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?"