Hearne: Through the Glass Jaggedly at Rainmakers Reunion

For starters, this is not a review of last weekend’s Rainmakers reunion show at Knuckleheads

Think of it as a birdseye window into the soldout, third-coming of a KC band from the ’80s that almost made it. Hey, they got a lot farther as recording artists – locally and nationally – than pride of Blue Springs, David Cook.

As for the show, it’s amazing how old people from the mid 1980s are looking these days.

"I haven’t seen this much grey hair since the Golden Girls were on TV," cracked Cowtown Ballroom director/producer Joe Heyen.

"They all look alike, they’re pretty homogenous," said a 30-something woman near the stage. "And I’m not talking about their matching white shirts. They kind of look like old-school, Wonderbread boys."

Longtime Rainmakers fan Corky Williams take on the show: "I think it’s killer. I think it’s great – it’s great for the  band and great for their fans."

The reunion brought back memories of the Rainamkers debut album in 1986 for blues aficionado Scott Mackey. Specifically, writer David Cantwell‘s scathing review in the Pitch that came out the first day of the band’s national tour in support of the album.

As executive editor of the Pitch, I had the pleasure of taking a hopping-mad call from lead singer Bob Walkenhorst complaining about Cantwell’s review.

"It was a good review," Mackey says. "He said it was time to say it, that the emperor has no clothes…I thought he dissected it well. Like when the band sings, ‘I can’t tell the difference between a Lincoln (Kennedy) and a John Wilkes Booth’ and David put that down because that’s a really bad comparison."

Turns out Walkenhorst wasn’t the only one unhappy with Cantwell’s review.

KC Star music reviewer "Greg Hack referred to him as David Can’t-Write-Well," Mackey says.

As for the band’s long-in-the-tooth look, "For some of you folks it’s been 15 years since you saw us," Walkenhorst told the crowd. "How do we look?"


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8 Responses to Hearne: Through the Glass Jaggedly at Rainmakers Reunion

  1. newbaum turk says:

    old age
    What? People who are in their 40’s and 50’s are looking older now? No shit?

  2. smartman says:

    I thought 50 was the new 30? The Rainmakers just need to pow-wow with Craig and get some HGH, make sure the thyroid isn’t hyper or hypo, some advice on hair….or maybe not.

  3. smartman says:

    Better Idea to Make it Rain
    Hook the Rainmakers up with Boulevard Beer, have ’em craft a beer called BIG FAT BLONDE. They’re making a big push nationwide. They use the song in radio ads, It becomes fashionable to walk into a bar and ask for a BIG FAT BLONDE, women will even start doing it. Lesbos love the craft beer!
    Put a QR code on the bottle to download the BIG FAT BLONDE ringtone.
    The band gets to relaunch their career with one of their better songs and everybody lives happily ever after.

  4. Mick says:

    That’s a great freaking idea Smartman. Of course the pc police would be all up in their asses, but hey, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right.

    I was at the Saturday show, just a few feet from the stage, and let me tell you that was one of hell of a show. One of the best atmospheres & performances at a concert that i’ve been to in a long time. Just good ol’ fashion, feel good, rock & roll music that everybody was enjoying. Good Times!

  5. Hearne Christopher says:

    A lot older. Surprisingly so.

  6. Hearne Christopher says:

    Well, there already is Big Butt beer. So maybe there’s hope.

    On the other hand, not sure how savvy the Rainmakers are as marketers. To many people’s surprise, they didn’t even have T-shirts for sale at Knuckleheads. Just CDs and a couple poster reprints.

  7. RickM says:

    as a rule, reunions suck
    but of course there are exceptions. i’d go to a morells show in spite of the fact that those guys & gal were old even in the early 80s. imagine the greybeards that’d turn out for that one.

    and yes i’m aware they’re from springfield; their biggest fan base at their height was in kc.

  8. jhawkr says:

    If you are going to drag out that moronic episode, you could at least get the facts right.

    Cantwell’s “review” was for their third album, The Good News and The Bad News, in 1989. The song he was having so much trouble with was ‘Reckoning Day.’ The actual lyrics:

    Well I was thinking about Abraham Lincoln
    And the enemies of the truth
    But I could not tell a Kennedy
    From a John Wilkes Booth

    Bob was not equating an assassin to a President, Senator or Attorney General. He specifically referenced “enemies of the truth.” There are plenty Kennedy-esque moments in history that could be viewed as less than stellar but let’s just pick one. Chappaquiddick? That concept was apparently too much for Cantwell – the pissant – to grasp in what amounted to a personal attack on Bob.

    How about sticking to a review of a fantastic concert by a critically-acclaimed local band.

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