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Chicago West, Ventura - 10/23/98

Reviewed by Jonathan Bolton

BLUE LINE started the evening when they took the stage at about 9:30PM. It had been about a year since Fred Dixon, Bill Parry, Roland Hill and Jack Rickman had last played together. Regardless, they got through their short set without much trouble and sounded fine to those present. Sure, they were a bit rusty, but they pulled off the few songs perfectly, obviously enjoying themselves. Songs that sounded particularly good were "The Biggest Freighter" and "California Chaparral."

After about 30 minutes and a half as many Coronas, Ventura's legendary SLAM ALICE took the stage. It's been years since the original band (Jack Rickman on guitar, Fred Dixon on bass and vocals and Jim Woodall on drums) had played a gig together but the set sounded great. Their many practice sessions prior to the show definitely paid off. Jack Rickman tore up the lead guitar with the same unparalleled skill he always has, while Jim kept the beat driving strong. Fred's vocals and bass licks filled out the rest of the sound and everyone got into the set - even the bartenders (special thanks to Eloise, by the way...). Fast-witted Fred never misses anything and stopped everyone who even headed toward the exit (not that many were). SLAM ALICE played three new songs that promise to become still more of those hard-hitting Slam Alice classics. Hard, heavy and fast - that's what's come to be expected from SLAM ALICE and that's what the crowd at Chicago West got. The only disappointment that evening was that the band didn't play their smash, "Taco Bell," despite calls from many audience members. In fact, one fan stated, "It's like Zeppelin not playing 'Stairway to Heaven'". (Rumor has it that "Taco Bell" will be resurrected for the band's November 7th at the Red Cove in Ventura with Helarage and I, for one, am very much looking forward to it.) If you're in Ventura on the 7th, check out the show - you won't be disappointed! SLAM ALICE is back!

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Copyright 1998 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:16 -0400.