The Rat and The Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies first crossed paths in the late ’90s with the Wheelie’s hits Magnolia and Boogie King. Both are outstanding tunes. We had the pleasure of hosting Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies shows at two legendary venues, Club Bene’ on Route 35 in South Amboy, and the Tradewinds Nightclub, on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright. Plus, the band even played for a few lucky listeners once in our lobby!!!
So when I found out from my old pal, the artist formally known as Doug The Promo Rat, that the Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies were playing at the Gramercy Theater, on the lower east side of Manhattan, I said man, we gotta go! This past Saturday was the show, the middle performance in a 3 night New York City farewell. Two nights at the Gramercy, and a final night aboard a concert cruise around the City! The Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies began their career in Nashville in 1991 and broke up in 2004.
In between they put out 5 studio albums, and 2 live recordings, touring with acts such as Meatloaf, The Allman Brothers Band, ZZ Top, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. After the band’s breakup in ’04, their leader, singer Mike Farris went solo and gospel! Releasing 4 solo albums and winning a Grammy in 2014 for Best Roots Gospel Album, for “Shine For All The People”.
In April of this year, the band announced they would indeed be reforming and playing shows in Nashville and New York City, as part of their “Long Goodbye Tour”. Now I admit, it does seem a bit strange that a band breaks up, and reforms 18 years later, so they can say goodbye, but hey unfinished business is unfinished business! Regardless, it was an amazing show.
The Wheelies played all their hits, some deep tracks, and during the encore, they even broke into Bob Marley’s classic “Three Little Birds”. It truly was a memorable night from a band I never forgot. Here are just a few of the photos I took of the sold-out performance.