Darlene Love, Little Steven Wow Whisky Crowd At Record Release Bash For New Columbia Album
September 21, 2015 at 11:05 AM (PT)
The marquee read on L.A.'s venerable SUNSET STRIP venue WHISKY A-GO-GO read, "Introducing DARLENE LOVE," the title of her new LITTLE STEVEN VAN ZANDT-produced album on the E-STREET BAND member's own WICKED COOL label through COLUMBIA RECORDS. It's a little joke on the veteran, 74-year-old ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAMER, who sang on a number of PHIL SPECTOR's biggest hits, including "He's A Rebel," "He's Sure the Boy I Love," "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "(Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry," among many others, being introduced to a brand-new generation after being spotlighted in the OSCAR-winning documentary about back-up vocalists, "20 Feet From Stardom."
At the second of two weekend shows SUNDAY night (the other was FRIDAY), the legendary club's balcony was filled with luminaries, including LITTLE STEVEN's wife MAUREEN, APPLE maven JIMMY IOVINE and recently engaged fiancee LIBERTY ROSS, publishing exec LANCE FREED (son of legendary rock 'n' roll DJ ALAN FREED), GRAMMY MUSEUM Exec. Dir. BOB SANTELLI, "I'm With the Band" author PAMELA DES BARRES, BLONDIE drummer CLEM BURKE and MICHAEL DES BARRES, whose song "Painkiller" is covered on the new album.
Fronting a 20-odd piece band squeezed onto the small stage -- boasting a five-member horn and five-individual string section -- LITTLE STEVEN led everyone through their paces, as DARLENE, resplendent in curly-blonde hair and glittery silver slacks -- ran through the album, from the horn flourishes of VAN ZANDT's "Among the Believers" and the operatic ELVIS COSTELLO number "Still Too Soon to Know" to BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN's "Just Another Lonely Mile" and the COSTELLO-penned first single, "Forbidden Nights."
Taking a mid-set break, LOVE left the stage to LITTLE STEVEN, who proceeded with a three-song mini-set comprised of SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY's "Love On The Wrong Side Of Town," written for him by VAN ZANDT and SPRINGSTEEN, and a pair of LITTLE STEVEN AND THE DISCIPLES OF SOUL numbers, "Until The Good Is Gone" and "Forever," which he dedicated to his wife MAUREEN, "the TWITTER Queen."
When LOVE returned, she tackled some of her greatest girl group hits, before taking it to the church with WALTER HAWKINS' "Marvelous," a soaring version of the BARRY/GREENWICH classic, ":River Deep Mountain High" and a thoroughly rousing VAN ZANDT original, "Jesus is the Rock (That Keeps Me Rollin)" that left everyone exhilarated.