Ultimate Jam Night 142 – A Night For Ron, The Whisky, February 21, 2018
On Valentine’s Day 2018, The Whisky and the Ultimate Jam Night Family (aka JamFam) lost one of their own. And now it was time to celebrate the remarkable life of Ronald Broadnax, a very much beloved Security Guard for The Whisky who passed away on February 14th – which was also his birthday – due to senseless and random violence in front of his home. Ron was known for his quick wit, and a warmth and compassion for his friends which extended well into the JamFam. Ron possessed an infinite appreciation for various styles of music. How could you not enjoy all genres – especially when you work so closely with it all at one of the most iconic nightclubs in the world? The protector of both band members and Whisky attendees would be remembered with reverence and respect at Ultimate Jam Night 142, with a show that was a vital and eclectic as the person we be honoring. It was truly A Night For Ronald Broadnax, billed as his final work shift at the Whisky A Go Go. And what a rocking evening it was!
Ron absolutely loved and supported the local Los Angeles talent, and two of the very best would open the show at Ultimate Jam Night 142. Dirty Machine from Los Angeles kicked off the event with their own brand of high energy nu-metal, unleashing an absolutely raging set in memory of Ron. The Chimpz would then fire up the quickly burgeoning Whisky crowd with their own exhilarating amalgamation of rock, metal and hip hop. The Chimpz standout should be hit single California had a good amount of the crowd singing along. And the good vibes would continue on as The Chimpz unveiled a superb rendition of the Audioslave classic Like A Stone.
At the commencement of Ultimate Jam Night 142, Taps was performed from the balcony of the Whisky A Go Go by Jeff Lewis of Tierra – this was to commemorate Ron’s service in the military. And then it was time to introduce the award winning Ultimate Jam Night House Band, featuring Chris Ralles from the Pat Benatar band on drums, Francesco DiCosmo from Evanescence and Thin Lizzy on bass, long time UJN member Walter Ino from Survivor on guitars and keyboards, as well as lead vocalist and your host for the evening Paulie Z! After rendering a heartfelt tribute to Ron, Paulie Z and the house band burst into a rousing rendition of Guerilla Radio by Rage Against The Machine.
One glorious example of just how wildly diverse the UJN tribute to Ron would be arrived when Megan Ruder from The Voice and Raiding The Rock Vault arrived on stage to deliver the pulsating You’ve Got Another Thing Coming by Judas Priest – immediately followed by a supremely sensual Lovergirl by Teena Marie. Ms. Ruder exuded a wonderful vocal range, and was accompanied by Omar Gusmao of Crazytown on guitar, Monte Pittman from Prong and Madonna on guitar, Victor Broden from the LeAnn Rimes band on bass, Andre Holmes from Fishbone on keys, and the one and only Matt Starr from Mr. Big and Ace Frehley on drums.
There was so many highlights throughout the night to be found within this very special edition of Ultimate Jam Night 142. One of the most poignant moments of the night was when Marq Torien from the Bulletboys took to the stage armed with just an acoustic guitar to pay his own tribute to Ronald Broadnax. An acoustic version of Switch Blade Butterfly from the upcoming Bulletboys album From Out Of The Skies was played solo with passion and conviction. Surely one of the most deeply emotional songs the Bulletboys has ever written, rendered all the more effective when presented as a tribute to the beloved Whisky A Go Go security guard. Torien’s stark performance was certainly one of the most heartfelt performances of the night.
Wide ranging selections included songs by Dio, Earth Wind & Fire, Pantera, Chicago and a whole lot more. Bands such as Crazytown and Red Devil Vortex would make their way to the stage as well to thoroughly enrapture the crowd. Another wondrously prime performance was when Walter Ino and crew presented a captivating delivery of Purple Rain, which featured the stellar participation of Koi Anunta on violin, Robbie Gennet from Everclear and Seven Mary Three on keys, Jimmy Keegan from Asia and Spock’s Beard on drums, Shane Soloski from Five For Fighting on bass, and Jay Gore from the Michael McDonald band on guitar. Absolutely stunning – one often forget even with performances this riveting and tight, that these musicians are actually together for the first time without a formal rehearsal.
The night may have been beginning to run late, but that factor certainly did not stop the celebration of Ron’s life or the sheer intensity of the performances emitting from the hallowed walls of Whisky A Go Go. It was approaching the midnight hour and time for a fiery interpretation the classic Thoughtless by Korn! And what a devastating lineup UJN had assembled for this stunning selection. Leah Elizabeth from Evol Walks is one of the most scandalously underrated female vocalists to hit our local Los Angeles music scene via Australia. Exuding a staggering amount of passion and energy at this midnight hour, Leah’s interpretation of the Korn song was dazzling, fierce, and gloriously epic to behold. Providing a mesmerizing wall of sound that could probably be heard in Korn’s hometown of Bakersfield were guitarist Stephen Brewer and bassist Erik Tisinger from Westfield Massacre, Pablo Kravicz from Red Devil Vortex on guitar, Chris Turbis from Mr. Crowley on keys, and Kevin Kapler from Crazy Town on diabolical drums.
When Ultimate Jam Night arrived to its powerful conclusion with the sweeping sounds of Renegade, Paulie Z would close out the evening by saying, “Ron, we ask that as your final shift is brought to a close that you now go in peace, because it’s clear that God needs security…”
You can continue to assist the family of Ronald Broadnax in their time of need by visiting their GoFundMe page here, established by the members of his very own JamFam…
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)
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