Excerpt from: "Great Opening Acts of a Bygone Era"
by Steve Polevoi
The Walter Egan Band
The eleventh and last time I saw my favorite band Procol Harum was a real treat. After years of seeing them play medium-sized venues, they were booked to play a nightclub in San Francisco. Although I lived in Los Angeles at the time, nothing would prevent me from traveling north to see the boys from Essex. I asked my cousin, who was attending Stanford, to procure tickets for us. When he called to relay the good news that two tickets were in-hand, he mentioned that “The Walter Egan Band” would be the special guest. Who? I kept real close tabs on the music scene and I had never heard of Walter Egan. Oh well, another opening act to ignore.
As much as I was looking forward to seeing the Harum in an intimate club, I was not looking forward to sitting through an opening set from some unknown entity. In the words of Allen Iverson, “We’re talking about Procol Harum!” The Egan Band was introduced, Walter, a youngish-looking thirtysomething year-old stepped to the microphone and said “We’re the Walter Egan Band, hope you like us.” If my typical sarcasm was in work mode, I’m sure I said something to the tune of “we don’t.” From the very first note of the first song, “Only the Lucky” we were treated to a fabulously fun performance. Since Egan had just released his debut LP, “Fundamental Roll,” the band played the record in its entirety, along with a few gems from an album that wouldn’t be out for a year. As soon as I returned to LA I bought the album, promoted it to whoever would listen, and was first in line when a LA show went on sale. You may remember Egan had the successful Top 10 hit “Magnet & Steel.” From the San Francisco show I knew of Egan a good year before Magnet hit the airwaves.