Tony Funches Reviews Wild Child

Tony with The Doors, 1969

Our friend Tony Funches passed away on June 21, 2017. This week we’ll be posting some remembrances of Tony from the Doors Examiner archives.

I’ve never run a review of a Doors tribute band before, much less one written by someone who knew Jim Morrison! Tony Funches, who one time was Morrison’s bodyguard, attended a Wild Child concert at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, CA on Friday May 30th, 2014 and he was moved enough to write about his experience. Here, in his own inimitable way, is Tony Funches:

So … it just goes to show, “Ya Never Know” …

I cruised over to The Sweetwater Music Hall with Mel (my editor on Da Book) to catch Willie Nelson’s son (Lucas) do a set, with the possibility that Bob Weir might show up & set-in … and it was Fabulously Entertaining as well as JAMMIN’!  When I hobbled off to “Drain M’Lizard”, I looked (as ALL bored pissers do) at the various posters, signs & bulletins on the wall … and I saw that the Doors Tribute Band “Wild Child” would play there two days later … so I checked on them … & discovered that Dave Brock (Singer) had done a few gigs with Ray & Robby! … Hmmm … if he’s good enough for Ray & Robby … mebbe …

A few emails later, we’re all set; I got myself cleaned-up & “presentable” and 4 of us went to catch the action. Without Fanfare, the quartet took the stage, and “The Celebration Did Indeed Begin”; Tight, Crisp, Even Sound from the EXCELLENT Keyboards, Drums & Guitar. All four were dressed for a Gig, no imitation Attire or attempts to “look like” The Doors, but I could still see Similarities nevertheless …

Dave Brock (Singer) doesn’t LOOK like Jim, but has some naturally occurring, similar movements. The Keyboard player is at LEAST as tall as I am, but sitting at his keyboard has a “Manzarek Aura” as he plays. Drumming & Guitar were likewise EXCELLENT.

Tony Funches at Altamont
“Backstage” at Altamont: Tony (purple shirt) watches the crowd by the Stones’ trailer.

They comprised a Friendly Foursome, performing Near Perfect renditions of music that can be & IS extremely difficult to play; I am here-to-say; The MUSIC of The Doors can confound MOST that attempt to play/perform it. In my mind, the Original Members that created it remain the sole Masters of their compositions. Dave Brock & Wild Child are as close as I could imagine to that …

The set covered a wide range, and it’s immediately apparent that they KNOW this material; the Improvisational points that exist in the originals were used for their own treatment, without drifting far from where Ray John Robby had gone in the first place. Very Tasteful was my thought as I watched & listened. The crowd reflected several things; raybeards, Young Mind Boggling Honeys, Dancing Ladies, an International Mix of Doors Fans … An almost Full House, which is remarkable because this Group had not previously played in Mill Valley or the Bay Area as far as I could tell from the Fun & Relaxed conversation I had with Dave and his Bandmates, who have been cobbled together over a period of MANY years. The most recent member has been on board for SIX years!

I also enjoyed that they were/are approachable & happy to interact with listeners, and enjoyed that relaxing atmosphere; not a Phony Bone in the whole Pile of ’em …

At least, That’s My Story & I’m Stickin’ To It!

Tony is currently working on a book of his experiences with Jim Morrison and other adventures in the rock ‘n’ roll security business (with The Stones at Altamont for one) which has the working title “The Ancestor’s Soundtrack.” Tony is trying to finance the writing and publication of what he calls “the accursed book” at GoFundMe. You can read more about Tony and his book at “Tony Funches and the Accursed Book.” Wild Child is Dave Brock on lead vocals, Gene White on drums, Pat Hennessy on guitar, and Kit Potamkin on keyboards. You can visit the Wild Child website for more information and future appearances.

Thank you Tony!

Originally published June 1, 2014.

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