Six years ago today (10/23/02), during their set at the downtown Hard Rock Café, Rookie Card guitarist Adam Gimbel plugged into a Judas Priest guitar display.
“I’ve heard reports of other bands interacting with the memorabilia at other Hard Rock Cafés since then,” says bassist Jason Hee, “but I think we were the first to do so.
“We decided to stage ‘Free Bird’ as a big finale for what we assumed would be our first and only Hard Rock performance,” recalls Hee. “What better way to end our corporate-rock set at the Hard Rock than by playing the classic-rock-radio staple in its entirety?
“When we were about three minutes into the six-minute solo, Adam [Gimbel, guitarist] unplugged his guitar and plugged his amp into K.K. Downing’s Gibson Flying V, and started strumming! It was still on the wall, still functional, and probably way out of tune, so it was merely histrionic dissonance.
“A Hard Rock employee realized what was going on and promptly removed Adam’s cord from the Judas Priest guitar, and we wrapped up the big solo and ended our set. I’m not really sure the audience realized what was going on. It was late, and they were probably more concerned with working out their food and drink bills.”
Jason Hee currently plays bass with Billy Midnight, with whom he appears at Anthology on November 5.
– Jay Allen Sanford