A benefit concert was held Monday night to honor and bid a final farewell to the great, late drummer, Randy Castillo, as well as to help his surviving family with leftover expenses from his illness. Randy had the best seat in the house, watching from his “skybox,” as a plethora of musicians and one “Icon” took the stage in front of a sold-out audience of over 800 people.
Kicking off the show was Nickelbag, which featured Rolling Stones backup vocalist Bernard Fowler taking the mic, guitarists Ritchie Kotzen (Ex-Poison) and Stevie Salas (Michael Hutchence, Bootsy Collins), Carmine Rojas (ex-David Bowie, Rod Stewart) on bass, and Brian Tichy (ex-Ozzy, Slash’s Snakepit, Pride & Glory, Foreigner) on drums, spewing out some good ol’ rock and roll!
Next up was Randy’s ongoing side-project, flamenco band Ziroq (formerly Azul), featuring Carmine Rojas on bass, Paul Blazek on drums/ bongos, Tal Bergman drums, Marcus Nanz as lead vocalist/ guitar, Janna Jacoby on vocals, Jose Prieto on guitar, and Guillermo on keyboards/ vocals. Randy passionately loved this band, and it’s unique style of mellow mood music.
Thereafter followed Joey Heredia’s band, featuring Joey Heredia on drums, Jeff Pevar on guitar (David Crosby/CPR, Shawn Colvin), and Michael Ruff (Kenny Loggins, Air Supply, Bonnie Raitt, Nancy Wilson) on keyboards and vocals, with their slick session-styled rock.
Ball rocked the stage next, with Brian Tichy now on vocals and guitar, with Joe Travers (Dweezil Zappa, Duran Duran) on drums, and Michael Devin on bass. They got the crowd amped up with some smoking rock n' roll!
Montrose, featuring Ronnie Montrose (Sammy Hagar, Van Morrison) on guitar, Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot, House of Lords) on bass, Keith St. John on vocals, and Pat Torpey (Mr. Big, Ted Nugent) on drums, all hopped up on stage and ripped out goodies like "Rock the Nation" and "Rock Candy." Ronnie dedicated Space Station #5 to Randy and reflected on old stories.
Next up was SLAP featuring Steve Lukather (Toto, Cher, Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, Eric Clapton) on guitar and vocals, Phil Soussan (Ozzy, Toto, John Waite, Billy Idol) on bass, and two of Randy’s idols, Kenny Aronoff (BB King) and Simon Phillips (Toto, Pete Townsend, Joe Satriani, Judas Priest) on dueling drums. They finished the set with Randy's favorite Hendrix song, "Manic Depression," which was sung by Soussan.
In between sets comedians Andy Dick and Charles Fleischer (the voice of Roger Rabbit) performed. Our very own Program Director, Long Paul, was slated to emcee the event, but had to cancel due to illness.
Next on stage was the aptly named "Buck N’ Roses," (or "Cherry Roses," as it was later decided upon) which featured vocalist Joshua Todd and guitarist Keith Nelson (Izzy Stradlin was unable to attend), both of Buckcherry, and Guns N’ Roses originals, guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Matt Sorum. They spun the crowd into a frenzy, opening with GNR’s "It’s So Easy" then the Sex Pistols "God Save The Queen," as well as Rose Tattoo/ GNR’s "Nice Boys" and Buckcherry’s "Lit Up." The band then tore into GNR’s "Paradise City," in which Cypress Hill’s Sen Dog jumped up on stage to provide additional vocals. And then it came… Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler pounced onstage and blew out the place with an amazing rendition of the Aerosmith classic, “Mama Kin.” The floors were thumping and the place went wild! Tyler finished his appearance by holding his arms up and looking to the sky, and woefully screamed, “Raaaaannndyyyyyyyyyyy!”
Wrapping up the show was an all-star drumming session, which pretty much included everyone who had played earlier in the evening. They even had Randy’s kit on stage, watching over the evening’s festivities.
Surprisingly, no one from Ozzy showed up (with the exception of Alice In Chains bassist, Mike Inez), and none of the guys from Motley Crue showed up. Present for the show, were Marilyn Manson members Ginger Fish and Pogo, Ratt’s Bobby Blotzer, actress Drew Barrymore, who said she didn’t know Randy, but “felt like she knew him now,” Mike Matejevic of Steelheart and various other musicians and celebrities.
Diana DeVille will write up her own article, which will include more exclusive photos and a bunch of quotes from the various attending artists, as well as friends and family of Randy.
Thanks to all that came out for the cause, and to all that worked so hard to make this happen. All proceeds will go directly to Randy’s mother and sisters – especially his sister Christine, who spent months commuting back and forth from Albuquerque to Los Angeles, to care for him. We wish the best for his family, and share our condolences.
All in all, it was one hell of a night and a very appropriate send off to one of the industry’s finest musicians. A final goodbye to Mr. Randy Castillo – rest peacefully.