Machine Head’s Robb Flynn Joins Tony La Russa + Friends at Animal Rescue Foundation Benefit
Machine Head have built their fan base over a steadily strong career, but singer Robb Flynn still gets surprised by who some of his fans are. The rocker reveals in his latest journal that former baseball manager Tony La Russa and his family have shown their fandom for his work in recent years, which is something that still blows him away.
Flynn says, “Life has a funny way of playing out, how seemingly innocuous encounters can take you to place you never thought you’d go. Flash back to about a year and a half ago … I’m walking through Whole Foods in Walnut Creek, talking on the phone to my friend Tom when a lady and her daughter approach me wide-eyed. ‘Are you f—ing Robb Flynn?!’ … ‘I could be …’ They scream and make a big ‘ol to-do, ‘Oh my God, we’re huge fans, I love ‘The Blackening,’ I’m Tony LaRussa’s wife!’”
Then, just last year when the band returned to play the Warfield in San Francisco, the La Russa family came to the show. Flynn recalls, “My baseball fanatic dad FREAKS OUT, and Tony L blows my mind when he tells me that I ‘have so much charisma, he wishes he could bottle it and make his players drink it.’ Wow!!?? I’m not worthy!” After speaking some more, Flynn says they bonded over the fact that he got his dog from the Animal Rescue Foundation that LaRussa founded.
The vocalist says he and La Russa exchanged information and the manager reached out to him about attending his annual benefit. La Russa also asked if he would perform as an anniversary gift for his metal-loving wife. The singer admits he was nervous, but says the manager’s intro was great. He recalls, “Tony La Russa’s intro blew me up!! Dude rules. After that intro I could have farted for 10 minutes and people would have at least politely clapped. Did ‘Die Young’ first, went down good. I sang the end a lot better than at the Mitch [Lucker] benefit, and then came time for the debut of the acoustic version of ‘Darkness [Within],’ just me and an acoustic, no sing-alongs, no band to kick in the heavy — a new version I had never played live. It worked, it totally worked. I nailed most of it, was a little flat in some parts at the very end, but overall it felt good and I was proud of myself for taking up the challenge.”
Flynn returned for the finale, joining all the evening’s performers and headliner Tony Orlando in taking on ‘Hey Jude’ with a little bit of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ thrown in to rock out. The evening also gave the singer a chance to meet some of his comedy heroes like Robin Williams and Dana Carvey. For more about Flynn’s night, check out his latest journal entry here.
Watch Robb Flynn Perform ‘Darkness Within’ Acoustically
Robb Flynn With Dana Carvey
Robb Flynn With Robin Williams
Robb Flynn With Tony Orlando