Kerry Simon is the latest chef to take over the turntables for KCRW’s “Guest DJ” project. Finally, we get a chance to judge the so-called “rock and roll chef” on his hardest-rocking merits, not just on the basis of his website and Rolling Stone stories, but on the music (man). So how does he stack up?
Maybe we should start calling Simon “the glam rock chef,” as he mostly sticks to the seventies, starting with Alice Cooper’s “Be My Lover,” dipping into Bowie’s “Starman,” and sticking a Cheap Trick track in the middle. So far, well, not too bad, though something by Zeppelin or Sabbath would have gone a little farther to cement this rocker’s reputation. Bowie certainly works, even if we get the sense he’s just shouting him out because Ziggy Stardust gave Simon a big gig in catering his wedding to Iman.
Simon does score one Stonehenge-sized point for choosing “Rocks Off” by Mick, Keith, and the boys, a classic track from Exile on Main Street, which almost everyone knows is the best Stones album to choose if you want to be seen as more than a casual fan.
Sadly, almost as quickly as Simon scores this point, he falters seriously with his final song. Simon chooses INXS’ “New Sensation.” Dude, that song seriously does NOT rock, unless you’re at a junior high dance in 1989 and are banned from playing Nothing’s Shocking and Appetite for Destruction. It sounds like Simon could use a little dusting off of his cassette collection and maybe a song or two from this millennium to enter his musical vocabulary. Might we suggest Delta Spirit’s last rocking album or do we need to start at the nineties with this guy?