The Original Boardwalk Grill and Sports Bar welcomes Slick Aguilar, lead guitarist of Jefferson Starship, along with some of his famous musician friends July 20-21.
CLEARWATER – Slick Aguilar, lead guitarist of Jefferson Starship, will lead a group of world-class musicians to an intimate setting at a Pinellas venue this weekend.
Aguilar and his crew perform Friday and Saturday, July 20-21, at the Original Boardwalk Grill and Sports Bar, 126 Island Way, in the Island Estates Plaza on Clearwater Beach.
In addition to Aguilar, the show will feature Joe Lala, percussionist for Crosby, Stills and Nash; Kevin Hurley, guitarist for Santana; and Charlie DeChant, saxophonist for Hall and Oates.
The music will start sometime after 9 p.m. and there is no cover charge.
The event is the result of a chance meeting a few years ago.
“I was down recording a record with Marty Balin,” Aguilar said in a phone interview. “I went into a bar across from where I was staying on Island Estates and met this guy.” The two struck up a conversation, discussing music as well the Tampa Bay area.
“A year and a half later, I came back and he owns the bar,” Aguilar said.
By the time Aguilar returned, the Original Boardwalk Grill and Sports Bar had been completely renovated. The establishment features “Coney Island Boardwalk wood, vibrant colors, and photos of boardwalks across the country,” according to its website.
“I said to him, ‘you should let me bring in my band.’” Aguilar said. “He said, ‘let’s go.’”
A few phone calls later, Aguilar had pieced together a group of legendary rock industry musicians.
“I got all these world class players together,” Aguilar said. “We’ll rock the beaches.”
And there’s a possibility that this kind of show may become a recurring event at the venue.
“I want it to be,” Aguilar said. “We’re trying to keep it going.”
Aguilar and friends
Best known for his work with Jefferson Starship, Slick Aguilar has worked with a wide range of notable musicians.
Through much of the 1970s, he was an in-house guitar player for TK Studios in North Miami. During that period, he recorded with KC and the Sunshine Band, Bobby Caldwell, Latimore, George and Gwenn McRae, Clarence Reid, Timmy Thomas and Betty Wright.
After relocating to the West Coast, Aguilar joined Buddy Miles’ band. In 1982, he toured with David Crosby. A few years later, Marty Balin invited him to join his band, which in turn led to Aguilar taking on the role of lead guitarist in the KBC Band, which also featured former Jefferson Airplane members Paul Kantner and Jack Casady. The KBC Band’s self-titled debut included the hit “America.”
The KBC Band broke up after touring from 1985-87.
In 1992, Kantner, Aguilar, Casady, Tim Gorman, Papa John Creach, Prairie Prince and Darby Gould established the next generation of Jefferson Starship. The lineup has changed over the years, but the core members of this incarnation of Jefferson Starship continues to tour and record. The band’s most recent release, “Jefferson’s Tree of Liberty,” came out in 2008.
Joe Lala grew up in Ybor City. Though he always intended to be a musician, he got a barber’s license in case things didn’t work out.
In 1966, straight out of high school, Lala had a hand in the formation of Blues Image. After playing Tampa nightclubs for a few years, the band recorded their million-selling hit “Ride Captain Ride” in 1970. Needless to say, Lala hasn’t cut anyone’s hair since then.
After leaving Blues Image, Lala worked with a number of other artists and groups including Stephen Stills’ Manassas, The Eagles, The Bee Gees, Jackson Browne, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Barbara Streisand, John Cougar Mellencamp, Eric Clapton, Dr. John and Herbie Hancock.
Over the years, Lala has accumulated 32 Gold records, and 28 Platinum records during his music career. He played on the movie soundtracks of “Saturday Night Fever”, “Staying Alive”, “D.C. Cab”, “Streets of Fire”. “All The Right Moves”, “Breathless”, “Defiance”, “The Lonely Guy”, and “Airplane”.
While carpal tunnel syndrome has curtailed his musical endeavors, Lala still plays on occasion. Following the diagnosis, he embarked on a new career path as an actor and voiceover specialist. His film and television credits include appearances in “Sugar Hill,” “On Deadly Ground,” “Havana,” “Miami Vice,” “General Hospital,” “Melrose Place,” and “Who’s The Boss?” “Ali.”
Lala resides in the Tampa Bay area.
Kevin Hurley was born in Miami, grew up in California and returned to South Florida in his teens.
While still in Palo Alto, near San Francisco, he took his first music lessons at age 11. His instructor was the soon-to-be-famous Jerry Garcia, folk and bluegrass musician and member of the Grateful Dead.
Hurley started playing with a country and bluegrass outfit called Spooner Summit featuring Oz Bach. During his time with this band, Hurley honed his craft on acoustic guitar. He next performed with Nitehawk, playing “all the well-known dives in Miami and the Florida Keys” according to his biography.
Not long after this, Hurley met Aguilar. The fast friends formed the band Tattoo, performing at hot spots in Miami and Key Biscayne. A second incarnation paired the two: The Slick Hurley Band recorded the CD “Brothers by Other Mothers,” a fusion of Southern rock and R&B.
More recently, Hurley formed his own band, The Conch-A-Delics. Cuts from their CD “Palm Tree Reality” have received radio airplay in the Miami area and on Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Internet radio station.
Charlie DeChant plays saxophone and keyboards for Hall & Oates. He has been recording with Hall & Oates for more than 30 years. His signature saxophone solos can be heard in songs such as “Maneater,” “Say It Isn’t So” and “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do).”
Over the years, DeChant has also played with other artists such as Mick Jagger, The Temptations, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Bonnie Raitt, and The Average White Band. A writer, producer and solo artist, DeChant resides in Orlando where he performs with several local bands, including Charlie and the Kings. He also was a member of Sam Rivers’ Rivbea Orchestra.
Aguilar says that those who come down to the Original Boardwalk Grill and Sports Bar can expect to hear some excellent classic rock performed by industry veterans.
“Stuff we’ve played throughout the years,” Aguilar said. “I’m into the jam part of this. It’s going to be a whole mixed bag of stuff – really good.”