By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
When guitarist Gilby Clarke hit 60 last year, he vowed to inject more fun into his career.
That’s when he founded Gilby Clarke and the Keef Richards.
“We all have our jobs,” he said. “I wanted to have a project that was fun—something with my friends, do some shows and really have a good time.”
Clarke is bringing the band—which also includes bassist/vocalist Sean McNabb, keyboardist/vocalist Mike Mangan and drummer Jason Sutter—to The Coach House on Aug. 31.
“This project is like a mockery of Keith Richards,” Clarke said with a laugh. “We are a full band of Keith Richards. To me, Keith embodies rock ‘n’ roll. That’s what this project is. It’s fun.”
“We’re playing predominately covers—the Stones, the Beatles, Joe Cocker, ZZ Top, Guns N’ Roses, some of my stuff,” Clarke continued. “For me, it’s more about having fun and enjoying what we do and play what I love to play.”
The Keef Richards kicked off its gigs with a residency at the Bourbon Room on Hollywood Boulevard. Clarke called himself the “road captain, guitarist and lead vocalist,” who earned his stripes with Guns N’ Roses, Heart, MC5 and Nancy Sinatra.
Clarke called his bandmates an all-star band. McNabb’s credits include stints with Dokken and Quite Riot, as well as appearances on Sons of Anarchy. Meanwhile, Mangan, who plays Hammond organ, has played with The Cult and Glenn Hughes.
Sutter formerly split his time between Cher and Joe Perry, after wrapping up with the now-late Chris Cornell.
So far, Gilby Clarke and the Keef Richards have only gigged in California, but when the timing is right, he’s hoping to take it beyond the state’s borders.
“At this point in our lives and career, we’ve earned a way to have fun,” he said. “We all have our jobs. It is a little tricky. It’s why we can’t do too many shows. Everybody has their bands they’re playing with. During the summer, we’re all touring. When the summer winds down, in August/September, that’s when we start gigging.”
Clarke has had a rich career, but he tends not to look back. Instead, he looks forward to the future. Soon, he will begin work on a follow-up to 2021’s The Gospel Truth. That collection came 20 years after his last solo work, 1994’s Pawnshop Guitars.
“The way to keep things fresh is to look forward,” he said. “Sometimes, when we have a long ride in the van or airplane, the boys start to tell their stories. It’s fun to not compare but share stories together. I just feel there’s a lot of music left to be done.”
What: Gilby Clarke
When: Aug. 31. Doors open at 6 p.m.; concert starts at 8 p.m.
Where: 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano
For tickets or more info: thecoachhouse.com. Tickets are $25.