BRIAN JOHNSON's BIG MACHINE Getting Bigger

Rod Harmon of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune has issued the following report:

Long ago, in a beachfront home not very far away ...

Brian Johnson, vocalist for AC/DC and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, wrote some songs with Doug Kaye, who's performed just about every task imaginable in the industry.

"Brian and I have been hanging for quite a long time, and when he's not out with AC/DC, his creative juices are still flowing," Kaye said. "We'd go back to his house, and I'd have an acoustic guitar, and he'd be banging with a drum stick."

The collaboration continued in spurts through the years. But that's as far as it went.

Then, a few months ago, Johnson asked Kaye: "Why don't you do something with those songs that we wrote? Put a little band together, and see what happens."

So he did. Kaye recruited Kelly Shaefer, former lead vocalist for NEUROTICA (who had been discovered by Johnson and managed by Kaye), to be the frontman.

Jeff Klosterman of JULLIET was added on drums, along with Joe Scibilia of LAST GREAT HOPE on bass. Don Jaurols, formerly of E3 and SERAPHINE and a member of Shaefer's post-NEUROTICA band, UNHEARD, joins Kaye on guitar.

And Kaye gave the band an appropriate moniker for its star power: BIG MACHINE. On Thursday (March 24), the band makes its live debut at Khrome, 1096 Washington Blvd., Sarasota, with Johnson joining in.

To hear Kaye tell it, it's just going to be a "fun party." UNHEARD and LAST GREAT HOPE are still going strong, and all members are involved in other projects.

But here's the thing: Some representatives from a New York entertainment law firm were so impressed with a demo Kaye produced with the band late last year, they're coming to the Khrome gig.

So BIG MACHINE may become bigger than anticipated.

"They went nuts over it," Kaye said. "So be careful what you ask for."

Opening for BIG MACHINE will be the GREG BILLINGS BAND — featuring, naturally, Billings, a former member of the '90s metal band STRANGER.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance at Mel's Diner in Bradenton, 923-6070, and $20 the day of the show. Call 366-0381 for information.

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