loud and lots of chrome captured live at the Vogue Theatre on August 26, 1993.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: One For The Road (Live Video)
LABEL: Roadmaster Productions
REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Rick Benick – guitars * Asher Benrubi – electric throat * Tony Burton – guitars * Bobby Johns – drums * Steve McNally – angel throat * Toby Myers – bass * Michael Read – keyboards
Special Guest: Rob Swayne – guitar
TRACK LISTING: 01 Introduction – Rainbow Waterfall * 02 Looking For The Day * 03 Ride The Wind Away * 04 Cry Just A Little * 05 It Doesn’t Mean A Thing * 06 Higher Higher * 07 The Dream * 08 Here I Am * 09 Say You Wanna Be Me * 10 Who Can Sing Like Fat Boy Do * 11 Magic Feeling * 12 Sunala Jones * 13 AMPM * 14 But It’s Alright * 15 It’s Been So Long * 16 Sweet Music * 17 Hey World
Roadmaster, long and loud and lots of chrome captured live at the Vogue Theatre on August 26, 1993. If you have a favourite Roadmaster song, chances are good it’s included within. All the hook laden Roadmaster originals are here.
From the Adam Smasher years with his signature ‘Who Can Sing Like Fat Boy Do?’ To the Steven McNally era with his angelic voice powering through Roadmaster classics like ‘Cry Just A Little Bit’ and ‘Sweet Sweet Music’. 15 years after the fact, these songs still sound better than ever. If you weren’t there that night, now you can be. Turn it up! U.C.B.
This video is about as rare as finding someone within the Democrat Party who can tell the truth. The video was produced in 1994 by the band themselves. It is essentially an independent release, and a big hearty thanks goes to Toby Myers who sent us a copy a few years ago. I am at least privileged to finally see a much loved band of the Glory Daze website live and in the flesh.
The concert took place at the Vogue Theatre (assumed to be Indianapolis), the lineup for the evening including a ‘Who’s Who’ of the Roadmaster personnel ranks right from its inception. Guys who were there at the beginning, such as Asher Benrubi and Rob Swayne turned up for the occasion. I gotta say, the stage looks kinda small with all those guys up there, but it adds to the ambience of the night.
As it turns out, there is a good cross-section of songs on display. Many of them go back to the debut album era, mainly because of the lineup of the band for the evening, audience familiarity of the material, and I suppose that it is a reunion event of sorts. Trying to cram in a whole bunch of songs would always be a difficult task on an occasion like this.
The video/concert starts out with ‘Rainbow Waterfall’ as the intro music before the band even hit the stage. When they do arrive, the intro makes way for the storming ‘Looking For The Day’, sounding much more impressive live than on record.
The focus is primarily on lead singer Steve McNally – complete with dark shades and a Bill Clinton like presence upfront, it must be said! At the end of this song, Michael Read steps out from behind his rack playing his portable/remote Roland Axis keyboard.
Seguing into a ‘Fortress’ favourite ‘Ride The Wind Away’, guitarists Benick and Burton strut their twin-guitar stuff, but again, the key ingredient is the voice of McNally, who does sound so magical. You can see and hear why the man was so admired.
Next up is ‘Cry Just A Little Bit’, where the guitar/keyboard interplay shines through as does the band’s harmony vocal work. ‘It Doesn’t Mean A Thing’ – lead off track to the ‘Sweet Music’ album, showcases Michael Read’s penchant for writing a good song. There are some nice video close-ups of Mike’s keyboard rig, plus Rick Benick’s solo.
‘Higher Higher’, one of the better tracks from that same album gets a thorough going over. It is wonderful watching Roadmaster performing this track, a personal favourite of mine.
The keyboard solo is great too, with Read’s left hand permanently on the oscillator trigger. Unfortunately the magical keyboard layers heard on the album aren’t replicated to the same degree, but it still makes for compulsory viewing nonetheless.
‘I Must Be Dreaming’ (named as ‘The Dream’ on the video) also from ‘SM’ is a great bluesy type workout. Benick gets to showcase his stuff yet again.
Very soon, the band introduce former lead singer Asher T Benrubi, a.k.a Adam Smasher. He gets to sing on the next few tracks, as the material moves back to the debut album era at about this point.
His commentaries, vocal quips and constant swearing while he is on stage is one of the video highlights for me. He says hello to the girls at the front of the stage: ‘How are ya? Lets see your titties!’. His best known moment with Roadmaster is the song ‘Who Can Sing Like Fat Boy Do?’.
After this entrance, Adam then introduces the other members of the band to the audience. A hilarious five minutes of commentary ensues. Classic stuff!
After that, the funky period that was the first Roadmaster album is lovingly resurrected, paying homage to the tracks ‘That Magic Feeling’, ‘Sunala Jones’ and ‘AM/PM’. By the time the track ‘But It’s Alright’ is played, Asher invites the front row girls up onto the stage to dance.
The stage is made to look even smaller with the additional bodycount, but I can see the Roadmaster boys aren’t complaining! ‘It’s Been So Long’ reminds me a lot of that other white funk band from that same era – Wild Cherry. I’m sure it would make for equally essential viewing to see Messrs Avsec and Ierace (Iris to you and I) in action!
Last but not least, the exit song is ‘Sweet Music’. It ends in a crescendo of melody, with everyone bar the drummer up on stage to wind down the evenings performance. However, it ain’t all over yet. Footage of the band in the rehearsal room playing ‘Hey World’ is also included, though the black and white nature of the footage isn’t that great to be honest.
There is no doubt that fans of the band probably don’t even realise a live video of Roadmaster even exists. However, making the whole process much more easier now is Retrospect Records who have released the video as a DVD now, so it is easily available – that is if it hasn’t already gone out of print.