Thursday, May 1, 2014

Raiding the Rock Vault.....again!


John Payne: Well, “gestate” is the right word. It’s been a long pregnancy.  Two years ago, I was approached by the ex-manager of The Yardbirds, Simon Napier-Bell. He used to manage Asia in the early days when I joined the band. He had an idea. He was sitting in a bar in Bombay. It actually sounds like a line from “The Land Down Under,” which it is [Laughs]. They had this really great cover band, playing all of these seventies and sixties hits. He thought it would be cool to get a super group together of guys and actually tour it with a big production. We’ve all seen it in the bars of L.A. It seemed like a reasonable idea. We took it to several people. Irving Azoff was one of them, and everybody seemed quite excited about it. It faded away when they found out there wasn’t enough money in touring it to put on the production we wanted. I got very disappointed. We got it going, and it fell flat on its face. I went away from it for a couple of months. I’d been doing this thing in the UK called “The War of the Worlds” with Jeff Wayne. It really is an incredible musical story, and it happens every year like The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I thought, “Well, what if we change this? What if we make a chronological story of classic rock music and have an underlying theme going through it?” That completely changed the ballpark. After our Mayan Theater gig, we ended up here at the Las Vegas Hotel. - See more at: http://classicsdujour.com/news/q-and-a-with-raiding-the-rock-vaults-howard-leese-and-john-payne/#sthash.14fCh1ji.dpuf
John Payne: Well, “gestate” is the right word. It’s been a long pregnancy.  Two years ago, I was approached by the ex-manager of The Yardbirds, Simon Napier-Bell. He used to manage Asia in the early days when I joined the band. He had an idea. He was sitting in a bar in Bombay. It actually sounds like a line from “The Land Down Under,” which it is [Laughs]. They had this really great cover band, playing all of these seventies and sixties hits. He thought it would be cool to get a super group together of guys and actually tour it with a big production. We’ve all seen it in the bars of L.A. It seemed like a reasonable idea. We took it to several people. Irving Azoff was one of them, and everybody seemed quite excited about it. It faded away when they found out there wasn’t enough money in touring it to put on the production we wanted. I got very disappointed. We got it going, and it fell flat on its face. I went away from it for a couple of months. I’d been doing this thing in the UK called “The War of the Worlds” with Jeff Wayne. It really is an incredible musical story, and it happens every year like The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I thought, “Well, what if we change this? What if we make a chronological story of classic rock music and have an underlying theme going through it?” That completely changed the ballpark. After our Mayan Theater gig, we ended up here at the Las Vegas Hotel. - See more at: http://classicsdujour.com/news/q-and-a-with-raiding-the-rock-vaults-howard-leese-and-john-payne/#sthash.14fCh1ji.dpuf
John Payne: Well, “gestate” is the right word. It’s been a long pregnancy.  Two years ago, I was approached by the ex-manager of The Yardbirds, Simon Napier-Bell. He used to manage Asia in the early days when I joined the band. He had an idea. He was sitting in a bar in Bombay. It actually sounds like a line from “The Land Down Under,” which it is [Laughs]. They had this really great cover band, playing all of these seventies and sixties hits. He thought it would be cool to get a super group together of guys and actually tour it with a big production. We’ve all seen it in the bars of L.A. It seemed like a reasonable idea. We took it to several people. Irving Azoff was one of them, and everybody seemed quite excited about it. It faded away when they found out there wasn’t enough money in touring it to put on the production we wanted. I got very disappointed. We got it going, and it fell flat on its face. I went away from it for a couple of months. I’d been doing this thing in the UK called “The War of the Worlds” with Jeff Wayne. It really is an incredible musical story, and it happens every year like The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I thought, “Well, what if we change this? What if we make a chronological story of classic rock music and have an underlying theme going through it?” That completely changed the ballpark. After our Mayan Theater gig, we ended up here at the Las Vegas Hotel. - See more at: http://classicsdujour.com/news/q-and-a-with-raiding-the-rock-vaults-howard-leese-and-john-payne/#sthash.14fCh1ji.dpuf
For me, once was not enough. Just over a year ago I checked out this show in its first previews, then spread the word through my blog. This spring when I had some friends in town we decided to make it a rockin' ladies night out and so I headed for the Las Vegas Hotel and Raiding the Rock Vault, again.


Girls night out doesn't get any better than this!
First of all you've got to know it is nearly impossible to see this show without ending up dancing or standing and singing at the top of your lungs. Trust me, the band wants you to do that. This is not the show to sit quietly and be polite! Seeing it this time I was surprised they have added female vocalists who perform on certain nights. The night we went Carol-Lyn Liddle took the stage and blew everyone away with her voice and style as we all sang, (shouted) along! Funny how most of us in the audience could remember the words to these songs, some we hadn't heard in years. I guess classic rock just has a way of sticking in one's head.....maybe it's the lyrics about love, youth, rebellion and individuality that stay with us forever....like a burning ember just waiting to be stoked.


The show originated from an idea to play classic rock cover songs from Rock n' Roll musicians and singers who had performed worldwide in well known bands, such as Heart, White Snake, Lynch Mob, Bad Company, Asia, and more. The creators took the concept of a tribute to classic rock from 1960's -1980's and created a rock musical out of it. The show is set in the future where explorers find a time capsule, (the rock vault) containing these classic songs and in doing so discover the effects history and society had on music during those years, or the other way around. Since Rock N' Roll was still pretty new, I think it was a mutual influence, as do most. From these guys you're going to hear The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Free, AC/DC, Journey, Pat Benatar, Aerosmith, and a lot more.


None of us have played covers much before. Since the age of 14, I have always been in original bands writing my own songs. I never wanted to play any covers. Having that fresh approach for us has been really exciting. We’re playing these evergreen songs. The camaraderie and vibe in the band is incredible. It really is a band. We’re trying to remain as faithful as possible to these original masterpieces. - John Payne, ClassicsDujour.com

There’s a lesson in every great song. When you learn to play a Jimi Hendrix song properly, you go, “Wow!” I think everybody enjoys putting these songs together and doing a faithful version while showing our own styles. It’s a strong band, and we can do anything with the amount of singers we have. It’s fun to suss it out and find out how we’re going to present each song. - Howard Leese, ClassicsDujour.com

When I saw the show last year one of the first things I did was go on TripAdvisor to give them a great review and add their event as an official attraction, (since the first two reviewers before me hadn't).  I didn't realize this until John Payne announced it after the show but Raiding the Rock Vault is rated #3 out of #559 attractions in Las Vegas on TripAdvisor....Also, the show was just voted Best Musical in the Las Vegas Review Journal's annual Best of Las Vegas Issue earlier this spring. This is all after only 14 months in Las Vegas. A pretty remarkable beginning for a show debuting here, a town overflowing with live entertainment. The creators, performers, and everyone involved with Raiding the Rock Vault  found a missing niche....and rocked it!

The Rock Vault....Who are they?

John Payne, Lead Vocals, Bass, Asia
Howard Leese, Guitar, Heart and Bad Company, Co-Musical Director
Doug Aldrich, Guitar, Whitesnake
Robin McAuley, Lead Vocals, MSG and Survivor
Paul Shortino, Lead Vocals, Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot
Jay Schellen, Drums, Hurricane and Asia
Andrew Freeman, Lead Vocals, Offspring
Michael T. Ross, Keyboards, Lita Ford
Also featuring on certain nights: Carol-Lyn Liddle, Monsters of Rock & Stephanie Calvert, Starship

Who are the actors in the Raiding The Rock Vault flashback sequences?...Richard Malmos, Ryan Mueller, Coby Mosby, Amanda Gibson and Sarah Jessica Rhodes!

My 2013 article on Raiding the Rock Vault...
Raiding The Rock Vault Really Strikes A Chord...March 24, 2013...Hollywood Underdog


A great interview with John Payne and Howard Leese on the creation of and vision behind the show....
Classicsdujour.com/news/q-and-a-with-raiding-the-rock-vaults-howard-leese-and-john-payne/


RaidingtheRockVault.com




3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the wonderful comments about this show! We love doing it more than you can imagine. Along with the superb musicians, there are some amazing actors who also grace the stage. Richard Malmos, Ryan Mueller, Coby Mosby, Amanda Gibson, and Sarah Jessica Rhodes. We all make this a once in a lifetime experience!

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    1. Wow thanks for that...Being an actor myself I can tell you leaving them out was not intentional! I just went in and updated the blog article to include all five of their names in a note at the end.

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    2. Thanks so much Anna! We appreciate you taking the time to do it! All the best...

      Richard Malmos

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