Boom, Boom: South Tahoe drummer remembers Pat Travers

Pat Travers Band
The Pat Travers Band
Editor’s note: This contribution was penned by Ricky Westt, the owner of Elephant’s Music in South Lake Tahoe. Westt’s band, Stutz opened for Pat Travers in 1989 in After Dark in the Round Hill Mall. Westt is the drummer for the band Hipbone.
Guitars @ Tahoe
Ricky Westt
“Boom, Boom” Pat Travers will bless the Harrah’s Lake Tahoe stage Saturday, March 15. Canada born Patrick Henry Travers, “Pal” brings his rockin’ sound to Tahoe for a one-night only show. The rock guitarist, keyboardist and singer began his career with Polydor Records n the mid-70s and he still rocks like he’s never left. The 59-year-old rocker will blow you away with hits like “Boom, Boom (Out Go The Lights)” and his many other hits from albums such as “Puttin’ It Straight” (1977), “Heat in the Street” 1978) and my favorite, “Crash and Burn,” recorded in 1980. Influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, Travers picked up guitar as a teen and was soon playing in bars in Quebec. His first touring gig came when he hooked up with ’50s rocker Ronnie Hawkins of the Band. He soon found himself in Londong where he landed the recording deal with Polydor. He released his first album, “Pat Travers” in 1976. After playing England’s annual Reading Festival, he had two more releases in 1977, “Making Magic” and “Puttin’ It Strait,” both of which sparked Nicko McBrain on drums. Who is Nicko, you ask? Iron Maiden’s drummer! Travers set his sights on the U.S. rock scene from there. Joining up with Tommy Aldridge, drums, Pat Thrall, guitar, and bassist Mars Cowling, the American version premiered with 1979’s “Heat in the Street.” That launched Travers to his most commercially successful period with two top 30 releases, 1979’s “Live! Go For What You Know” and 1980’s “Crash and Burn.” After that, bluesy hard rock fell victim to overproduced arena rock and later MTV. Travers records sales took a hit as his last albums “Radio Active”  (1981) “Black Pearl” (1982) and 1984’s “Hot Shot” fell short of previous success. Unhappy with Polydor, Travers took some time to simply tour and not record. 1990 brought a comeback album, “School of Hard Knocks,” but it never broke the charts. He continued to record more studio albums, “Blues Tracks,” “Blues Magic,” “Just a Touch” and more live tracks like “King Biscuit Flower Hour,” “BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert” throughout the decade. Travers continues to tour and make compilations with others of his kind like Jeff Watson of Night Ranger and Tom Keifer of Cinderella, as well as Rick Derringer. Travers’s last recordings in 2003 was  with “P.T. Power Trio,” which featured cover songs like “White Room” (Cream), “Day of the Eagle” (Robin Trower) and “Nasty Dogs & Funky Kings” (ZZ Top). Tahoe Onstage interviewed Pat Travers about his upcoming Tahoe show. For the story, click HERE.

Pat Travers Band

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 15 Where: Harrah’s Lake Tahoe South Shore Room Tickets: $33 Purchase: www.SouthShoreRoom.com  

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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