NRBQ tars and feathers a Cabbage Patch Kid in Vancouver

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 14, 1985

By Steve Newton

“Are you having a good time?” asked Terry Adams. And the capacity crowd at Club Soda–who obviously were–answered with a resounding ‘Yes!”.

“Yes what?!” countered bassist Joey Spampinato.

And that’s the way it was last Thursday–with the New Rhythm & Blues Quartet (NRBQ) making fun of everything: their audience, themselves, and mostly their music.

As well as their own seriously rocking tunes like “Green Light” and “Me and the Boys”, they did a rambling “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” (during which Adams played piano behind his back) and a goofy ditty titled “You and I and George”, which drummer Tom Ardolino sang (twice) while wearing  a satin magician’s cape and what looked like a lampshade on his head.

Whether pointing out the odd heckler (“There’s the world’s first brain-donor over there”), commenting on the city’s street scene (“We’ve seen some of the most beautiful women in the world in Vancouver…and they all cost 100 bucks”), or issuing a “death certificate” to a bug-eyed Cabbage Patch Doll (which they proceeded to tar and feather), NRBQ were one funny bunch of guys.

But the band’s real forte was in straightforward, dance-your-buns-off rock ‘n’ roll, and when bearded mountain-man Al Anderson let loose on his well-worn Telly there was enough full-blown boogie to make ZZ Top cry jealous tears.

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