Big Nick and the Gila Monsters: "We've Been Together Longer Than Any of Us Has Been Married"
Big Nick and the Gila Monsters have some experience ringing in new years -- they've been together for 21 of them. Last week, they closed out 2013 with a New Year's Eve gig at Janey's in Cave Creek, where they play at least once a month; they'll return this Saturday.
Big Nick and the Gila Monsters
The idea behind their New Year's Eve gig was to get the music in before, in Big Nick's words, "All the crazies came out."
Big Pete Pearson, Chuck Hall, and Hans Olsen were also at the day gig. "All the usual suspects," Big Nick laughs. "Janey's is tiny inside, but they have a nice outdoor patio and that's where everybody played. The weather was glorious, sunny, warm. Actually we were all sweating, but we didn't care because Janey's has a great culture of music." (Big Nick also made sure to mention their food, coffee, and full bar.)
Janey's aside, Big Nick and the Gila Monsters have played most valley venues at least once during the last 21 years. They perform periodically at Desert Botanical Garden; last year they played at the annual Blues Blast, sponsored by the Phoenix Blues Society, in March.
It was their quality blues, and not just their longevity, that earned them entrance into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame.
"The longevity of the band speaks volumes," Big Nick said. "There are so many musicians throughout the country that hop from band to band. It's not easy to get a group of musicians to blend together into a band for a long time. We've been together longer than any one of us has been married."