Classic Rock Couple Covers Four Defining Decades
You can tell when someone is from Las Vegas when certain gambling synonyms fall from their lips with the ease of a blackjack dealer flipping over cards. Case in point and a personal favorite is, “Now, that’s a pair to draw to!”
The pair in this case is Stefani Savage and Rocky Jackson: two transplants to Las Vegas who each ended a self-imposed hiatus from music when they serendipitously met at an open mic night at The Cellar Lounge on West Sahara last year. The end result of that meeting is the talented rock duo: STEFnROCK.
Stefani Savage grew up in a home where music was everywhere, she says. Her sister, her stepfather’s brother and his friends were all musicians. “There were always musicians at our house with guitars, flutes, and banjos. It was like the whole church folk mass thing.”
There is a genetic musical strain in Savage’s background too. “My father, who I haven’t seen since I was three months old, was a song writer and acoustic guitar player. When I was little I wanted to do Broadway. I loved (the musical) ‘A Chorus Line’. I used to walk around the house singing songs from it. But I couldn’t dance. I wasn’t the skinny dancer type.”
Savage got her first guitar at the age of five. Her first paying gig was at a high school dance. In the 80’s she played in her hometown of Hollywood at the Troubadour and The Whiskey A Go-Go. She also once sang the national anthem at Dodger Stadium.
A move to Las Vegas in 1999 with her (then) husband put an end to the music career. Savage put away the guitar and became a blackjack dealer. “It was okay, but I’d rather have been playing music.”
A decade later, at a friend’s urging, Savage dusted off her guitar. “I was pretty unhappy at the time. I decided to find a band.” Then another friend suggested Savage try open mic venues instead. Three was the charm: Savage met Rocky Jackson at The Cellar on her third night out.
Rocky Jackson was raised in Los Angeles by his stepfather. Jackson got his first guitar at the age of twelve. “It was one of those cheap ones from Tijuana,” he says. “My (step) dad bought me one after my mother died in 1968. I was always singing to records. Elvis was the big thing then.”
After graduating from high school, Jackson moved to Kansas to be near his family. “I didn’t know I could make a living at music. I knew a few chords and some oldies. I was in the right place and the right time, I guess. It was so easy out in the Midwest. I got into music and thirty years went by before I knew it.”
Jackson quit the Kansas music scene and moved to Las Vegas in 2007. He spent five years, he says, not touching a guitar or singing a note. “I spent those years not being in a relationship and without the music. Last year, I finally bought a guitar and started going to open mics.
“Coincidentally, the night I saw Stefani I was with one of my ex-wives. I was already packed and ready to move back to Kansas. It was destiny that saved me from going back to the Midwest and to a relationship I knew was wrong even back in the 80s. When Stefani came along, it changed everything.”
Call it destiny, Lady Luck, or Kismet, the parallels between the two musicians become more apparent as their story unfolds. It should come as no surprise that it wasn’t long before the rocking duo discovered they’d been living only a few houses apart on the same street for several years before they met on stage.
STEFnROCK are no longer doing open mic nights. They’ve played a number of private parties and intimate venues in and around Las Vegas including a Rick’s Restorations party, the Battle of the Bands at Club Fortune, John Cutter Grill & Tavern, Legends Tavern, the Chicken Ranch and the Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings. STEFnROCK are currently performing on Friday nights at *Tommy Rocker’s Southside Grill in Henderson from 9 p.m. until midnight.
With a combined repertoire that spans four decades of music; the 50s and 60s (Jackson) and the 70s and 80s (Savage), STEFnROCK makes a lot of music for just one duo. And it seems that as a couple, they are making magic. - Christine McKellar
For scheduled performances and to book events, please visit: http://www.stefnrock.com/
Like STEFnROCK on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/STEFNROCK*For more information and dark nights call: Tommy Rocker’s (702) 933-6333, 10050 S Eastern Ave #170 Henderson, NV