The Cabo Wabo

Cabo Wabo '05 - 001 Cabo Wabo '05 - 045 Cabo Wabo '05 - 011 Cabo Wabo '05 - 042

Cabo Wabo '05 - 041 Cabo Wabo '05 - 049 Cabo Wabo '05 - 043

Last weekend, Rex and Jason and I went down to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Rex was the instigator of the trip and wanted to have a “boy’s weekend” to blow off some steam. The three of us play in a cover band together called Full Ratchet (bad VC humor, if you get the joke). Unbeknownst to Rex, Jason had spent weeks sending emails and making phone calls to the Cabo Wabo, one of the premier live-music venues down in Cabo, owned by Sammy Hagar. Through sheer persistence, Jason arranged for us to play a set down at the Cabo Wabo, and Jason and I managed to check our guitars at the airport without Rex noticing. When we arrived at the airport in Cabo, Jason let Rex in on the secret as our guitars came into the baggage claim area. Rex had told Jason once upon a time that he would love to play a show at the Cabo Wabo, so Rex was in a happy state of shock when we told him we had a gig to play in a few short hours.

We played a great set and had an enthusiastic (and very drunk) audience, including a bunch of Jason’s friends who happened to be in town for a wedding that weekend and got the crowd up and dancing. The three of us spent the whole set grinning at each other while we played. The club, stage, sound system and sound man were all top shelf, which is to be expected given that Sammy Hagar bought the club to have a fun place to go for his musician friends (including Van Halen) to play. It was definitely one of the most “legit” gigs I’ve played in terms of audience size and production quality — the only other one that comes close was a gig I played with my old band Where’s Julio? at the Fillmore in 1998 for an EFF benefit along with The Flying Other Brothers.

Our set list:

Jenny (867-5309) – Tommy Tutone

Hard to Handle – Black Crows

Honky Tonk Woman – Rolling Stones

Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran

Cumbersome – Seven Mary Three

Superstition – Stevie Wonder

Play that Funky Music – Wild Cherry

Superstition – Stevie Wonder

Thanks to Rex and Jason for one of the most memorable weekends I’ve had!

  • Cool story! Nice set list!

  • Cool story! Nice set list!

  • Ryan,
    While the Black Crowes popularized Hard to Handle more recently, we should tip our hat to the late great Otis Redding who first recorded the song and made it a hit.
    I think it’s awesome that you guys did something you always wanted to do!

  • Mark Salada

    You rock! Maybe it’s just an oversight, but I don’t see “Angel’s Return” on the list. Surely, you played it and surely it rocked the hizzou! LoL
    Seriously, though, congrats! Next: Stadium gig!

  • Hey Ryan,
    That’s awesome that you rocked Cabo Wabo for a set! I’ve been down there twice in the last few years and had to restrict myself to only occasionally belting out ‘Fifty Five!’ from the audience in between the house-band’s songs. I was the frontman, rhythm guitarist and keyboardist for a touring cover-band back in the late 80s and I still live for that bygone era… So much so that I’ve got a very Spinal Tap-style 80s tribute show together these days ( and play a huge selection of the Van Halen & Sammy Hagar catalog – Including ‘Mas Tequila’ of course!
    My wife and I (Nikki Vixen from the band) are heading back to Cabo for the end of August… Any advice you can share on who to contact to arrange a cameo jam with the house band would be majorly appreciated – If it works out, we’ll be sure to post some killer pics to this blog!
    All the best,
    Tony Antoniou (A.K.A. Don Tron)

  • You guys kick butt!!!

  • You guys kick butt!!!