KKFM Chili Cook-Off '93

9 June 1993

Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO


Every year, Colorado Springs classic rock station 98.1 KKFM hosts a summer concert in conjunction with the Colorado Chili Cook-Off. In essence, while bands perform on a large makeshift stage that breaks the wind of Summer in Colorado Springs, several novice chefs competitively fill the air with their unique recipes of chili.

This year, KKFM held the festivities at the United States Olympic Training Center, on grounds that used to belong to the now-closed Ent Air Force Base.

This year's band was Boulder, Colorado's own Firefall. The original lineup of this Platinum soft rock band had a decent, long streak of hits from 1975-1980. Unfortunately, the lead singer, Rick Roberts, had to depart the band because of severe personal problems with chemical addictions. Similar fate hit drummer Michael Clarke (who also was a founding member of the Byrds). Bassist Mark Andes went on to join Heart for a string of multi-million selling albums in the 1980s. The lone original member still touring with the band under the Firefall banner is lead guitarist Jock Bartley, who now also shares lead vocal duties with other band members.

Though the band lost authenticity from the moment it hit the stage because its lack of original members, Firefall nonetheless pleased the crowd by comprehensively covering their hit catalog: "Just Remember I Love You", "It Doesn't Matter", "Livin' Ain't Livin'", "Strange Way", and, of course, "You Are The Woman".

During the show, I sampled small portions of several chili recipes. I don't think any one aspect of this year's Chili Cook-Off struck me as overwhelming. However, the combination of decent music, decent food, and excellent Colorado Summer sunshine made for a great Saturday.

[***] - Steven T.

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