Happy Together Tour; Keswick Theater Glenside, PA 6/22/16

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Happy Together Tour; Keswick Theater Glenside, PA 6/22/16

Postby jimmy19029 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:55 am

One of the current mainstays of summer is the Happy Together Tour, originally started by Flo & Eddie of The Turtles back in 1984 and re-staged again the following year before taking a hiatus until 2010, with The Turtles and the various other 60s era acts turning up in other 60s nostalgia fests, like "Super 60s" or "Hippie Fest" in the interim.

I had caught the original 1984 jaunt and some of the other packages but this was my first Happy Together since that very first one. Since I had never seen Mark Lindsay or The Cowsills, last year's and this year's bill were proving very tempting indeed.

Each band was allotted 20 minutes (except Flo & Eddie, who were allowed a few minutes more, since they were the headliners as The Turtles).

Billy J. Kramer, the former front man of The Dakotas, one of the many groups to emerge during "The British Invasion" touched off by The Beatles, was first out at 7:35 and I was familiar with his few hits, like "Bad To Me" and "Little Children". Plus, he reminded us that "Bad to Me" had been written for him by John Lennon and the "b" side of that single, "I Call Your Name", was also Lennon/McCartney penned. Billy acquitted himself nicely, though at age 72 his voice is not quite as smooth as it was at 22. Several of the people sitting behind me had never heard of him and thought he might've been in the Dave Clark Five, since he ended with their hit "Glad All Over".


I Call Your Name
I'll Keep Your Satisfied
From a Window
Little Children
Bad to Me
Glad All Over


Next out were The Cowsills and this was a real treat since I first recalled hearing them sing "Indian Lake" on my Uncle Jack's car radio when I was 9 and had always loved their vocal harmonies. They didn't disappoint either and showed they have lost NOTHING as far as their singing goes, despite having lost brothers Bill and Barry and their mother Barbara (their other brother, John, is still alive but now a member of The Beach Boys). And they (and all the others) were flawlessly supported by the Happy Together Band of Godfrey Townsend (guitar, backing vocals), Steve Murphy (drums, backing vocals), John Montagna (bass, backing vocals) and Manny Focarazzo (keyboards, synths, backing vocals). And Bob, Paul & Susan regaled us with stories of the Ed Sullivan Show and how they'd had 10 appearances booked but were cut back to 2 after their father got into a fight with Ed's son-in-law, one of the big movers on the show. Plus, they'd almost passed on putting 'Indian Lake" out since Bill & Bob, the 2 oldest of the group, didn't like it. Only after Beach Boy Brian Wilson told them how much he loved it did they reconsider. 'Yes, we were the original inspiration for the Partridge Family, yes we were seen by the TV people, yes they passed on us cause we were gawky and had pimples, or something...." laughed Bob. "But we recorded another TV theme...PLAYBOY AFTER DARK...No, we were on that but here is the theme we recorded..." The group then launched into the Love American Style intro theme. The trio told us they had been waiting for years to get on the Happy Together Tour and it FINALLY came to pass a few years ago. They then ended with the "Hair" theme and I was again 10 years old listening to my transistor radio and running over to my mother telling her I wanted to grow my hair...just like in the song.....


The Rain, the Park and Other Things
We Can Fly
Indian Lake
Love American Style
Hair


I had first caught Gary Puckett on the very first Happy Together Tour in '84 and he's been a frequent performer on here since. Back then he'd lowered the keys of all of the songs to better hit the high notes but now he was having a bit of trouble with the low notes too. But still enjoyable to see as I also recall hearing him on my little radio and liking his songs. He even came out in his Civil War Union style jacket that he and the others in his group, The Union Gap, used to wear. 'And I'm amazed it still fits me"! Gary laughed. He dedicated his set to all U.S. Vets. After Gary's set there was a 20 minute intermission until the show was back on again at 8:55.


Lady Willpower
Over You
This Girl is a Woman Now
Woman, Woman
Young Girl


Much better was former Paul Revere & the Raiders front man Mark Lindsay, who put on his military jacket too...from the American Revolution and could still move around pretty well and do the shuffle kicks. His voice was alot stronger than Billy's & Gary's too, even though he's about the same age...72/73....He joked that one time he tried to wish himself back into the 60s by closing his eyes and...it didn't work...but then one day he woke up and it DID! "Wait a minute", he screamed. "I'm not in THE 60s! I'm in MY 60s"! He introduced 1971's "Indian Reservation" saying it was the fastest selling single in the history of Columbia....till...some twerp named Michael Jackson put out "Billie Jean". He then demonstrated his version of the Moonwalk....on his hands and feet....It was nice to hear one of his solo hits, "Arizona", though I was sorry that he dropped my favorite, "Hungry".


Kicks intro/
Steppin' Out
Just Like Me
Arizona
Good Thing
Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)
Kicks


And NOW for the highlight of the evening! CHUCK NEGRON...formerly of Three Dog Night. This man, despite all of his infamous personal & drug troubles over the years, and ALSO being 73 years of age, has lost NOTHING in vocal power! And seeing him just take command of the stage and turn the Happy Together Band into Three Dog Night was an amazing sight to see! The guys looked really whipped up and ready, as if this was the segment they'd been waiting for all night and just WAILED...perfectly nailing down all instrumental & vocal parts as Chuck sang his leads and Danny's & Cory's too. He mentioned all original Three Dog Nighters by name and thanked them for creating all of this wonderful music. I'd like to see Chuck & Mark Lindsay do longer sets. He was much too brief!


Shambala
Celebrate
Eli's Coming
One
Joy to the World

And no Happy Together Tour would be complete without the antics of Flo & Eddie. As always, they started off their set with a goof on a current, more popular artist. In this case it was Mark in a wig and holding a fan while lip-syncing to Adele's "Hello", until Howard scolded him for making them look bad...that is until he moved in front of the fan and caught "the magic power of the wind" and started into "She'd Rather Be With Me". Howard, who was seated the entire show for some reason, regaled us "Keswickians" of tales old and new. He even sounded a bit better than he has in past shows, though he'll never quite be the amazing voice he was back when. After Mark, who was speaking with a bit of a rasp, told us of his recent Cancer operation in April, we were all worried and sighed...but then Howard made us all cheer when he said Mark was now totally cancer free and implored us all to get checked to catch anything before it gets too aggressive.


She'd Rather Be With Me
You Baby
It Ain't Me, Babe
Peaches en Regalia
Eleanor
Happy Together


Then after everyone returned to the stage for the grand finale/goodbyes and a happy birthday to Howard, it was all over by 10:15. Howard said this was because THEY were now all OLD too and had to get home to take their medications by 10:30.
jimmy19029
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