Sunday, December 17, 2006

Aerosmith Update: David Hull returns to reality

From the James Montgomery Band website:
Dec 29 Chan's
Woonsocket, RI
David Hull rejoins the band after 3 months as Aerosmith's bassist! Welcome back Dave! The most venerable blues and jazz club in all the Northeast. Great dinner and great music. The crowd here is the best! "We play to the crowd more here than any other place we play," says James. Come down and experience it personally!
The rock’n’roll Cinderfella success story of the year is winding to a close, and the local hero rock star of Tabloid Baby’s teenage years is returning to the trenches after a season at the top.

For a few months now, we've been following the amazing comeback of David Hull, Seventies rock star turned journeyman musician, to whom fate handed an incredible second coming in September when he was recruited to play with Aerosmith on the band's Route of All Evil tour.

We first knew David Hull more than thirty five years. It was Southern Connecticut. We must have been 14. He was the cousin of our best friend Brian Butler, a few years older and the rock star we all wanted to be. He made records with Buddy Miles and Arthur Lee, jammed with Hendrix, and had planned to start a band with Steven Tyler before returning home victorious with White Chocolate and later The Dirty Angels, a trio and quartet that provided the bar band soundtrack of our Seventies. He gave us bass lessons when we were young, and when we were older and had traded guitars for the journo life while moving the punk scene with our Connecticut pals Tom Hearn and Legs McNeil, we wrote about his band and records.

David Hull’s Aerosmith connections stuck through the years. The Dirty Angels opened for Aerosmith in their late Seventies burnout years, and he played bass with the Joe Perry Project when Joe wandered off on its own.

Over the past 25 years, he’s been based in Boston, playing with a variety of rock, pop and blues bands, back in the bars and small clubs, still socializing with the guys from Aerosmith but apparently content in his role as a journeyman who’d reached for the brass ring and almost made it. When he was young.

And then, this summer, opportunity knocked. Aerosmith was headed off on a fall tour with Motley Crue, but bass player Tom Hamilton, a fan favorite, couldn’t make it because he was being treated for throat cancer. The show would go on, and David Hull got the call to fill in. Another chance at rock stardom, years after it seemed to be in his past. In his 50s!

Suddenly, this rock pro who hadn’t played to arenas full of screaming fans since the Seventies, was being plucked from the clubs and bars of New England where he’d been playing with local hero James Montgomery. Aerosmith management assured the fans it would only be for a month or so, that Tom was on the mend and would be back soon. David did a crash course on the Aerosmith songbook, worked for weeks getting into the groove with drummer Joey Kramer, getting his hair in shape. He made his debut on September 5th in Ohio. Onstage, he laid back. He knew whose shoes he was filling and the possible fan backlash that could rival the reaction when Ringo took over for Pete Best. But as weeks turned to months, and it became clear that Tom’s condition was worse than let on, David's reputation as a good guy and longtime compatriot added to the goodwill. He loosened up, started looking like a rock star again. The fans accepted him. And what would otherwise be seen as sacrilege-- playing the classic opening bassline of Sweet Emotion-- was heard as a tribute from an old friend.

He'd even inspire his own subgroup of fans known as FOD: “Followers of Dave.” And he played the entire tour, which wraps up tonight at the Arco Arena in Sacramento.

The members of Aerosmith wlll scatter to their own private rock star corners of the world for winter vacations. For David Hull, it's back to work. He'll will rejoin The James Montgomery Band, beginning at Chan’s Chinese restaurant and jazz club in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Not quite the Arco Arena.

But Aerosmith will soldier on in 2007. And there's a good chance David Hull will be with them. His rock star comeback isn't over. We'll keep you posted.

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