Near the Sacramento River in Anderson California there is one of (Far) Northern California’s best outdoor venues. A small amphitheater in a park setting complete with majestic oaks and a small pond nearby. The local chamber of commerce and several small businesses in the area have come together to sponsor a weekday concert series free to the general public. Not all of the acts that perform the event are rock, but the ones that are really rock! On a muggy Wednesday evening as I strolled through the vendors drinking my beer I happened upon a striking figure that I had seen several times before, Mr. Terry Lauderdale.
Terry is the guitarist for the (tribute) band Hot For Teacher “The Van Halen Experience”. He also works with Randy Monroe and Ed Studebaker in their classic rock / rock cover band RockSkool. Terry is one of the few guitarists I’ve seen pull off Eddie licks with such little effort, he also had a wicked sense of humor. I was excited to see these guys again, and even more excited to get the opportunity to chat with them for a while. HFT is one of those bands that just kills it every time they take the stage. It was evident that I was not the only one who felt this way, as countless smiling fans walked by sporting their HFT branded gear. On my way to the beer garden for a refill I ran into Brooks “Bee” Lundy.
Randy is the “David Lee Roth” (or Sammy Hagar, when he performs with The Red Rocker Experience) of the outfit. Complete with flowing blond locks, pipes and karate like moves to pull off early Van Halen in a fashion that even Mr. Roth finds difficult at times these days. I spent some time with Randy stage left while he visited with myself, fans, and enjoyed the opening act. The guy is a character. An accomplished middle school teacher who is warm, funny, and exudes the very type of charisma it takes to successfully convince a die hard fan of Van Halen that justice is being done.
After the opening act finished and Randy slipped on his striped tights, I had the opportunity to interview (audio below) the band round table style backstage. That’s when I finally met the fourth and just as important member Ed Studebaker.
Ed is not only a fantastic drummer, but a humble and nice guy.
After we wrapped up the guys hit the stage and put on one hell of a great show. They played the early VH catalog, and were met with dancing, singing and smiles.
I for one will be catching these guys every chance I get. If they get close to where you are I recommend you do too!