Before he became a throwback rock star, Chris Isaak fought as an amateur boxer while attending college in Japan. Homesick, he wandered into a record shop and found a reprint of Elvis Presley’s Sun Sessions. He stared at the pompadoured image on the cover and decided then and there he was going to grow out his flattop. When his trainer said no, Isaak cut a deal with him: What if he cut his hair when he lost a fight? He never lost again.
Three decades later, Isaak has released 10 studio albums, focusing on original music with an eye toward rock 'n' roll's formative days. His latest album, Beyond the Sun, is a tribute to the music Sam Phillips nurtured at the little Memphis recording studio called Sun, where Elvis, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash all got their start, and where Isaak got his inspiration. Beyond the Sun features Isaak and his band tackling Elvis ("It's Now or Never," "I Forgot to Remember to Forget"), Cash ("Ring of Fire," "I Walk the Line") and Jerry Lee Lewis ("Great Balls of Fire"), among other greats. The sessions were recorded, naturally, at Sun, which still operates as a working recording studio while doubling as a national landmark. They cut the tracks live, with the band members in the room together.
Ranked #68 on VH1’s 100 Sexiest Artists, the Grammy-nominated Isaak has enjoyed a second life on screen, appearing in the films Married To The Mob, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Silence Of The Lambs, and That Thing You Do! Plus, the hit TV show Friends, the HBO miniseries From The Earth To The Moon, his own acclaimed Showtime series The Chris Isaak Show (2001-2004), and The Chris Isaak Hour, a music interview series he hosted in 2009 on the Biography Channel.
Doors open at 6 p.m. Celebrity Theatre is conveniently located just 4 blocks south of the Loop 202 freeway, at 440 N. 32nd St., in Phoenix.cost
440 N. 32nd St. Phoenix, AZ