Stories behind memorable albums of the 1970s as told by the artists

Month: October 2015

Ringo very good at being Ringo – and at getting by with a little help from his All-Starr friends

Before the show Friday night at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia, people were gravitating toward the stage to take pictures of Ringo Starr’s drum set.

It was the day before Halloween, but the only sign of that was a jack-o-lantern that was sitting on the riser alongside the drum set. On the pumpkin was an image of Ringo. I recognized it right away. It was the way Ringo was drawn for the Beatles Saturday morning cartoon series that ran on ABC from 1965 through 1969. It was one of my favorite cartoons as a kid and I watched it every Saturday.

The image on the pumpkin immediately reminded me of my childhood and a much simpler time. And it reminded me that it’s pretty universally agreed upon now that Ringo was in a pretty good band in the 1960s, a band that was big enough to have its own Saturday … Read more

A minute and 10 seconds with Dionne Warwick . . . thanks to The Geator

You gotta love Jerry Blavat, the iconic Philadelphia radio and television personality. The Geator with the Heater knows how to work a room. He has a great sense of style and a big smile that lasts a while.

Plus, he’s got a memory for faces. In particular, my face.

That’s how I got to meet Dionne Warwick. Jerry recognized my face and made the introduction.

The Boss With the Hot Sauce and Ms. Warwick were among the stars who attended the Philadelphia Music Alliance’s 2015 Walk of Fame gala Oct. 26 at the Fillmore Philadelphia, the city’s newest music venue.

The honorees this year included the late, great jazz singer Billie Holiday; The Roots, the band for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon; The Trammps, of “Disco Inferno” fame; Ray Benson, founder of the Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel; Andrea McArdle, Broadway’s original “Annie”; 1980s glam metal and … Read more

‘Sixties Spectacular’ show: Something tells me I’m into something good

A few songs into their set, “Yo” Vinny – the frontman and lead singer for The Bronx Wanderers – answered the question that many in the audience likely had been thinking: How do I get these kids to play songs from the 1960s?

On the surface, it seemed like a legitimate question. The Bronx Wanderers opened the “Sixties Spectacular” show Oct. 10 at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, N.J., that featured Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Jay and The Americans and Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits.

“Yo” Vinny – the elder statesman of the band – has surrounded himself with a group of twenty something musicians that includes his sons, Vin A. “The Kid” and Nicky “Stix,” and some of their friends. The group covers songs by Dion and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

The way he got the “kids” to play the classic ’60s songs, he … Read more

Hall & Oates christen new Philadelphia Fillmore in true Philly style

The reality of a Hall & Oates show for me is this: Daryl and John could come out on stage, stand on their heads and play polka music on accordions and I’d be happy with it.

For the record, there is no accordion in the H&O band. This is probably a good thing, although I have no doubt that Charlie DeChant could play one if asked. (But for a moment, just ponder what “Kiss on My List” might sound like on an accordion. Or . . . maybe not.)

So this will not be an unbiased report on the opening show of the new Philadelphia Fillmore concert venue, which starred Philly’s own Hall & Oates, on Thursday, Oct. 1.

The original Fillmore was an iconic venue in San Francisco in the late 1960s that became the focal point of the psychedelic music scene of that era. Back in the day, … Read more

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