Saturday, June 23 , 2018, 5:02 am | Fog/Mist 60º


Jeff Moehlis: ‘Rock Against MS’ Show Drums Up Awareness, Support

While we were waiting for The Doors' guitarist Robby Krieger to take the stage at the Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood on March 26, my buddy, who had already had more than enough to drink, asked if I thought he should get another beer. After I replied, "What would Jim Morrison do?," of course he got himself a beer.

Krieger was the headliner for the second annual Rock Against MS show, a rock-and-roll fantasy concert extravaganza whose goal was to raise awareness and money for the fight against multiple sclerosis. The show was put together by L.A. publicist Nancy Sayle, who responded to her own diagnosis of MS by calling on her friends in the music business to help fight the disease.

Krieger's band consisted of Phil Chen on bass (best known for his work on Jeff Beck's Blow By Blow album), the great Kenny Aronoff on drums, Kit Potamkin on keyboards and Dave Brock, who sounded and even looked a bit like Morrison, on vocals. Their half-hour set consisted of the classics "Break On Through," "Love Me Two Times," "Roadhouse Blues," "Riders on the Storm" and "Light My Fire."

You might know that The Doors were once the house band for the Whisky a Go Go, and it was a rare treat to see Krieger back at the legendary venue, now celebrating its 50th year of operation. Krieger recalled those days when Brock was complaining about the monitor mix, pointing out that "back in the '60s, we didn't even have monitors."

Krieger's set was one of many highlights of the evening. Another was witnessing half of The RunawaysCherie Currie and Lita Ford — sharing vocals on "Cherry Bomb" and "Queens of Noise." Of course, The Runaways also graced the stage of the Whisky many times back in the day.

Ford also sang Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak," The Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and her own "Kiss Me Deadly," fronting a band that included Steve Stevens on guitar. This was after Ford was presented with Guitar Player Magazine's Certified Legend award, making her the first "girl in the club." Currie gave a moving introduction of Ford, saying that "I knew then [when they were bandmates in The Runaways], even though I was a child, that I was in the presence of a legend."

Speaking of Stevens, who is best known for his guitar work with Billy Idol, he killed it with covers of Deep Purple's "Highway Star" and Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused," with Franky Perez on vocals.

Rock Against MS
Doors guitarist Robby Krieger was the headliner for the Rock Against MS event. (L. Paul Mann photo)

In fact, there were a huge number of outstanding covers over the course of the evening: Other highlights included The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" performed by Gilby Clarke, James LoMenzo and Stephen Perkins, with Clarke doing a cool approximation of the synth parts on guitar; Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" sung by Chas West; Rainbow's "Long Live Rock and Roll" sung by Joe Retta; The Beatles' "Come Together" and Sweet's "Fox on the Run" sung by Jeff Scott Soto; and Bruce Kulick playing early Kiss songs "Deuce" and "Parasite," originally recorded before his tenure in that band. Also cool was Jack Russell's Great White playing their hits "Rock Me" and "Once Bitten, Twice Shy."

The show kicked off with a tribute to Dimebag Darrell by Nick Bowcott, a set of covers of Tom Petty and Johnny Cash songs by the band Petty Cash (get it?), and Gretchen Bonaduce singing Blondie's "One Way or Another," Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "I Love Rock and Roll," best known from (former Runaway) Joan Jett.

If you're wondering how all this music could possibly fit into one evening, the show continued virtually nonstop for more than five hours.

And it must be mentioned that many other musicians in addition to the ones mentioned above contributed to the show, including, I'd like to think, the spirit of Morrison, all joining together to Rock Against MS!

— Jeff Moehlis is a Noozhawk contributing writer and a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his web site, The opinions expressed are his own.

Rock Against MS
Guitarist Steve Stevens at the Rock Against MS event. (L. Paul Mann photo)

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >