Saturday, May 26, 2012


Captain Hiram’s 
Sebastian, FL

In the dubious

tradition of John Kay
and Steppenwolf,
Michael Clarke and
The ByrdsMickey
Thomas’ Starship,
and more recently,
Guns N' Roses,
comes the latest rock
revival misleader —
Brett Scallions.

I first became suspicious when I noticed that my ticket read, “FUEL: Featuring Brett Scallions.” This is an old school tactic in which (typically) club owners, small-time promoters and or former rock contenders attempt to convince fans that a platinum-selling arena act will actually be appearing at their local “Brew & Cue” — when in reality, only one original member (or less) will be gracing the stage. The Guess Who have been milking this angle for years; promoting themselves as the “real deal” long after the departure of Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman.

I was of course familiar with Fuel's signature hits from ten years ago such as “Shimmer” and “Hemorrhage” but I lacked the connection necessary to recognize or even care who was on the stage — a girl who I have a thing for had two tickets for tonight's show and she asked me to join her. I offered zero resistance.

The initial crowd reaction was enthusiastic. The 500+ fans cheered as the band tore through such favorites as “Bad Day,” “Jesus or a Gun” and “Bitter Sweet.” Then, I began paying attention to comments being made by people around me. “This doesn’t really sound like them,” I heard one guy say. Another added, “they don't have the same energy anymore.” Then a disgruntled buddy of mine approached me and confirmed my original suspicion. “That ain’t Fuel,” he announced with a scowl.

My buddy was absolutely right (sorta). Upon a cracker jack investigation (Wikipedia to the rescue!), I discovered that after several years of intra-band discord, what I had actually seen tonight was something referred to online as the new “Re-Fueled” line-up — a hybrid version of Fuel, featuring Scallions and former members of other such top-name acts as Buckcherry and Shinedown.

I certainly don’t begrudge anybody, especially hard working, talented musicians for making a living. And I’m not implying that this billing was dishonest; just perhaps a bit misleading. In fact, the band was quite good and gave one heck of a performance. But it seems to me that this “Re-Fueled” project would perhaps be better served and received if it was presented as the all-star, '90s super group that it really is. Heck, had I known that Yogi from Buckcherry was gonna be playing, I’d have paid for a ticket!

-Christopher Long
(May 2010)

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