The Friday, June 17, Column

Local Musician Spotlight – Jett Black – Aqua Nett

jett black
Jett Black

The legend goes something like this:

Aqua Nett was formed in 1982 in Hollywood, California. It’s unclear on who actually started the act, as the six original members all stake to that claim.

By 1986, with their gritty Los Angeles metal sound, the act quickly climbed the ranks to become the premier hair metal band selling out venues like the Roxy, the Whiskey and the Troubadour and all around the Los Angeles metro area.

The act was soon signed to a subsidiary of Geffen records, and toured Europe, Japan and was the first American metal band to tour the Soviet Republic. While in San Francisco, the band met Ti and Doe, founding members of a religious cult called “The Heavens Gate” and became obsessed with their way of life, and the band joined the cult,  gaving up their worldly possessions, cutting their hair, and traded in their leather and spandex for the Heavens Gate issue blue jumpsuits. But worst of all, they gave their song rights to their manager, Bernie, who sold the songs to hair bands such as Poison, Ratt and Bon Jovi, just to name a few.

Devout followers of the Heavens Gate cult for ten years until 1997 when Ti announced that the comet Hale Bop was coming close to earth and they would all be leaving the earth the following day. That night the boys decided to have a “last drink” at the local bar where their former selves were revealed. The band drank too much and passed out in the alley adjacent to the bar, subsequently missing their glorious ride on the comet.

Today Aqua Nett is vigilantly reclaiming their songs and themselves as the world’s greatest hair metal band. How much of this is true is yet to be known, but you can find out for yourselves at Rossi’s 1906 Roadhouse tonight, June 17, at 9:30 p.m.

We managed to touch bases with the bands guitar player, Jett Black. Let’s find out a little more about him with the usual six questions.

1) Many musicians in our generation cite the Beatles on Ed Sullivan as that moment when they knew music was what they wanted to do. When and what was it that made you realize you wanted to be a musician?

JB > Well it was on a Television show but I’m not sure who the act was or even the guitar player, but I do remember it was Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” playing. I knew right then. I actually wanted to be a drummer, but my mom ended up getting me a guitar

2) That first instrument you owned. What was it and do you still have it?

JB > Was a Memphis copy of a Les Paul. I played that guitar for like 15 years. It was slowly starting to fall apart and I ended up giving it to a neighbor kid that had no money for a guitar.

3) Who are you’re primary influences in your music?

JB >  Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, most of the legendary hard rock acts were my basic inspiration.

4) What CD or playlist is in your car or your iPod?

JB > (We interviewed him while driving so he actually kicked out the CD’s and told us) Britney Spears, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Chicago. I tend to like a little of everything

5) Tell us about your current acts.

JB > It’s just Aqua Nett. We’re touring now, making good money, the biggest problem is keeping the groupies off the tour bus. Sometimes we just want to sleep between shows.

6) If you could have written one song, which one would it be and why?

JB> Man, you ask some tough questions. I’d have to say “If 6 was 9” by Jimi Hendrix. Why? I love the song, but I would have changed the words a little.



Soundbytes – MusicWorks!Sonoma

MusicWorks!Sonoma is back in action this weekend on Sunday, June 19, with an encore performance of  “Lift up your Voices” at the Faith Lutheran Church at 4:30 p.m. Produced by artistic director James Griewe, and this time, they will feature accompanist, Bob Hazelrigg, the group will perform styling’s of gospel and beloved spirituals songs.

Admission to the show is free, although donations will be gratefully accepted. The group donates all proceeds to local non-profit organizations, and has raised over $100,000 over the years.



Set List – The Rundown

Annex Wine Bar, 865 W. Napa St. Sonoma, 938-7779
Tonight, June 17: Acoustic Soul. 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 18: Full Circle. 7:30 p.m.

Barking Dog Roasters, 18133 Sonoma Hwy. Sonoma, 939-1905
Saturday, June 18: David Bingham. 3 p.m.
Sunday, June 19: Timothy Benton. 3 p.m.

B. R. Cohn Winery, 15000 Sonoma Hwy. Glen Ellen, 800-330-4064
Sunday, June 19: Wine Club luau party – Polynesian dance troop and music.  2 p.m.

Cornerstone, 23570 Arnold Dr, Carneros, 933-3010
Sunday, June 19: Frankie Bourne – Solo. 1 p.m.

El Verano Inn, 705 Laurel Ave. El Verano, 935-0611
Saturday, June 18: Punk Rock with Kitten Drunk, the Connies and the Rind. 9 p.m.

Faith Lutheran Church of Sonoma Valley, 19355 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, 996-7365
Sunday, June 19: MusicWorks!Sonoma. 4:30 p.m

Friday Farmers Market, Depot Park, 270 First St W. Sonoma
Today, June 17: Stewart Degner. 9:30 a.m.

HopMonk Tavern, 691 Broadway Sonoma, 935-9100
Tonight, June 17: Adam Traum. 5 p.m. Dawn Angelosante and Tony Gibson. 8 p.m.. 8 p.m.
Saturday, June 18: Dan Martin. 1 p.m. Hillwilliams. 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 19: Painted Horses. 1 p.m.

Lawn of Hood Mansion, N. Pythian Rd off Hwy 12, Santa Rosa, 833-6288
Tonight, June 17: “Funky Fridays” with Soul Fuse. 7 p.m.

Murphy’s Irish Pub, 464 First St. E. Sonoma, 935-0660
Sunday, June 19: the Carrtunes. 2 p.m.

Muscardini Cellars, 9380 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, 933-9305
Saturday, June 18: “Simmer Down Saturday” with the Jami Jamison Band. 6 p.m.

Olde Sonoma Public House, 18615 Sonoma Hwy. Boyes Hot Springs, 938-7587
Saturday, June 18: Karaoke. 7:30 p.m.

Plaza Bistro, 420 First St E. Sonoma, 996-4466
Tonight, June 17: Christian Foley-Benning Trio. 7 p.m.

Rossi’s 1906 Dancehall, 401 Grove St. El Verano, 343-0044
Tonight, June 17: Aqua Nett. 9 p.m.
Saturday, June 18: Trainwreck Junction. 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 19: Ridgway. 5 p.m. Blues Jam. 9:30 p.m.

Schellville Grill, 22900 Broadway, Sonoma, 996-5151
Saturday, June 18: Butch Engle and Styx. 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 19: Butch Engle and Styx. 12:30 p.m.

Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards, 389 Fourth St. E. Sonoma, 933-3230
Tonight, June 17: Magic with Amber Morris. 6 p.m.
Sunday, June 15: The Mello Tones. 1 p.m.

Sonoma Plaza, 1 Broadway, Sonoma Grinstead Amphitheater:
Saturday, June 18: Hula Mai with Patrick Landeza. 5 p.m.

Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall, 452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma, 996-1364
Tonight, June 17: Loosely Covered. 8 p.m.
Saturday, June 18: Full Circle. 5 p.m. Charlie Hickox, Snakebite Jacobs, Tim Eschliman and Lou A. Rodriguez. 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 19: “Open Mic and Mimosas.” 1 to 7 p.m. the Acrosonics. 7:30 p.m.

Sonoma Valley Regional Library, 755 W. Napa St. Sonoma, 996-5217
Saturday, June 18: Tango Petaluma. 2 p.m.
If your gig isn’t in my column, you didn’t tell me about it.

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