I first saw Right On, Right On during a Battle of the Bands at The Hood Bar and Pizza. I didn’t know what to think at first. The band offered a little funk, a little country, a little bit of a jam-band vibe—and a whole lot of rock, played by great local musicians. For more information, visit www.rightonrighton.com or www.facebook.com/rightonrightonmusic. Behind the drums of Right On, Right On is “Uncle” Ben Crowson. Uncle Ben was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13; here are his answers.
What was the first concert you attended?
I’ve been going to shows since I was a pup. My parents were kind enough to drag me to shows by such epic bands as The Monkees and the Beach Boys (with John Stamos on drums, no less). My first journey on my own was in 1993. A little band called Pearl Jam ventured out to the Empire Polo Club in Indio and put on the best show my 16-year-old ass had ever seen. My bro Josh and I kept our shoes on and our wits about us and had the best time in our young denim-short-wearing lives. Six years later, the Polo Club hosted the first Coachella and set in motion whatever it is we have today.
What was the first album you owned?
I distinctly remember wearing out the cassette reels of Van Halen’s 1984 … in 1984. It was either that or the Neil Diamond classic Hot August Night sent to me accidentally by Columbia House. I’m starting to realize how old I am.
What bands are you listening to right now?
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention ALL of the local bands that are currently killing it with their new records, so I won’t mention any of them. As far as mainstream music, this is the part where the old man in me wants to scream that music sucks today, and ask why Foghat isn’t releasing new music … but I can’t. There’s a bunch of bands on smaller festival circuits that just kill it. A favorite of our band is the Scott Pemberton Band out of Oregon. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is a band worth checking out. Check out bands like Wax Fang, The Struts, The Suitcase Junket, and Twiddle. But I also dig the classics: The new records by Face to Face and Bad Religion are pretty, pretty, pretty good.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?
I try not to hate on genres of music, because people think I’m nuts for watching back-to-back Dead and Company shows and hoping they play the 25 minute version of “Sugaree,” But, if pressed, I would have to say current, popular hip hop escapes me. Growing up and watching hip hop explode in the early ’90s and throughout that decade just ruins anything released today. Wu-Tang Clan forever!
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
I missed seeing Grateful Dead with Jerry Garcia before he passed, and certain early ’90s alternative rock pioneers were also missed (Kurt Cobain, Andy Wood). I was lucky enough to see Chris Cornell, Rage Against the Machine, Tool and others during their peak. Maybe the Beach Boys without John Stamos? One can dream.
What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?
I grew up on musicals, but I don’t find any guilt in that. Have you ever heard me and my friends singing in unison to Jesus Christ Superstar? You should.
What’s your favorite music venue?
I just got back from The Gorge in Washington for those Dead and Company shows. It’s gonna be hard to top that. Smaller venues where I have seen certain bands will always hold a special place in my heart (like The Palladium in Hollywood). Oh, and Schmidy’s. I miss Schmidy’s!
What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?
There’s so much more (good and bad) going on in my head, song lyrics are the least of my worries.
What band or artist changed your life? How?
Pearl Jam has been a constant influence in my life, from early high school to present day. The Grateful Dead holds a piece of my heart for personal reasons beyond explanation. Growing up listening to the Outlaws of Country (Willie, Waylon, etc.) always makes me think of my parents and my awesome childhood. (We had a jukebox, for crying out loud.)
You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?
I’d ask Eddie Vedder where he gets his Polaroid film and typewriter ribbons. That’s me subtly mentioning I have Polaroid cameras and typewriters …
What song would you like played at your funeral?
I’m gonna live forever. But if I die, please play “The Long Road” by Pearl Jam, and get drunk, cry and tell exaggerated stories of my conquered loves and mountains.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
Pearl Jam, Ten. Changed my life. 13 years old to current age. Hands down.
What song should everyone listen to right now?
This is gonna sound like pandering, but it’s not. You want a new favorite song? Pick a night, and go to any of the local music venues around, and listen to the unbelievable talent we are blessed to have right now. Then pick a song. It’s literally that easy. But … Captain Ghost’s “Poison Skies” is a song people need to listen to. (Scroll down to hear it!)