Ron Keel Band at the Whisky A Go Go

There's a photo on this writer's office wall at Music Connection Towers, one of the many vintage promo shots that this publication has received over the years, of the band Keel in their A&M Records prime. It's pinned up next to King Diamond, Maria McKee, the Ramones and the Cure, and the Keel guys look spectacular. We'd publish it here if we could be sure that we had the permissions.

People often forget how close Keel was to really breaking. Fresh out of the band Steeler and a two-week spell in Black Sabbath (they demoed together but nothing was ever released), Ron Keel formed Keel, released a ton of great music, got produced by Gene Simmons, scored a major deal and went on the road with Bon Jovi on the Slippery When Wet tour. The sky was the limit, but they were destined to remain a cult favorite.

That said, the Whisky hosts a lot of these '80s hair/glam/sleaze rock shows, and few of them are as on it as the Ron Keel Band were on Saturday night. Ron himself looked determined to enjoy the fact that, at midnight and as the date turned to April 7 2024, he was celebrating 40 years since the first ever Keel show.

So we got a career-spanner. Steeler faves like "Cold Day in Hell" sat comfortably alongside Keel classics such as "Right to Rock" and their awesome cover of Patti Smith's "Because the Night." Keel even gave a nod to his brief Black Sabbath history, performing "Mob Rules."

The RKB played for well over two hours, and not a moment of it was wasted.