In this week's paper I wrote a Critic's Pick
on ego-trippin' body-rockin' guitar virtuoso Richie Kotzen. If you know who I'm talking about and have yet to chuckle, then you're either wayyyy out of the Cream's target demo or you're wondering why on earth, as a "critic," would I pick a blues-rock shredder who looks as much like a soap star as he does a rock star to muse and preview. Well, some things are just too good not to make light of. I'm talking about the fact that this niche ax-slinger is commanding $99 for a glorified meet-and-greet at Mercy Lounge when he appears there Sunday night. I concluded the Kotzen blurb by saying, "...if Kotzen manages to sell just one of these V.I.P packages — in Nashville of all places — then maybe the business of selling music isn’t totally fucked." Well, so much for my crystal ball, word on the street is that he's sold a few dozen to fans far and wide. Dude's makin' bank. Read the rest of what I had to say below.
Do you like bargains? Well here’s an amazing one. For ONLY $99, you — yes, you — can geek out hardcore with world-renowned (he’s big in Japan) rock guitarist extraordinaire, Richie Kotzen. The aforementioned 99 bones buy you a “V.I.P. package” that includes an opportunity to attend Kotzen’s soundcheck — followed by a meet-and-greet — and comes with a limited-edition signed commemorative poster and T-shirt, as well as your own V.I.P. commemorative laminate(!). And the rewards don’t end there. You will also get to have your photo taken with Kotzen, who will sign ONE personal item of your choosing. “Who is Richie Kotzen?” you ask. Well … he’s the guy that ’80s pop-metal-party-pin-ups Poison tapped to replace an exiled C.C. DeVille for a short-lived period of forgettable, futile stabs at relevance in the early ’90s. The band unceremoniously sacked Kotzen after he shat where he eats by shacking up with drummer Rikki Rockett’s then-fiancé — allegedly. He also played in a latter-day lineup of Mr. Big before finding success in Japan with a series of swamp-rock solo records. In 2010, he thinks his handshake has a market value of $99. LMFAO. Delusions aside, if Kotzen manages to sell just one of these V.I.P packages — in Nashville of all places — then maybe the business of selling music isn’t totally fucked … or maybe it is.