If you go
What: Kool & the Gang
When: 8 p.m. tonight
Where: Clay Center
Tickets: $43 to $68
Info: www.theclaycenter.org or 304-348-4830
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If you think Robert "Kool" Bell was surprised that David Lee Roth thought their two bands would make a great tour pairing, imagine the reaction of Roth's fellow Van Halen members.
"They were scratching their heads," Bell said, chuckling.
For the longtime frontman of the 1970s and '80s groovers Kool & the Gang, Bell was receptive to the offer. Play with a hard rock band? At this stage in his career, he could take a "why not" approach.
And Bell said the 48 dates last year with Van Halen were a blast. Roth's wild hair apparently worked for fans, too. Concerts drew a mix of Van Halen and Kool fans.
"By the time we did 'Ladies Night' and 'Get Down on It,' the ladies got up to dance," Bell said.
One good idea breeds another and soon after, Kid Rock came knocking, looking for the band to join his Rebel Soul Tour, which kicks off this weekend in Washington, D.C.
The band might have played with Jimmy Buffet tonight, except they already were booked to play at the Clay Center for the FestivALL Mayor's Concert.
No worries — others are in line.
In fact, Kool & the Gang will play at least one concert with the Dave Matthews Band, a pairing Bell figures isn't any more unusual than playing with Van Halen.