Corey Feldman and the Angels. Buffalo Rose. 06.23.17
The Goonies and Stand by Me are two of my favorite films from childhood. The Lost Boys is right up there as well. Corey Feldman was the coolest kid I never knew in those formative years. But then Gleaming the Cube happened. Sure, it was an awful movie, but you couldn’t convince me of that when I was twelve years old. By the time I became a teenager, Christian Slater’s characters in Heathers and Pump Up the Volume became my new definition of cool, and I lost track of Corey. I missed it when he reappeared as a reality tv personality. I didn’t read his book or hear the stories of abuse he suffered at the hands of the Hollywood elite. I missed his series with Corey Haim, and his time at the Playboy Mansion, and the creation of Corey’s Angels. I even missed that infamous Today Show performance last year. Corey Feldman was kept forever young, as Clark Devereaux and Teddy Duchamp, in those memories of my youth. So, you can imagine my surprise when I first heard Angelic 2 the Core. Labeled by many as “the worst album of 2016”, the cover artwork itself made it inescapable. What I found inside left me completely bewildered. Where did Corey go wrong? Was he being serious? Was the whole thing a joke? What in the hell was happening?
My curiosity got the best of me when I saw the flyer for the upcoming tour. Corey Feldman, looking like Michael Jackson impersonating a magician, was surrounded by large-busted, lingerie-clad women with feathered halos. I was trying to figure out how the steampunk machinery factored in with the already confusing imagery when something even more bizarre caught my eye: the show was being held at the Buffalo Rose in downtown Golden. Tickets were purchased before I could pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t having some kind of fucked up dream. When I convinced myself this was real life, I got to work on recruitment. Convincing people to go to Red Rocks twice a week during summer is one thing; convincing people to go see a former child actor who seems as deranged as Charlie Sheen during his #winning #tigerblood years is something else altogether.
June 23rd, 2017. Golden, Colorado. 30 years after The Lost Boys hit theaters. There is a sizable crowd hanging around near the buffalo statue in front of a historic saloon. A large, welcoming sign hangs over the otherwise quiet street. “Howdy Folks! Welcome to Golden. Where the West Lives.” There is much smaller sign in front of the bar. This one is written in chalk. “Cory Feldman & The Angels” Corey’s name is spelled incorrectly, but no one seems to notice. The bar is packed with people and there is a large tour bus parked around the corner. My powers of persuasion mean I am not alone on this strange evening in small town America. I ask a group of women if we can borrow a few of their unoccupied stools so my companions and I have a place to sit. They oblige because their friends are already inside the adjacent venue.
“Are you going to the show?” they ask me. “Of course!” I reply. “Are you really a fan, or…” they hesitate. “Not of his music,” I laugh “do you think anyone here is a serious fan?” “Oh yeah,” they counter, “there are quite a few…maybe 25% or so.”
I look around the room, not knowing what I am looking for exactly, but immediately recognize the true fans. Most of them are wearing black. Some look almost goth. Heavy make-up, random hair color, gender agnostic. It’s at that point I decide to give this whole experience the benefit of the doubt. Who am I to shit on someone else’s entertainment? Granted, I doubt Corey Feldman could sell enough tickets to tour and perform for the 25% if the other 75% didn’t buy tickets for less honorable reasons, but I don’t think that gives me an excuse to be a snob about it.
A few drinks deep, we find our way into the venue around 10:00pm. The place is hardly close to sold-out, but is reasonably packed as we grab a round of beers (and shots) before making our way to the front of the stage. Having missed the two local openers, I am assuming we’ll catch an hour-long performance and be back at the bar reliving the whole thing in no time at all. Evidently, Corey takes this music stuff a lot more seriously than his albums might suggest, because we are immediately threatened with the promise of a two-hour set.
Really? 2 hours? Ok, I’m game. Let’s do this!
The lights go down and images of Corey’s films are projected onto a makeshift screen. Encouraging words of support from his fans and peers in the industry read like a résumé in front of the anxious audience as they start chanting “Cor-ey! Cor-ey! Cor-ey!” The angels appear first. They are in white lingerie, with white instruments, white halos, and more exposed white flesh than a Spring Break video. Corey comes out with his back to the crowd, in black leather from head to toe, with a fedora and dance moves straight out of “Billie Jean”. It is a spectacle to say the least, but it sounds awful. The speakers are blown out; hissing and popping and crackling like a campfire. We are close enough to see his mouth is moving to the words of “Ascension Millennium”, but all we hear is noise. It gets slightly better for the next couple songs, but when one of them is called “Duh!”, sonic perfection isn’t a major concern.
After a handful of selections from the new album, Corey speaks to the crowd. He defends himself against all the haters out there. He defends the angels against those who say they don’t play instruments. And to prove the naysayers wrong, he leaves the stage so one of the angels (Jackie, the bassist) can perform a solo. Each angel gets a turn throughout the night. Corey’s wife (the head angel, Courtney Anne) even gets a chance to cover Cyndi Lauper’s “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough”, but one angel’s talent outshines everyone else. I don’t remember her name (update: it was Jimena), but her guitar solo included a medley of Metallica songs and was the musical highlight of the night. My guess is she’ll be performing with another band, and with her clothes on, sometime soon.
There are so many negative things I can say about Corey Feldman’s music. He tries to splice rock, pop, electronic, and hip-hop together in ways a lot of artists do today, but it just doesn’t work for him. The songs are not good. That aside, I loved everything about his performance. Sure, a lot of it was unintentionally hilarious, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get nostalgic as hell during all the soundtrack music. Hearing all those songs from The Goonies, The Lost Boys, and Dream a Little Dream (Dream a Little Dream 2?), while standing a few feet away from Corey was something just too cool for words. There were cringe-worthy moments (five wardrobe changes, taking off his shirt, playing drums while covering The Beatles), but dammit if I wasn’t smiling and singing and dancing along the entire time. The dude came out in a boxing robe at one point and on a hover board at another point! I can’t make this shit up.
The conversations I had throughout the night were almost as entertaining as the show itself. There were the positive voices from members of the opening band and the Uber driver who drove Corey earlier in the day. They had nothing but good things to say about the guy. There were the people who joked about him being a cult leader (“whenever he leaves the stage I feel like telling the angels to blink twice if they need help”). There were those who were inspired to have sex in the bathroom mid-set…and there were those who wouldn’t leave their spot in the front row if their life depended on it. There were all kinds of people, but not an angry or disappointed face or voice in the entire room.
I can’t claim to know why the #FeldFam loves Corey Feldman so much. I don’t know why Pink and Kesha and Paris Jackson are so supportive of him. I don’t know if he believes himself when he says he is just misunderstood like Eminem and Nirvana were. I am extremely curious to know all those things. I do know why I support the guy though. I support him because I enjoyed every minute of his two-hour set. I enjoyed it because it was extremely entertaining. The soundtrack songs were so much fun, the angels were beautiful and fun to watch (and one of them could really play a guitar), Corey was having as much fun as anyone in the audience, and it all happened in a saloon in Golden, Colorado.
Sometimes I go to see a movie because I want to be moved on an emotional level, but sometimes I go just to escape the real world for a couple hours. I’ve never thought about live music the same way. I’ve never considered going to see a singer or a band perform live if I didn’t like their music. Corey and his angels changed my mind. I will never listen to a Corey Feldman album again, but I will see him perform live any time he comes to town. Next time I hope to meet one of his true fans. I would honestly love to know what they hear that I don’t. Until then, I’ll just hold on to the memories of one of the most enjoyable nights I’ve had out in a long time…as well as feel sorry for the Uber driver who took us home. Not because we were too drunk (although we may have been), but because the dude had never heard of Corey Feldman and had never seen The Goonies. Seriously, I knocked at least one star off for that shit!
Angelic 2 the Core
Angel solo [Jackie] Something In Your Eyes
Angel solo [Margot] Man in the Mirror
Remember 222 (Corey’s Song)
Cry Little Sister
The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough [sung by Courtney Anne] Stand By Me
Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?
Angel solo [Jiménez] Tutti Frutti
Rock Us Danny
Take A Stand
It’s So Simple
Angel solo [Marisa] Wanna Break Free
Former Child Actor
Go 4 It