Help! A Bear Is Eating Me!

Posted December 31, 2008 in

Help: A Bear Is Eating Me! Well, this is bear country, it could happen. When it does, you will be happy you attended Portland, Oregon-based author Mykle Hansen’s bizarro and cautionary multi-media book reading at the Press, about the only chance you will get to see a grown man in a bear costume rush onstage to eat its creator. Pretty wacky, but is it enough to get you off your duff the Monday night after the holidays? Well, there is this: the unlikely reunion between guitarist Chet “The Bear” Lyster and singer Kurt Ross of Claremont after 18 years. Both are original members of the late, great Honky Tonk Angels Band, kings of the Green Door circuit between 1987-92, a time when the IE was truly bursting at the seams with great local music. The Honky Tonks pushed their Rolling Stones meets Lynryd Skynryd hybrid as far as it could go, looking very much like world-beaters, and gave the Sunset Strip scene—then at the peak of the glam period—a testosterone-fueled run for its money. They acquiring record company interest, interest that was bordering on mania, until it all came crashing down in a legendary anthropomorphic meltdown onstage at the Coconut Teaszer in Hollywood in 1990. The Honky Tonks survived this, but just barely, as Lyster packed his axe and headed to Portland where he emerged as a respected multi-instrumentalist and lead picker in good standing with Eels and the Lucinda Williams Band. All these years later, Lyster comes home—in a bear suit. With Ross assembling an all-star backing band for the night, the harmonies should fly, and the IE will get a bare glimpse of a magic era too soon exiled to hibernation. (Kevin Ausmus)


Help! A Bear Is Eating Me!, a reading by Mykle Hansen (with musical guests The Kurt Ross Band) at The Press, 129 Harvard, Claremont, (909) 625-4808; Mon., Jan. 5. Free (as always!)


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