X-L-lent Show

August 3rd, 2010 by Max Allan Collins

The Crusin’/XL’s concert for the Muscatine, Iowa, Great River Days celebration beat all the odds – we dodged rain, and a flooding riverfront (that sent us to the Muscatine Community College campus), not to mention a Thursday night date. Still, two bands specializing in decades-old rock drew 1000 people to the outdoor event.

Crusin' @ Great River Days 2010

It’s always a pleasure to play up on a big concert stage with a sound company, and a huge, responsive crowd always makes for an energetic show. The XL’s – who regrouped from all around the country for this – were a major band in the Midwest in the mid- to late-sixties, and they showed why, with two fun party band sets highlighted by outstanding renditions of “Kicks,” “Pretty Woman” and “Wild Thing,” with Iowa rock legend Joe McClean playing a Tonette solo. Yeah!

The XL’s and Crusin’, by the way, are both Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees.

Crusin’ did one of its best shows of recent years, I think, and performed some very challenging material – “Keep Me Hangin’ On,” “Hush,” “Cinammon Girl” – very well. A lot of people were there to see the XL’s and we had to really work to win at least some of that audience over…but we did. And the highlight was probably the very end when both bands took the stage to do a long, lead-filled version of “Louie Louie.” The crowd demanded an encore and the two groups pulled “Money” out of their collective nether regions.

Fair to say – both bands killed. I find it hard to imagine I’ll ever have the chance to play in many events so fun and fulfilling.

For those of you in eastern Iowa, you can get a taste by coming to the Riverside Casino in Riverside, Iowa (future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk) this coming Sunday, August 8. We will play an afternoon show starting at 2 pm.

Also, we have a double-feature event with the XL’s at Wilton’s Founder’s Day the evenings of Friday Aug. 27 (Crusin’) and Saturday Aug. 28 (XL’s). The bands will not appear on stage together but expect “guest star” appearances both nights.

Road to Perdition Blu RayToday (Aug. 3) is the release date of the Blu-ray disc of ROAD TO PERDITION. It’s a beautiful transfer and has many special features – including extensive interview material with both me and my brilliant artist Richard Piers Rayner – that make this a must purchase for any M.A.C. fan or, really, anybody with taste and a Blu-ray player. The reviews so far have been stellar, like this one from DVD Verdict, this one from AVS Forum, and this from Big Picture Big Sound.

And here’s one whose focus is an interview with yours truly.

Also, PERDITION continues to rank high in “best movies from comic books” lists.

Here is a really nice write-up about THE BIG BANG from the Murder Mystery & Mayhem blog.

You’ll have to scroll down for it, but here’s another nice BIG BANG review, nicely succinct.

You should check out my article on Mickey Spillane’s ONE LONELY NIGHT in my buddy David Morrell’s THRILLERS: 100 MUST READS.

I’m sure some of the mystery and comics fans who stop by are bewildered by the coverage here of my band Crusin’ (and sometimes Seduction of the Innocent). But writing and music have been intertwined in my life and career from the very beginning. Any of you involved with mystery and or comics conventions – particularly in the Midwest – might consider booking Crusin’ for evening entertainment. And comics cons in particular should know that Seduction of the Innocent is considering con bookings again. Contact me through this site.

By the way, at the Great River Days event, we did both the Daybreakers’ “Psychedelic Siren” and Seduction’s “Pussy Whipped.”


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2 Responses to “X-L-lent Show”

  1. Brian_Drake says:

    Great stuff, Max. Hopefully I can attend one of your concerts someday. I noticed that Amazon is listing a Mike Hammer Vol. 3 collection putting The Girl Hunters, The Snake, and The Twisted Thing together. Do you have anything to do with it?

  2. I’m the editor on Hammer Vol. 3 and contributed the intro, which you’ll enjoy.

    I’m hoping there will be a Vol. 4 with THE BODY LOVERS, SURVIVAL…ZERO!, and THE KILLING MAN.