Camp Freddy isn’t a band as their website declares, as much as they are a musical jam session. For the last 3 years, Camp Freddy whose rotating membership which now consists of Dave Navarro and Chris Chaney of Jane’s Addiction, Billy Morrison of the Cult, Matt Sorum of Guns and Roses fame, and singer Donovan Leitch make up the all star band that is Camp Freddy. But Camp Freddy is much more and each year they take residency at the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood in December for their annual Christmas residency.
This year, the band played 4 consecutive Friday night gigs in December as they have for the last several years. Besides the all star talent of the band itself, the Camp Freddy experience, billed as Camp Freddy and Friends, becomes legendary as a result of their very talented friends. Every show has multiple surprise guest musicians who sit in. Last year’s special guests included Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Steve Stevens and Billy Idol amongst a host of others.
Last night at The Roxy was the final gig of the year. For many, including myself, Camp Freddy has now become an integral part of their Christmas in Los Angeles. There’s nothing like spilling onto to Sunset Boulevard with all of your music pals after 3 straight hours of power rock and punk cover songs and then heading off to Canter’s for a late night Pastrami to close out the Christmas season. Such was the case for me last night.
Camp Freddy is habit forming if you’re a rock and roll junkie and during Christmas, when L.A becomes something of a locals only kinda place as we get closer to the holidays, the gigs are even more intimate. Many of the folks in attendance were there for their 3rd or 4th show of the month. Amongst my group of rock and roll junky pals, I had friends and fellow music lovers fly in from all over the country for one of the Freddy gigs. It’s really that epic and the beauty of it is, not many people know about it.
Tickets go on sale in November and are typically gone fairly quickly. This year, however, tickets could be found up until the night of the show. Except for last night. Last night was truly special. After a hearty serving of Rock and Roll and punk classics, Camp Freddy closed their monster run of Holiday shows with a set fronted by the legendary Lemmy of Motorhead fame. Other noted performers included Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Cory Taylor of Slipknot, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and television personality Mark McGrath. Everyone seemed to resist their annual urge to hurl cups of beer at McGrath which was fortunate for those of us in front. Singer Franky Perez turned in another monster performance as well.
Photos are from the 12/17/11 and 12/23/11 shows at the Roxy. Unfortunately there are no press passes for Camp Freddy so you will have to make due with my contributions from my pocket Camera and Iphone…