The careers of rock ‘n’ roll musicians can get pretty strange.How strange? Check out The Strange, Clark County’s longest-running “hair metal” band, as they celebrate their 20th anniversary at Billy Blues Bar and Grill in Hazel Dell on Saturday night. You’ll enjoy a parade of hard-rocking, danceable cover tunes that run the gamut from Rod Stewart to AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses to Prince.“It’s party rock with a hard edge,” said bass player Erin Bartley. “We’re having as good a time as the people hearing us.”In 20 years, he said, the members of The Strange have never gotten into an argument. “That’s amazing. Astounding,” he said.Two harmonious decades together is only the latest chapter in a Strange saga that’s far longer — and much, much louder.Strange storyThe story begins with the teenaged Bartley of Lake Oswego, Ore., playing bass in school jazz ensembles and musical shows. Bartley befriended Rikki Baggett, a drummer from Scappoose, Ore., and the duo moved to Los Angeles and met with pretty major success in a band called Cold Shot in the late 1980s and early 1990s.“We headlined all the Sunset Strip clubs,” said Bartley, who remembers crazy scenes in those clubs and even crazier scenes out on the LA streets, where thousands of people all went hunting for wild times. Cold Shot did its very best to supply them, Bartley said.“We were wild guys. We gave every ounce of everything we had,” he said. Cold Shot used to tour constantly, playing five or six nights a week for as many as nine or 10 months out of the year, he said. “It was hard labor. It was as much as I could take,” Bartley said.
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