Nightcrawler: First Responders

Patrons of Theodore's BBQ in Springfield donated six boxes full of toys and nearly $600 to Shriners Hospital during the bar's annual Customer Appreciation Party.

For those who thought The Fawns’ 2006 album A Nice Place To Be was their studio ‘fawn’ song, Henning Ohlenbusch has news for you.

“The Fawns’ new album, Goodnight Spacegirl, is being officially released on Jan. 1,” he says. “We’ll be playing a bunch of tunes from it — and have CDs on hand, of course — during our First Night show at Lyman Hall. The CD release full-concert will occur at Noho’s Parlor Room Jan. 15.”

Among the more than 50 other acts joining in the First Night Northampton festivities is Ohlenbusch’s former Aloha Steamtrain bandmate “Lord” Russell Brooks, holding court at Smith’s Theatre 14 performing the works of The King.

“Elvis impersonators are a funny read,” Brooks says. “That’s why I poke fun at the whole industry of it — while delivering a spectacular vocal performance unrivaled by even the most seasoned tribute artists.”

Tom Mahnken and Trailer Park will be making their third First Night appearance at the World War II Club this year. But don’t expect anything fancy.

“Business as usual,” Mahnken says. “We’ll parachute into the parking lot like we do every year and hold a bull riding contest before our set. Due to liability insurance, the bulls may now actually be goats, but it will still be fun.”

For a list of all performers, venues, showtimes, admission button prices and more, hit up

A couple of tasty holiday leftovers from two recent Iron Horse shows the Crawler took in:

The first involves New Wave notable Howard Jones and the backstory behind the Japanese re-release of his number one hit, “I’d Like to Get to Know You Well.”

After showcasing his classical training with the beautiful ballad “Someone You Need” and creating a Calypso-tinged, crowd sing-a-long out of “Life in One Day,” Jones recounted a string of curious voicemails he received from Japanese studio execs concerned about a “possible career ending situation” prior to the release of a greatest hits package.

“I’m thinking career ending? ‘Like To Get To Know You Well’ is a song about universal love and acceptance?”

But it turns out, when translated badly, the new, Japanese chorus of the song had Jones declaring “I’d Like To Force Myself Upon You.” At song’s end, he replaced the original lyrics with the unfortunate, lost in translation to English-speaking audiences, alternate version. He liberally tosses in a few “but in the possible way” between cracks in the chorus.

The Crawler had initially interviewed The Yardbirds’ Jim McCarty on the phone prior to his band’s recent Iron Horse engagement. At that time, he tried to hurl a few queries McCarty’s way that perhaps he hasn’t had to field a thousand times in the past five decades. Catching McCarty on the evening of the actual show, however, he could no longer contain himself. The question: how in the world does one explain lightning striking three times in the Yardbirds camp with Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page all handling six string duties at various points in the band’s career?

“It is amazing, isn’t it?” McCarty quipped of the admittedly obvious observation. “And on top of that, all three of those guys grew up within 20, 30 miles of each other, which I think is even more amazing. There was probably some luck thrown in the mix, too, but really, when you think about it, The Yardbirds are a great vehicle for a guitarist. I mean, we started as a basic blues cover band. Very simple bass and drums, so there’s a lot of room for them to express themselves over that, and Jimmy, Jeff and Eric certainly did plenty of that, didn’t they?”•

Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, P.O. box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email

Gary Carra

Author: Gary Carra

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