I was writing an article featuring HJS Video Productions. This is my friend Steve’s business video recording bands in the Maryland rock and roll scene. I went with him to the Point Pleasant Beach Bar in Glen Burnie, Maryland where he would record the band Dead Ringer.
At that time I was a fifty-eight year old grandfather. I hadn’t been out at a bar on a Saturday night for many years. My wife knows that I am too old and too sane do anything stupid. I only drink Diet Pepsi so I didn’t have that excuse to get silly. I am reminded of the great old Bob Seager song “Rock and Roll Never Forgets” because it really doesn’t. When the music started it all came back like it was yesterday.
The bar was located off the beaten path. It took some driving through small streets to get there. I thought that it was a bar for the people local to the area because, without GPS, it is not likely many people would find it.
It looked like a classic roadhouse. I don’t know if it was at all similar, but it reminded me of the bar where Chuck Yeager hung out in “The Right Stuff” or where Tom Cruise hung out in “Top Gun.”
Steve set up and at nine the band took the stage. The band had Steve Gill on drums and vocals, Frank Peaker on base and vocals, Mike Russo on lead guitar, and Dana Dagit and Vickie Kay on lead vocals.
Dead Ringer was ready to party but it would take the audience a while to catch up. They started with Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.” I was already getting the feeling that this band knew their stuff.
I do not have a great depth of knowledge about the technical aspects of the music; for that you would have to ask my son. I’m a fan of rock and roll and have been since 1955. I like what I like. I move to the music and I sign along; thank Goodness the music is loud enough to cover that noise. My point is that this is an opinion of a fan, not an expert, but experts don’t pay the bar tabs; fans do.
Dead Ringer rolled into a set of classic nineties music Vickie and Dana produced excellent harmony on “Hard to Handle” and then they played “Semi-Charmed Life.” In another article I nominated Third Eye Blind’s first CD as the best CD of the nineties. One of the things that I believe made “Semi-Charmed Life” the first big hit for Third Eye Blind was the rapid fire lyrics. So many lyrics are jammed in yet they are all understandable. I always thought that a vocalist would really have to work to get that one right and Dana got it right. I liked this band more with each passing song.
At this point it got freaky. That’s when they started reading my mind. I haven’t been out in years and this group starts playing my all time favorite tunes. The rolled out “Play that Funky Music” which is always a crowd pleaser but they really blew me away when they followed with “Roundabout” by Yes. I always considered Yes be a cut above most classic rock bands and I have rarely seen a Yes tune covered. In my opinion they nailed it, and without a keyboard.
The crowd came alive in the second set. This is one of those times when a writer can turn nothing into something. At the beginning of the second set Dana was trying hard to get the audience to respond to no avail. Though it was clear the song was next on the playlist it seemed, in a writer’s warped mind that the band responded to the non-reaction with Alanis Morissette’s bitter tune “You Ought to Know.” That seemed to get the crowd’s attention; dancers appeared on the dance floor on the very next tune.
The party continued on from there. Dana threw on a crazy eighties hair band wig and then jumped into the audience with the dancers. It was a great time. Bob Seager was definitely, right rock and roll never forgets. In my opinion as a fan, Dead Ringer is a band not to be missed on a Saturday night.