Morrison tribute to benefit children’s hospitalWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
On Dec. 8, Phil Barone and a gang of musicians were practicing songs by The Doors when, halfway into the session, they realized it would’ve been Jim Morrison’s birthday.
“Somebody brought it up and said, ‘Hey, it’s Jim’s birthday!’” Barone said.
Barone, owner of Rosie’s Italian Grille, is always busy this time of year, like anyone in food service during the holidays. He is also gearing up for the “Annual Tribute to Jim Morrison: Stand Up & Rock for the Kids.” At the show, he will perform as Morrison.
Barone’s goal for the show is to have the people who have seen The Doors live to feel like they are seeing them again.
The show will exclusively feature performers from Toledo.
“I’m a hometown guy,” Barone said. “It just kind of fell that way and I’m glad that it did.”
The group has been doing the act for the past eight years, originally at Put-in-Bay. Barone usually performs the show with The Maxx Band, but because this year’s show was scheduled on short notice, some of the members had prior commitments. Barone enlisted some members of Chris Shutters Band to stand in.
“We’re learning songs right now. We’re working hard,” Barone said. “They’ve kind of been practicing on their own. I gave them a CD of music. Basically, a good musician, that’s what they need. In their head they get it and when we get together it’s pretty amazing. … We’re just fine-tuning it all the way up to the show.”
Barone said the band members are fans of The Doors, so practicing the songs wasn’t too challenging.
“When you have a love for something, it certainly comes a lot easier,” Barone said.
Barone said he has been a fan of The Doors since high school, enjoying the “unbelievable” lyrics of their music.
“Certain things just hit you right. The Doors always hit me right,” he said.
Barone studied Morrison’s body language and performance style in order to mimic him during tributes.
“I read a lot about Jim Morrison, read a lot about the band [and] watched a lot of videos,” Barone said.
Barone brings a little of his own flair while onstage.
“Jim was very laid-back in general. … I’m not as subdued as I think that he was,” Barone said.
The Doors’ greatest hits will be performed, like “L.A. Woman” and “Light My Fire.” Barone said there will be treats for die-hard fans as well, like “When the Music’s Over” and “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar).” They stay true to the original versions of the songs, but some arrangements include horn sections that the band adds in.
Barone’s favorite song to perform is “The Crystal Ship,” the B-side to “Light My Fire.”
“Now that’s one that won’t be on your top 10 list,” Barone said. “It’s just a beautiful, beautiful song.”
This year, in addition to the tribute, Barone’s nephew Joey Barone, a comedian from Los Angeles, will perform before the band takes the stage. Other comedians will also perform.
Proceeds from the concert will benefit ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital.
“There’s so many things that they do,” Barone said.
For the third year, the show will be at the Maumee Indoor Theatre, 601 Conant St., at 8 p.m. Dec. 27. VIP tickets are available (which include three drinks and snacks) for $45. General admission tickets are $20. They can be purchased at the Maumee Indoor Theatre or Rosie’s Italian Grille, 606 N. McCord Road.