In L.A., music-industry award shows occur frequently, but in San Francisco, there is only one biggie a year, the Bammies, which honor local musicmakers.
On Saturday, San Francisco turned out in huge numbers at the Bill GrahamCivic Auditorium to see Chris Isaak & Silvertone become triple winners at the 17th annual Bammies (short for Bay Area Music Awards, and sponsored by BAM magazine).
The headlining entertainment for the event was Sammy Hagar (who also won the male vocal trophy), and his Van Halen offshoot Tres Guzanos, which featured Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony. Tres Guzanos’ set included a pair of new Hagar songs, as well as chestnuts like “Three Lock Box,””Red” and “One Way to Rock.” Hagar was joined onstage by Bay Area Musician of the Year Neil Young for a feedback-drenched “Down by the River.”
Other entertainers included Interscope’s 4 Non-Blondes, who performed a fiery version of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” with guest guitarist Kirk Hammett of Metallica, and the evening’s high point, Warner Bros.’ American Music Club, who tore through their song “Challenger” before a bemused and indifferent audience.
“I’ve hated this event for years,” observed AMC singer Mark Eitzel. “But it was so much fun to play here, I think I’m gonna change my opinion!”
The big winner was neo-rockabilly crooner Chris Isaak and his band Silvertone , who took three awards, for best album “San Francisco Days,” band and drummer (Kenney Dale Johnson). “The music was really amazing this year,” said Isaak’s bassist Rowland Sally. “And not just because we won.”
A list of winners follows.
Album: “San Francisco Days,” Chris Isaak.
Debut album: “August and Everything After,” Counting Crows.
Independent album: “Acoustic Highway,” Craig Chaquico.
Jazz album: “So Near, So Far: Musing for Miles,” Joe Henderson.
Urban/contemporary album: “Sons of Soul,” Tony Toni Tone.
Metal album: “Pork Soda,” Primus.
Song: “What’s Up,” 4 Non Blondes.
Group: Chris Isaak & Silvertone.
Female vocalist: Linda Perry.
Male vocalist: Sammy Hagar.
Guitarist: Carlos Santana.
Bassist: Les Claypool of Primus.
Drummer/percussionist: Kenny Dale Johnson of Chris Isaak & Silvertone.
Keyboardist/synthesist: Booker T. Jones.
Reeds/brass: Neil Young.
Bay Area musician of the year: Neil Young.
Bay Area club band of the year: Tommy Castro Band.
Arthur M. Sohcot Award: Sammy Hagar.
Bill Graham Lifetime Achievement Award: Ralph J. Gleason.