Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Viv Savage: Musical Legend & Genius!

(Viv Savage, the former keyboard player for the legendary heavy metal band Spinal Tap will be performing with Chubby's All-Stars on December 3rd at the Yuletide Yuckfest at Rooster T. Feathers in Sunnyvale. It should be a wonderful evening of music, comedy and fun, with all the proceeds going to Toys 4 Tots. Here is a recent interview with Viv:)

Hello, is this Viv Savage?Yes, this is Viv.
So you are alive, then? The guys in Spinal Tap claim that Viv is actually dead.No, no, I'm alive and extremely well. I'm taking a sort of Tap sabbatical. I had a great gig with the Guttersluts recently at the Cactus Club in San Jose, where my friends started a Save Viv movement. We've got 150 signatures so far, and I'm Xeroxing some more sheets — we're hoping this could turn into quite a pesky little monster.
They say you're actually an impostor, making a lot of money as The Viv Savage Experience.Well, that story would be convenient for them, but reality speaks its own language.
Have you got a new band?Yes, I'm doing occasional gigs with the Guttersluts, and I'll probably be producing their next record. I'm also involved with the Model Citizenz, who play some excellent originals and some covers. We've been playing around the East Bay, polishing our chops, so look for us to be getting together something soon. Also, I've been a producer at S.F. Beat Studios, with Michael Ingram. Have you ever met Michael Ingram?
I don't know who he is. If you met him you'd remember him the rest of your life. He's a fantastic person. He's been my songwriting partner since the early Seventies, and—
Have you guys written any songs I might have heard?Not really, but we have a lot of songs out on demos that are making the rounds. There's a female rapper with a single of ours at three L.A. record companies right now.
Does Spinal Tap know about the Save Viv movement? I don't know. It's possible — I did a public service announcement for H.E.A.R., and we called Spinal Tap's management to get approval. But there seems to be some legal problem.
Any hard feelings towards Tap? No, no hard feelings at all. I had such a great time with them, I'm just hoping they might consider me coming back. I'll keep plugging away, barnstorming with my various musical projects.

This Week's Restaurant Review: Hawg's in Campbell

I’ve been to Hawg’s in Campbell over 300 times, and I must tell you I have never had a bad or even a so-so meal there. Nor have I seen anyone ever send anything back to the kitchen or really ever complain about the food or the service. I’m sure it’s happened, because some people are never happy. I was at a restaurant the other night, and I overheard some woman bitching to the waiter. She said, “I expected this dish to taste one way, but it doesn’t taste like I expected.” Oh so, the restaurant has to take it back because you had unrealistic expectations? That’s so ridiculous. That’s like someone saying, “I ordered meat loaf but I was expecting it to taste like filet mignon.” Or “ I ordered crab and wanted it to taste like lobster.” Give me a break! That’s why I would never want to own a restaurant. People can be so difficult when they eat out. Their attitude is “serve me like the royalty I wish I was.” They get a sense of power by treating waiters and restaurant personnel like crap because their own lives are so mundane and meaningless. Hawg’s has consistently fresh, well-prepared seafood and other dishes that are always delicious. The place has the ambiance of a real marina cafe. A bar with high wooden stools encircles an open kitchen of gleaming stainless steel. Miniature bottles of red Tabasco sauce highlight the white counter. The high ceiling, smartly emphasized by spotlights and potted plants, makes the place look bigger than its 10-table capacity. The menu is vast and eclectic, featuring something sure to tempt every palate, but if you’re in the mood for a steak, you’re in the wrong spot. Hawg’s Seafood Bar is all about stuff from the sea, and they serve up generous portions of outstanding continental seafood dishes. From appetizers to desserts, you can't go wrong with anything from the Hawg’s menu. First, the appetizers are in a class by themselves. I have a few particular favorites, including the Seafood Quesadilla ($9.95), a wonderful combination of shrimp and crab with melted cheeses nestled in a corn tortilla. I also covet the Cheesy Garlic Bread ($4.95), which is so caloric and decadent that you can literally feel your ass getting bigger while you’re eating it, but who cares? The Sashimi Ahi ($12.95), the Hawg's Calamari ($9.95) and the Baked Oysters Asiago ($12.95) are all incredible. Sometimes when I go to Hawg’s with a group of friends, we just order appetizers and don’t even get to the entrees. They’re all that good! One thing I have to mention is Hawg’s “Newhattan” Clam Chowder ($3.95/cup or $5.95/bowl). I have had a lot of different clam chowders in my day, but this chowder is by far the best that has ever crossed my palate. They call it “Newhattan” because it’s a combination of both geographic chowders. It has a cream base with a hint of tomato; chock full of big juicy clams, carrots and small bits of potato. They also put some spices in there, and even though I’ve tried to figure out what they are – the boys at Hawg’s (Steve and David or Scott ) aren’t giving up the secret. The entrees at Hawg’s are incredible as well. I recommend the Paella Valenciana ($16.95) with roasted chicken, rock shrimp, sausage, clams, mussels, and fresh fish over saffron rice. The Fresh Grilled Salmon ($17.95) served with a creamy potato-corn sauté and yellow pear tomato and wasabi sauce, and the Cajun Pasta ($17.95) with sautéed prawns and scallops, and fresh tomatoes in a creamy Cajun sauce over linguine is also a treat. I would also suggest that any time you go to Hawg’s that you ask about the daily specials. The chefs there (Roberto in particular – ask him about his awesome Chorizo dish!) really do most of their most inventive work with the specials. Hawg’s in Campbell (and with a second location in Downtown San Jose) is a special seafood paradise with great food and really personal service. I love this place. I’ve recommended it to over 100 people over the years, and ALL of them are now regulars there. That has to tell you something!! Hawg’s in Campbell is located at the corner of Campbell Avenue and San Tomas Aquino Road in the Kirkwood Shopping Center. For large parties, you’ll need to make reservations, so call them at: (408) 379-9555.