by Steve Conte ~ November 19th, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized.
In 1988 my blues band, The Hudson River Rats began a residency in NYC’s West Village at a venue called “Under Acme” (the basement music room of the Acme Bar & Grill) which we did every Wednesday night for 2 years. We had all kinds of stars come down to play & sing with us; Cyndi Lauper, Carol King, Phoebe Snow, David Johansen, Willy DeVille, etc. By 1990 we moved the show to the Lone Star Roadhouse on W 52nd St in midtown Manhattan and a whole different crowd of players started coming down. This is where I met Steve Clark.
At that time my band Company Of Wolves had released our debut album on Mercury records and we had heard that Joe Elliot was a fan (I know this is true because I ran into him more than a decade later and he walked up to me and started singing my songs!). So perhaps this is why Steve Clark knew to come to our jam – because my brother John & I, who ran the jam with our blues band, were 2 of the founding members/players/singers/songwriters of Company Of Wolves.
The night that Steve showed up I remember being impressed with ourselves because the word was getting out about our little blues night – so much that we had multi platinum selling artists like Steamin’ Steve Clark coming down to hang and play. He was a really sweet guy from what I remember, I shook hands with him at the side of the stage as he pulled out a cherry sunburst Les Paul (I think…?) I can’t remember which tunes we played but I believe it was with Richie Hayward (Little Feat) on drums. I remember that blues harp master Charlie Musselwhite also played that night. I really wanted to hang with Steve and chat but I had to stay on the stage to keep the night going – and by the time I got offstage, he was gone.
I was a fan of those 2 big Def Leppard albums; Hysteria and Pyromania so it was great to meet him. I was glad that he was such a down to earth dude, one who would come to a blues jam and not be afraid to wing it – to plug in someone else’s amp and play unrehearsed tunes with a bunch of people he never met. I am one of those guys so I really appreciate that in someone else! That’s a musician with no fear.