Friday, August 7, 2009

California '66 Concert, WPKN, in Fairfield, CT

California '66 Concert, WPKN, in Fairfield, CT
by Lauren Traub Teton

August 6, 2009 at the Regina A. Quick Center was the summer night for a three band flashback to the early rock music of the 1960s. This was a fund-raiser for WPKN Radio with tickets priced appropriately at $66. And the second stop of a quick August 18-stop tour called "California '66 Revue" that was to include Love, and Sky Saxon, who unfortunately died on the same day as Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. The Electric Prunes were on the tour, but are now only playing this one show. I guess all you need (or will get) is Love on this tour. The website says another band will be added to the tour.

Blues Magoos opened the show and original member Peppy Castro quipped onstage that one of their next gigs will be their fifth one in 42 years for this 2-hit wonder band. He explained how one of their early hits "Pipe Dream" was considered "too psychedelic" for mainstream radio and was pulled from the airwaves during it's climb up the charts back when he was 17. Original band member Ralph Scala was on keyboards, and Peppy's son Jesse played drums. The band sounded amazingly tight and riffed into some subtle techno beats. Castro has kept busy all these years writing songs for the likes of Cher, and playing in the bands Balance and currently Barnaby Bye. Three members of the audience danced like crazy. The rest wanted to but apparently dared not leave their seats. Pig Light Show of Fillmore fame added delicious lighting effects for the trip. Many Twifties, that is the fun people around and over 50 were in evidence, some resplendent in period garb. The audience was 2 to 1 male to female.

Love, the band played a profound set of their seminal music, much of it written by the late band founder Arthur Lee, who was way ahead of his time. Which can be difficult. The original band members are gone except Johnny Echols, and the band Baby Lemondade has been taking their place and toured with founder Arthur Lee from 1993 to 2005. The lead singer does a credible sound-alike for Arthur Lee's smooth vocals. Who knew that their set opener and hit "My Little Red Book" was a Burt Bacharach song that was first recorded by Manfred Mann for the film "What's New, Pussycat?"

A slideshow homage to the recently deceased musician Sky Saxon of the Seeds (who was originally on the roster) was put on by the closing act, The Electric Prunes. They dressed the part of a psychedelic band and the Theramin was cool, but unlike Blues Magoos, they didn't sound like they play together every week. And they like it LOUD! Earplugs are always a good idea to have in your pocket at any music event.

See the video!
Meet Twifties who were at this show!

1 comment:

PigLightShow said...

Lauren, sorry to have missed you but although musicians play just one set each, light shows go the whole night. Great video by the way!