Music and Mania: One Wild Night at The Imperial Ball

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Music and Mania: One Wild Night at The Imperial Ball

Joseph Beaird, Communications Editor

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The fifth Imperial Ball at Servite was held January 27th in the Servite Theatre. It was a rock concert like no other with a parade of legendary rock musicians performing timeless music that still stands out decades after being created. Attending the concert was like getting a glimpse into rock n’ roll history – past and present.

Attendees experienced the best of the Servite Theatre’s acoustics, technology, and sound systems. The sold out audience could feel every beat musicians generated with their electric guitars and energetic drum performances.

There was an opening set by Lit, a local band from Fullerton known especially for their hit song My Own Worst Enemy. Mike Campbell, former lead guitarist for Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, performed two tribute songs to the late Petty with his current band, The Dirty Knobs. They brought the audience to their feet with Petty’s Runnin’ Down the Dream (2007).

Following the Petty tribute, Campbell announced the arrival of surprise guest Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield and Crosby Stills and Nash. Stills became the first musician to be inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame twice in one night in 1997 for his singing/songwriting contributions with both bands during the late 1960’s and 1970s. Together with The Dirty Knobs, Stills performed his biggest hit, Love the One You’re With (released in 1970). Stills had a solo album in 1970; The only album to feature fellow Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famers Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. Stills is on the list of The Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

The final act was what the audience waited more than three hours to see – Alice Cooper accompanied by actor and hobby musician Johnny Depp. Cooper had the crowd in a near frenzied state singing with him his top hits – Eighteen (1971), No More Mr. Nice Guy (1973), and School’s Out (1972). Depp played right up to the crowd that swarmed the front lip of the stage and even accepted a necklace from one of the fans.

It was amazing to see the energy level all performers gave. Stills, at age 73, and Cooper, at 69, seemed like ageless wonders in the high level of performance talent they command more than 50 years after beginning their careers.

Since the Imperial Ball moved to Servite in 2014, rock legends have mentioned they like performing in the Servite Theatre, according to Director of Facilities, Robby Robertson. “we provide a service unlike any they have seen at other venues. When they arrive, everything is ready to go. After the first year the Imperial Ball was here, one of the main celebrities commented that from now on, he’s only going to play Catholic high schools!


The concert was organized by Servite parent Nathan Fawley, President of Duesenberg Guitars and father of Connor ‘16 and Reese ‘18 . Proceeds from the concert benefited two non-profit organizations, Combat Canines and Midnight Mission of Los Angeles. A painting of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards that was signed by the performers was auctioned for $6,000 and a Duesenberg guitar also signed by the performers was auctioned for $5,700.

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