DERRINGER - Report On First Show In 32 Years! Page 3
Special Report by Martin Popoff

A humourous moment in our chat illustrates a classic gap in procedure one maybe would expect when once hard-partying '70s legends get back together to rock out. Yet still, I found this surprising. In years leading up to this reunion, there was talk that Rick would want to "Christianize" the old Derringer lyrics, which was a sticking point with moving the reunion forward. Rick in recent years has become quite deeply religious, and in fact, was signing records and CDs and posters last night with his signature, a cross, and the words "Lord Bless." So I had asked Danny about this, and with a bit of a dazed look (granted, Johnson was very nervous about the gig all afternoon), he said, "Oh, we haven't got to that," after a long pause, adding, "I don't even know. This is our first gig."

So what happened? No surprise that the band didn't play the epic and quite sinister title track from Sweet Evil (nor 'Bright Light Fright'/'Turn It Up'-style proto-speed rocker 'Let's Make It', which I was looking forward to). And as far as the lyrics go, 'Still Alive And Well''s chorus lines now allude to Jesus being still alive and well. But that's it - the other songs, at least to these ears, remained the same. Now, as Rick tore into those words, I'm not sure it was surprise that registered on harmonizing singer Danny Johnson's face, but he did indeed seem to spontaneously step back from the mic.

Visit for additional tour dates, which are unfortunately sporadic in America. The band then hit the UK and Spain in mid June, preceded by a stop at Sweden Rock on June 6th, which is sure to be a highlight as this band hones their already white-hot chops (yeah, yeah, first night... I'm sure they thought they sucked!) into a thing of consummately professional classic rock beauty.