Written by Caroline McElroy
There was a time when being in a tribute band in L.A. was frowned upon. But over the years that opinion has changed and Peace Frog is in part responsible for the elevation of tribute acts in the L.A. music scene. Peace Frog IS the ultimate Doors’ tribute band and has been sending chills down the spines of their concert goers for over 20 years.
Fronted by Tony Fernandez, Peace Frog was conceived in Venice Beach in 1998 and has played to sold-out concerts around the world.
The Doors were also established in Venice Beach and, if you listen to the banter of Fernandez as The Doors’ Jim Morrison, they began at an earlier incarnation of the Venice Beach Bar. Fernandez allows that this is where the guys would gather and consume LSD and croissants in the early days of 1965.
Man do I remember those days. Wild, strange days of LSD indulgence and dancing barefoot until my feet would bleed…yes, those were the salad days of The Doors.
Very recently it was proclaimed The Doors Day as it was the 50th anniversary of the birth of The Doors in Venice Beach.
As for the live performance of Peace Frog, it was as if Morrison himself was performing in front of my totally enraptured eyes. The Doors were one of the few local acts that I saw around town on numerous occasions and know well the mannerisms and banter of Morrison as well as the note to each Doors’ song. Peace Frog brought back memories that had long been buried in the abyss of my mind.
Resurrecting memories long forgotten is what a good tribute band should do for its audience as well as evoke the sounds of an era that rang true to the the adage “Freak Freely”…Peace Frog is that kind of tribute band.
During their heyday in L.A. as rising stars, I saw The Doors at the Whiskey a Go Go, Hollywood Bowl, The Hullabaloo and The Theater in The Round in Woodland Hills. It was at The Theater in The Round that my first love and I got so hot listening to the music of The Doors that we hurriedly left the gig to get into his panel truck…Come On Baby Light My Fire.
More than that memory is the admiration of Morrison’s mannerisms as well as his well documented banter.