Guest Blog: Don Bernstine
The legendary Hard Rock Café artist relations man tells Classic Rock about a night out with Cheap Trick, Donovan and Joe Lynn Turner.
“I guess being the angry American does pay off some times. During my last trip to London (to the CR Awards) I managed to convince Classic Rock Magazine that they should let me contribute from time to time. So here goes. Oh, in case you are trying to figure out who I am, my name is Don Bernstine and for the last six-and-a-half years I was the person who ran Artist Relations and found all the memorabilia for The Hard Rock Cafés worldwide. But enough about my limited view of the world! So blame me, curse or move on!”
“Recently I spent the weekend hanging out with Cheap Trick when performed their tribute to The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper LP. For those of you that haven’t heard about this show they perform the entire album with a local orchestra. They have done it LA, NY, and Clearwater, Florida. It was pretty damn cool to watch. Robin Zander and his wife Pam put the whole thing together and proceeds went to a charity that they work with in the area called First Tee.”
“Any night with the guys from CT is fun, but there were a few surprises that night. First the appearance of Donovan in the hallway before the show was a complete shock. He flew in from Ireland for the show. Next I heard the subtle speaking voice of Joe Lynn Turner who used to be in Rainbow and Purple. Oh you should also know that I spent over ten years working for Rainbow and then the reunion of Purple. Still stay in touch with everyone except the singer! Forgotten his name for the moment. What is his fucking name?”
“Back to the show. It flew by makes you wanting more and for a few select people there was more upstairs in a VIP reception where CT performed with the last version of John Entwistle’s band. During California Man the power blew and the band came off stage for a second, but minutes later they belted out I Want You and Surrender. During the show I remembered the drummer for the Entwistle band, Steve also served time as the drummer in Rainbow for a minute. I believe the band wasn’t so kind to him – some minor torture to food and sleep deprivation I believe! – and to no one’s surprise he decided to leave. But Joe got up and sang a few songs and then it was back to the hotel. Relatively early night considering. Found some new friends in the bar and then bumped in JLT. I knew if I spent any “quality” time with Joe I would be seeing the sunrise. So off to bed I went…”
“Next time, I’ll tell you all about my adventures at this year’s NAMM show…”