POP MUSIC : Blockbusters Aren’t Only Shows in Town

Getting into the blockbuster pop shows in Orange County this fall will be a problem if you don’t already have a ticket: Amphitheater concerts by Eric Clapton, George Michael and Michael Jackson are already sold out, and only lawn seating is left for appearances by Aerosmith and Elton John.

But there’s still plenty of quality and variety on tap for the fall. A couple of promising multiple-act bills will take place in the great outdoors, as country stars Randy Travis and the Judds team up at the Pacific Amphitheatre on Sept. 25, and Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Fabulous Thunderbirds join forces in a guitar-lover’s delight at the same site Oct. 2.

Many of the season’s most intriguing concerts, though, are taking place in the clubs. Folk-rocker Richard Thompson, South African a cappella singing group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and New Orleans piano master Dr. John, all playing the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, may each be the best in the world in their genres.

Rock highlights include the reunited rockabilly revival band Stray Cats; Wire, a British band influential in alternative rock circles; playful pop-rockers Adrian Belew and the Bears, and Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson, the veteran team of British rockers. All play at the Coach House.


For country music, the fall schedule at the Crazy Horse Steak House in Santa Ana is highlighted by two acts that play country with a rock edge--the Desert Rose Band, led by former Byrd Chris Hillman, and Waylon Jennings. Tammy Wynette brings her classic country voice to Michael’s Supper Club in Dana Point for a three-night stand starting Thursday.

Here, genre by genre, are scheduled major concerts for the fall.

- Rock: Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses, Pacific Amphitheatre, Wednesday; Stray Cats, Coach House, Thursday; Chicago and Henry Lee Summer, Pacific Amphitheatre, Friday; Joe Walsh, Coach House, Friday and Saturday; Randy Hansen with Buddy Miles, Night Moves, Sept. 18; INXS and Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Pacific Amphitheatre, Sept. 20; the Outlaws and Black Oak Arkansas, Celebrity Theatre, Sept. 21; Eric Clapton and Buckwheat Zydeco, Irvine Meadows, Sept. 23 (sold out); the Romantics, Coach House, Sept. 24; Wire, Coach House, Sept. 26; Elton John, Pacific Amphitheatre, Sept. 27; All, Night Moves, Oct. 1; Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Pacific Amphitheatre, Oct. 2; Adrian Belew and the Bears, Coach House, Oct. 4; George Michael, Irvine Meadows, Oct. 7-8 (sold out); the Eclectics with Dennis Quaid, Club Postnuclear, Oct. 8; Kenny Loggins, Pacific Amphitheatre, Oct. 9; Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson, Coach House, Oct. 11; Oingo Boingo, Irvine Meadows, Oct. 28; Flock of Seagulls, Coach House, Nov. 6; Michael Jackson, Irvine Meadows, Nov. 7-9 (sold out).

- Blues/R&B;: Full Force, Troop and Rama, Celebrity Theatre, tonight; Renee Geyer Band, Club Postnuclear, Saturday; Albert Collins and Katie Webster, Coach House, Sept. 20; Dr. John with Rick Danko and Garth Hudson, Coach House, Sept. 21; Hall & Oates, Pacific Amphitheatre, Sept. 29; Gladys Knight & the Pips, Celebrity Theatre, Sept. 29; Tower of Power, Coach House, Oct. 7; the Whispers, Celebrity Theatre, Nov. 19; Ray Charles, Coach House, Nov. 22-23, 25.


- Country and Western: T. Graham Brown, Crazy Horse, Monday; Tammy Wynette, Michael’s Supper Club, Thursday through Saturday; the Desert Rose Band, Crazy Horse, Sept. 19; Randy Travis and the Judds, Pacific Amphitheatre, Sept. 25; Johnny Lee, Crazy Horse, Sept. 26; Bellamy Brothers, Michael’s, Sept. 30; Rita Coolidge, Crazy Horse, Oct. 3; Juice Newton, Coach House, Oct. 8; Mel McDaniel, Crazy Horse, Oct. 10; Eddie Rabbit, Crazy Horse, Oct. 18; Barbara Mandrell, Pacific Amphitheatre, Oct. 23; Waylon Jennings, Crazy Horse, Oct. 24.

- Reggae/African: Burning Spear, Club Postnuclear, Monday; Andrew Tosh, Coach House, Sept. 18; Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Coach House, Sept. 23; the Wailers, Coach House, Oct. 12; Sly & Robbie and the Taxi Gang, Coach House, Oct. 24.

- Folk/Acoustic: Harry Dean Stanton and Michael Been, Coach House, Sept. 25; Richie Havens, Coach House, Sept. 27; Michael Tomlinson, Coach House, Oct. 1; Richard Thompson, Coach House, Oct. 15; Arlo Guthrie, Coach House, Oct. 16-17.

- Jazz: George Benson, Irvine Meadows, Sept. 22; George Shaw and the TBA All Stars, Celebrity Theatre, Sept. 23; Jazz Connection, with Roy Ayers, Lonnie Liston Smith and others, Celebrity Theatre, Sept. 30; Bobby McFerrin, McKinney Theatre, Saddleback College, Sept. 30; Acoustic Alchemy, Coach House, Oct. 6; Kenny G, Pacific Amphitheatre, Oct. 8; Tuck & Patti, Coach House, Oct. 9; Bob James, Coach House, Oct. 25; Michael Franks, Celebrity Theatre, Oct. 28.


- Oldies/Nostalgia: Dave Mason, Coach House, Wednesday; the Association, Michael’s Supper Club, Wednesday ; Honk and the Seclusions, Laguna Beach Irvine Bowl, Saturday; Little Anthony, Michael’s Supper Club, Sept. 18; the Fifth Dimension, Michael’s, Sept. 21; Gary Puckett, Michael’s, Sept. 22-23.

- Middle-of-the-Road Pop: Johnny Mathis and Henry Mancini, Pacific Amphitheatre, Saturday; Roger Whittaker, Orange County Performing Arts Center, Saturday; Barry Manilow, Pacific Amphitheatre, Sept. 23-24; Jerry Vale, Michael’s Supper Club, Sept. 24-25; Anne Murray, Irvine Meadows, Sept. 24; Julio Iglesias, Pacific Amphitheatre, Sept. 30-Oct. 1.