A few months ago, we attended a concert that was billed as “Three Dog Night”, and let me tell ya…they sounded pretty bad. Not the band we expected, the one with all the hits we remember so fondly. Turns out, it was 2 of the three “Dogs”…the missing one? Their lead singer and soul of the band, Chuck Negron. I did some research, and sure enough, the 3 guys who formed the band, Chuck and the other 2, had a falling out back when Chuck fell into the world of drugs and substance abuse. Fed up with his erratic behavior at the time, they essentially threw him out and gathered some other guys and continued their careers with a band they called “Three Dog Night”, but without the distinctively amazing voice of their lead singer.
Imagine seeing the Rolling Stones without Mick. Or Aerosmith without Steven Tyler.
And to make matters even more confusing, the 2 original dogs have gone so far as to rewrite the biography of the band, leaving out Chuck’s name and valuable contributions to the band. They ignore the fact that the voice we all know and love, the one that sang “Jeremiah was a bullfrog” and so many other memorable lines, is no longer in the band. True, the lead vocals were handled by others at times, but most of the hits, the real classic Three Dog Night songs, were anchored by Chuck Negron.
I am not mentioning these other 2 guys by name, I don’t really feel I should, since they have deleted Chuck from official accounts of the iconic band. But I can tell you this; if you see the band advertised as “Three Dog Night”…stay away. They sound like a bad cover band. But they own the name and they have prevented Chuck from using the name of the group he helped found, so if you are not a music lover who knows of the details behind this mess, you could be fooled into thinking you are seeing the real deal, when in fact, it is just a name that is owned by people who are not necessarily the real deal.
It’s just like the Beach Boys…Mike Love, the lead singer, licenses the name, and even though he is the only real original member of the Beach Boys in that band, the only remaining real live members of the band, Brian Wilson (the creative genius and only remaining brother) and Al Jardin frequently perform with thei own bands but they cannot call themselves the Beach Boys. Weird. (By the way, if you want to hear the sounds of the Beach Boys, Al Jardin has assembled most of the actual musicians who played with the Beach Boys on tour and on many of the records, so they get it, as opposed to Mike Love who uses low-cost musicians to play the band’s songs without staying true to the sound).
Chuck Negron, by the way, makes it a point to thank the other 2 guys at each concert, saying he would not be there without them…I have talked with Chuck about this and he would love to see the day when the 3 of them could be together onstage again, but he doubts they would ever do that. Who knows.
Chuck makes it all real, though…it’s like listening to the original Three Dog Night, with a cracker jack band of musicians, including his son on bass, and a flawless recreation of the sounds. Chuck’s voice is one of the most distinctive and powerful voices in all of rock and roll. It’s amazing that he can still sound as great decades later. He’s the ultimate performer, and he is gracious and thankful to all the fans who have stayed with him and support his music.
His show this weekend featured a first for him; his 2 daughters each came out onstage and sang, with proud daddy filming them from the sidelines, it was a special moment that the crowd at the Cannery had the chance to see and experience.
Fellow Eagle Paul Ezen and darling wife Kim were in town and got to enjoy the show with Jan and I, although I think Kim disappointed she didn’t get to join the band onstage as she did last time (with Gary Sinese) but maybe next time Kim?
Also on the bill was Blood, Sweat & Tears, who sounded pretty good, even without David Clayton Thomas on vocals…hard to replace such a memorable, powerful voice without noticing, but it was a fine rendition of the classic hits of BS&T.
Kathie Spehar (entertainment director for Cannery) did it again, bravo to her for another fabulous night of classic rock.
Read the rest of the great articles in this week’s digital magazine www.vegasinsidetips.com