Streisand in Vegas … Eagles at the Staples Center … Jimmy Buffet at Universal Studios … Chris Isaak in Stockton? Though his end-of-the-millennium stocking is filled with gigs such as his New Year’s Eve bash in Seattle with Robert Cray and the Squirrel Nut Zippers, the Stockton-born and bred Isaak is squeezing Dec. 28 and 29 dates at the Fox Theatre in his hometown.
Since leaving the Northern California semi-metropolis almost 20 years ago, the rocker has sold millions of records and played hundreds of gigs, but has never graced a stage in Stockton.
So why Stockton and why now?
“They dropped all the charges so it’s wonderful to come back” said Isaak facetiously last week from Jay Leno’s Green Room at the NBC Studios in Burbank where he was taping his spin through “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”
If you don’t think this is a big event for Stockton, you haven’t talked to Mayor Gary Podesto who’s proffering the key to the city and proclaiming it Chris Isaak day.
“Chris is coming back to a very different Stockton than the one he left 17 years ago,” said Podesto, noting that Stockton has recently been designated an official “All America City.”
Isaak’s family still resides in Stockton and Isaak describes this as “an ‘Andy of Mayberry’ episode.
My Mom called and told me that the Mayor had called her and I said “Mom, I turned in those library books a long time ago.”
Kidding aside, Isaak said he took the end of the year options seriously. “We didn’t want pressure on the audience, we didn’t want it on ourselves. This event is designed for us to play as long as we want and for the audience to have a great time at a good price.”
Sure to have a good time would be the Isaak clan, which Chris said number in the dozens. “Mom asked me for 60 tickets.”