The Return of The Rodney Speed Experience
On January 12, 2001, New York’s Wetlands Preserve hosted one of its numerous loose “power jams.” The evening featured appearances by members of moe., the Disco Biscuits, Soulive, Lettuce, Brothers Past, Spin Doctors, Guster, ulu, Deep Banana Blackout and countless other scene staples. But the evening’s most talked about moment took place just after Midnight when longtime Wetlands employee Rodney Speed took the stage to lead the cast of characters through a set of classic rock covers. A year later, Speed started to gig out with a rotating band billed as Rodney Speed Experience.
Three years after their last recent gig, Rodney Speed Experience returned on Saturday night to open for The Rezillos and Murphy’s Law at New York’s Bowery Electric. The evening also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Rodney Speed Experience’s official birth. In addition to Speed on lead vocals and “lead rhythm guitar,” the band’s lineup boasted bassist Backyard Bill Stites—who participated in the original Wetlands Jam session— 2 Skinnee J’s Eddie Eyeball, Tragedy drummer Rob ‘The Lord Gibbeth” Palotta, co-lead guitarists KK Ryking and Josh Musto, and onetime Wetlands talent buyer Jake “SzufDaddy” Szufnarowski on cowbell and tambourine.
Rodney Speed Experience ran through a number of classic rock staples including Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild,” George Thorogood’s “Get a Haircut (and Get a Real Job),” The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away,” Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love,” The Rolling Stone’s “The Last Time” and Bachman–Turner Overdrive’s “Takin’ Care of Business.” They also performed the Rodney Speed Experience original “American Man.”