Saturday, July 30, 2005

Stuck in the '80s with You, or That Annoying Guitar Riff Killed the Asia Star

So it's our usual Friday night happy hour on the generally placid patio at SoHo here in Santa Barbara, but there's a hubbub in the bar which turns music club at night, as, of all bands, Asia is performing soundcheck, which isn't easy for them or us because their system has to ignore that 25 years has happened. (For the record, the only remaining member of the original supergroup of secondary geeks from artrock bands of the 70s is Geoff Downes. You remember him, he's the one who's not Trevor Horn in the Buggles.)

SoHo is a very intimate club, particularly for a group whose debut album in 1982 sold 9 million copies. I still have terrible flashbacks of a sorority party with a room full of very white folks trying to dance to Asia, the closest thing I've ever seen to the old quip about dancing about architecture, because these people moved as slowly and gracefully as buildings.

Later, one of Asia's roadies is out on the patio with a stack of backstage passes hanging from his belt, including one that is emblazoned "All Access." And all I can think in the heat of the moment is, "Does that mean he can get into the kitchen?"

Still, it's hard to make fun of a band that on its official site includes the lines:


Asia return to the road for more concert dates throughout the UK and Europe. In October, the band played their only American date of the year in Trenton, NJ. The show was recorded for a live CD and DVD, "America: Live In The USA", to be released next year.

I hope you didn't miss it. For to paraphrase the sign on that bridge in New Jersey's gorgeous capital--Asia Makes, The World Takes. And then spits out as tactfully as possible into its napkin.


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