Timmins Philharmonic Phlop
It was hyped as three nights of rock and roll theater. In reality, it was a tragedy of epic proportions.
As a professional, I try to never allow my feelings to play into the job I do here at Rave On. I say "try" because there have been times when my emotions have gotten the best of me and I've lashed out at certain parties (the Bike Messengers From Hell come to mind). It is no secret that Bob Timmins has never counted me as one of his supporters. I've hated just about everything about him over the years: his bland Bob Seger-lite music, the way he treated his family, his full head of hair, the list goes on and on. Timmins' dislike for me is so great that he left specific instructions at the West Hoover Opera House that I be barred from attending any of the Portraits performances. Needless to say, I made it in. I took my place in the cavernous theater with the other 34 ticket holders.
Portrait of the artist as a toddler
Just what was Timmins thinking when he came up with the idea of starting the show with a 45 minute monologue performed by an 8-year old ? And why didn't anyone stop him? Young Bradley Foster gave it his all, but he just couldn't remember the unwieldy words that egomaniac Timmins stuffed in his mouth.
The entire audience squirmed in horror as the child struggled for 4 minutes (I timed it) with the phrase "I know I possess the wherewithal to procure the grandest of all enchantment: rock and roll superstardom of the most unimaginable heights." Foster was eventually led offstage by his mother while an enraged Timmins could be heard bellowing that "that little dink is ruining my art."
High School Rocker
After a brief intermission and set change, the houselights came up to reveal a standard-looking middle-class living room. The spartan audience groaned as one as the opening piano run of Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" came booming over the P.A.. We were not at all prepared for the sight of a 270 lb Timmins (he apparently ballooned from his normal weight of 190 while putting Portraits together) clad only in ill-fitting briefs and a tiny t-shirt which read "Future Rock Star." After a few moments of "rocking out," Timmins strode to the mic and began singing an "updated" version of the Seger classic, changing the chorus of the song to "Futuristic Rock and Roll." The song petered out when an obviously nervous Timmins forgot the third verse and began prompting each band member to solo so he could play along on make-believe air instruments. The final straw came when the obese singer called for a seventh solo by bassist Thad Most.
Timmins, still wearing only the aforementioned items and now visibly shaken, stepped tentatively to the center mic and began a soliloquy/diatribe directed at his mother and father, his ex-girlfriend Julia Peznick and his high school music teacher Roland Benson. It was only at this point, literally 70 minutes into the show, that Timmins actually began performing a song from Portraits.
"Too painful to watch"
"This Boy Has A Dream," the lead-off track from Portraits, actually began with a a surprisingly catchy riff supplied by nimble axemeister Roggar Dupree. Timmins even delivered a passionate performance until he spotted yours truly sitting in the 5th row. Now, I'm not going to get into the differences Timmins and I have had recently - you probably know all about it by now. The man went ballistic when he saw old Perry. Timmins started making up new lyrics about "bald critics who think they know what rock and roll is supposagly (sic) all about," and "music rags that aren't fit to use as 'toidy paper'." By this point he was jumping up and down like a madman, his fat jiggling underneath and eventually tearing his size small t-shirt apart.
I just sat there as the song rolled on. It was too painful to watch. I was so embarrassed for Timmins that I couldn't even look at the stage. Timmins realized this and decided to bring the show to me! He rolled over the lip of the stage and began making his way to my seat. Unfortunately (for him), the microphone cable would not make it past the first row. That was enough for the lone family sitting in that area. They made a beeline for the lobby, their little daughter in tears. By this point the tiny crowd had dwindled to literally five.
Timmins was so mad by now that he began trying to tear the seats out of the floor. The realization that the seats were bolted down only made him that much angrier. He started to come at me. I truly thought he was going to murder me. Fortunately, the crisis was averted when State Trooper Robert Harrops made his way through the acres of empty seats and debilitated the now nude Timmins with a choke hold.
State Trooper Harrops
Timmins was taken backstage, read his rights and handcuffed. Opera House owner Milt Reckler complained to Officer Harrops that if the show was cancelled he would have to give refunds to the 35 people (now congregated in the lobby) who bought tickets, and by his calculations, that was just enough money to pay for the electricity bill for the night's show. Harrops agreed to let the show go on.
The West Hoover Opera House during the final hour of Portraits
The problem was that nobody felt safe in the theater anymore. I can't express how bizarre it was watching the remainder of Portraits through the big glass lobby doors with 34 people scrunched around me. It reminded me of the times I'd gone to the Bentonton Zoo to see Boom-Boom the gorilla. Timmins actually looked like Boom-Boom's doppelganger as he stomped around the stage trying to remember the words to songs like "Mommy, I'm a God," "In Your Face, Mr. Benson," "Groupie City" and "I Can Do No Wrong."
Then a tragedy worse than the actual perfromance struck. Halfway through the show closer "Next Stop: Hit City," a lighting rig Timmins was trying to climb buckled under the singer's weight. Timmins was sent crashing 20 feet to the ground, the lights following soon after. As members of the Timmins crew circled around, I could swear I saw drummer Mike Hudley throw 4 quick punches to the back of Timmins' head.
Timmins was taken to Crab Lake Hospital where he remains on the critical list. The two remaining shows were cancelled- there having been only 12 tickets sold for the second night and no tickets sold for the third. Timmins is being sued by The West Hoover Opera House, Western Maine Lighting and Sound and me.