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J. Geils early start time explained

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / August 6, 2011

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Wondering why the start time of tonight’s J. Geils show at the Bank of America Pavilion is 7:30, but tomorrow’s is 6:45 p.m.? We were curious, too, so we made a few calls. Here’s the scoop: No less than Irving Azoff, executive chairman of Live Nation (and Peter Wolf’s manager), personally requested that another band be added to the J. Geils/Chris Robinson Brotherhood bill. What band? They’re called JD and the Straight Shot. Never heard of them? You’re not alone. So why would a legendary music executive like Azoff do their bidding? Because “JD’’ is James Dolan, the billionaire chairman of Cablevision Entertainment and owner of the New York Knicks. Dolan sings and plays guitar in the blues band, which includes a few well-known (and doubtless well-paid) ringers such as Soozie Tyrell on fiddle and Charlie Drayton on drums. Because Robinson and J. Geils both play full sets - and the show has to be over by 11 p.m. - the start time tomorrow was moved up 45 minutes to accommodate Dolan. Then, after all that, he canceled this week. But that might be OK. Judging from The New York Times’ review of the Straight Shot’s gig opening for Aretha Franklin last week, we’re not missing much. Critic Jon Pareles characterized Dolan as a “karaoke-grade singer’’ whose “musical talents are unlikely to endanger his day job.’’