Corky Laing, the drummer for the early ‘70s rock group Mountain, brought his trio to The Grog Shop Thursday night for an evening of classic rock. Laing is out playing “the repertoire” of Mountain and is staying true to the original recordings.
Laing told several stories throughout the evening including the origins of several songs. Half way through the set, Corky told the story of how he wrote Mountain’s biggest hit fifty years ago. He said that he was playing in Nantucket on a hot summer evening with his band Energy. A beautiful girl walked in the club and immediately got his attention. He found out that she was from Mississippi, so he would call out to her between songs “Hey, Mississippi. You look like a queen.”
He said by getting her attention, he thought he could get lucky with her. As it turns out, another one of his bandmates got lucky with her that night. In the end however, he was the one who got lucky because she gave him the inspiration to write the lyrics of one of the great songs in rock history. With that, he proceeded to pound the cowbell to kick off “Mississippi Queen.”
All of the Mountain tunes you would want to hear were played. “Don’t Look Around,” “Nantucket Sleighride” and “For Yasgur’s Farm” were scattered throughout the set. Even the West, Bruce & Laing song “The Doctor” made an appearance.
Laing told another story of how his band Energy opened for The Who in 1964 and he was mesmerized watching Keith Moon. Right then he decided he wanted to be a drummer. At the same time, Bob Dylan was on the scene and he loved his lyrics, so he also wanted to be a songwriter. In a very unique way, Laing decided to combine the two and did a spoken word version of “Like a Rolling Stone” while playing the drums. It was the highlight of the show!
Even though the crowd in the Grog Shop was pretty sparse, you could tell Corky was having a great time on stage and was playing from the heart. It was a very fun and entertaining evening.
Cleveland’s own Granicus opened up the show. The reformed five piece band warmed up the audience with their classic rock sounding original tunes. The band first formed in 1969 and put out an album on RCA in 1973. The original drummer, Joe Battaglia recently put the band back together with four new members and they are out playing the clubs again. It you like the classic rock sounds of the early ‘70s, this band is worth checking out.