on the Rock & Roll Pizza Stage
Conejo Valley Days Festival
Thousand Oaks, CA


May 12, 2016

Photos and writing by

You might think it was a quiet little local festival with some carnival rides and a few great country or bluegrass bands entertaining the families while they ate fried Twinkies and grilled corn.  But no.  Not this time.  This Saturday, the 60th Annual CONEJO VALLEY DAYS Festival kicked up some dust and blew away a few cowboy hats!

Hitting the festival’s ROCK & ROLL PIZZA STAGE for the second year in a row, among many talented bands who opened and closed the day, was local favorite cover band CHEVY METAL, which just happens to be the side project of a guy you might know – drummer TAYLOR HAWKINS of the FOO FIGHTERS.  And when Hawkins steps away from his day job and gets behind his drum kit to jam with his long-time buddy and great vocalist/bassist WILEY HODGDEN and the amazing six-string shredder MICK MURPHY, they aren’t just a cover band – they become an entirely new type of band – a band who just happens to play songs you already know ALL the lyrics to.  And the band is so good, that, at some point in the first song or two, you somehow forget that they didn’t actually write all those songs themselves.  Seriously – if you weren’t already gripping the handrail with white knuckles riding fairway-favorite “Mach 1”, then CHEVY METAL surely took you on the ride of your life.

Chevy-Metal-065And, for the second year in a row, just when you didn’t think it could get any better, the Twitter feeds began blowing up just before showtime, as people spotted Taylor’s boss DAVE GROHL taking his kids on a few rides.  Yes, Chevy Metal’s sometimes fourth member of the band – who occasionally shows up to plug in and provide a little back-up for his friends – joined in on the fun.

Amid banter about Taylor needing ‘readers’, a few shots of whiskey, and a hilarious (yet successful) mid-song Grohl/Murphy tag-team bathroom break, the band coasted through the music of classic bands we all love – including The Rolling Stones, the Faces, Black Sabbath, and even Billy Joel! And as a special surprise, and PERFECTLY FITTING for this dusty country festival, the band broke out their secret weapon – MICK MURPHY on VOCALS for the Charlie Daniels Band hit “THE DEVIL WENT DOWN TO GEORGIA”!!

But what really gets the CHEVY METAL fans going – every single time – is when the guys get to the Van Halen sets.  Those songs performed by THIS band ALWAYS make your heart race!!  And this time, the fans got EIGHT VAN HALEN SONGS.  EIGHT!!  Yeah….CHEVY METAL totally parks the Van back in the Halen!!!

Oh, and one more thing:  DAVE GROHL sang Diamond Dave’s ICE CREAM MAN.  Yep.  He dedicated one to the ladies…  (that, my friends, is a mic drop.  Well, it would have been, but they ended up playing two more songs…)


You can watch the entire live feed (recorded in two parts) on our facebook here:

If you are interested in seeing CHEVY METAL play live – they are TOURING!!
Check out their facebook page at

Spotted in the Crowd:  The lovely musician and songwriter JESSY GREENE, David Lee Roth and Ringo Starr drummer GREGG BISSONETTE, Rock & Roll Pizza owners DAVID and PETRA VEIRIA, and a bunch of country music fans who had no idea what just hit them.

CHEVY METAL Set List (actual, not as listed on their paper set list):

  • Bitch (The Rolling Stones)
  • Double Vision (Foreigner)
  • Mississippi Queen (Mountain)
  • You May Be Right (Billy Joel)
  • Fairies Wear Boots (Black Sabbath)
  • All The Young Dudes (Mott The Hoople)
  • Stay With Me (Faces)
  • Breakdown (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
  • Turning Japanese (The Vapors)
  • Runnin’ With the Devil (Van Halen)
  • Eruption (Van Halen)
  • You Really Got Me (Van Halen cover of Ray Davies/Kinks)
  • Jamie’s Crying (Van Halen)
  • Feel Your Love (Van Halen)
  • The Wizard (the Black Sabbath song – not the Uriah Heep song)
  • The Devil Went Down To Georgia (Charlie Daniels Band)
  • Miss You (The Rolling Stones)
    • (with guest drummer 10-year-old Cooper Kasper and guest guitarist Tommy Odetto)
  • My Sharona (The Knack)
  • Ice Cream Man (Van Halen)
  • Panama (Van Halen)
  • Ain’t Talkin’ ‘bout Love (Van Halen)


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