Friday, June 4, 2010

The Happy Together Tour

Believe it or not, one of the hottest concert tickets out there right now is for the "Happy Together Again" tour featuring The Buckinghams, Rob Grill and the Grass Roots, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, Mark Lindsay (former lead singer of Paul Revere and the Raiders) and Flo and Eddie (aka The Turtles).

They've been playing to sold out theaters all over the country ... in fact, tonight they'll be appearing at The Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

FH Reader Gary Renfield (of R.I.P. Renfield fame) sent us this local newspaper clipping from Memorial Day ... great press (other than the fact that the journalist got several of the facts wrong!!!) First of all, the photo caption mis-identifies Carl Giammarese, who reporter Mark Voger interviewed for the piece. (How do you spend time interviewing somebody and then NOT know which guy in the band he is?!?! Especially the FRONT man of the band!!! For the record, that's Bob Abrams holding the guitar ... who isn't even part of the Happy Together Again Tour!) It also incorrectly credits Carl with editing in the psychedelic interlude found in their hit single "Susan" ... ALSO not true. Due to a badly worded sentence, it's all but lost on the reader that it was producer James Williams Guercio who made that call ... to the complete surprise of the entire band. (Oh well, thank God there are oldies publications out there like Forgotten Hits to continue to set these stories straight!!! lol)

(click to enlarge photo)

This was in the Newark, NJ Star Ledger on Memorial Day ... May 31

The theater is a really beautiful place ... they do tons of shows ... The Buckinghams and the rest of the bunch are theer this Friday


I was able to ask a couple of the performers about how the tour was going so far ... we've heard nothing but positive response from our readers ... unfortunately, they're not passing through Chicago this time around ... but there are still plenty of dates left, giving our readers a great opportunity to see some '60's music legends live in concert.

Fri June 4 - The Paramount Theatre / Asbury Park, NJ
Sat June 5 - Theatre at Westbury / Westbury, NY
Sun June 6 - Tags Outdoor Theatre, The Summer Stage / Big Flats NY
Sat June 13 - Soboba Casino / San Jacinto CA

Tue July 20 - Keswick Theater / Glenside, PA
Wed July 21 - Paramount Center For The Arts / Peekskill, NY
Thu July 22 - Asser Levy Park, Coney Island / Brooklyn, NY
Fri July 23 - Meadowbrook Pavillion / Gilford, NH
Sat July 24 - Cape Cod Melody Tent / Hyannis, MA
Sun July 25 - South Shore Music Circus / Cohasset, MA
Wed July 28 - Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center / Atlanta, GA
Thur July 29 - Hard Rock Hotel and Casino / Hollywood, FL
Fri July 30 - Peabody Auditorium / Daytona Beach, FL
Sat July 31 - Ruth Eckerd Hall / Clearwater, FL

Sun Sept 26 - Los Angeles County Fair / Pomona, CA

(Note: All dates subject to change without notice)

From Carl Giammarese of The Buckinghams:

Hi Kent,

The Happy Together 25th anniversary tour has been fabulous! Sellout shows! The show has been so well received. We have played to packed houses and that's fabulous considering they are big venues ... outdoor amphitheatres along with some very nice old theatres, too, like the Fox in St.Louis. It's an experience Nick and I haven't had in a long time traveling on a tour bus. Try sleeping, ha ha. I must say it is a very well run tour. I think everyone on the tour is performing their hits with authenticity, but what's really great to see is the wonderful audience response. It's so much more than just performing the songs. It's the way we relate to our fans and bringing back the experience of the late 60's.

Nick and I had the opportunity to travel one day with Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan by car. What would you think those zany guys listen to on the car CD player? Hendrix? Zappa? NO, Frank Sinatra, yes Sinatra. It has been a pleasure getting to know Mark Lindsay and Micky Dolenz, too ... what great, talented people they are.

I can give you an update again later on.


From Howard Kaylan of The Turtles:

Hiya Kent;

Things are really wonderful out here this summer for the Happy Together Tour's 25th Anniversary Celebration. We've got Mickey Dolenz out with the Turtles this year as well as Mark Lindsay, The Grass Roots and the Buckinghams ... Wonderful crowds, beautiful theaters, and -- as long as we can keep the rain away -- the best summer tour ever!

We just left the midwest and are now in Connecticut. Tonight we make our way to Asbury Park, where I'm absolutely certain the the ghost of Bruce Springsteen will be joining us onstage ... probably looking a lot like Mark Volman ... in a now-famous purple jacket!

Then it's Westbury for our annual visit. We actually take a break for a few weeks afterwards and resume mid-July to start up again back in the Northeast and ending up in Florida where all good tours reach their conclusion.

If you're sixties music fans, or just want to turn your children on to the great hits that you experienced while growing up, I guarantee you'll get a lot of bang for your buck out here with us this summer.

I'll report again in a couple of weeks as our second leg begins.

Thanks to all our fans for their continued support ... Oh, and let us know who you'd like to see on NEXT year's Happy Together Tour at

Thanks, everyone.

Howard Kaylan

"Luck favors the prepared mind."

We also received a couple of concert reviews from two of our readers who caught the current "Happy Together Again" tour in Omaha this past week.
Ironically, these folks turned in nearly identical reviews. (Man, now I wanna see Mark Lindsay again!!! Sounds like he's been the highlight of the show!)
Read on:

Last night we went and saw the "Happy Together Tour", 25th Anniversary in Omaha. I had made it to the first tour back in 1985, which featured several of the groups that played last night also. Last night's show had two of the founding members of the Buckinghams, Mark Lindsay, Rob Grill of the Grass Roots, Micky Dolenz, and finally Flo & Eddie of the Turtles. Over all it was a pretty decent show with good backing bands helping these artists with the 60's sound.
The Buckinghams sounded better than great, like right off the original 45's. Nice touch also is that they did several other songs from the Soul Survivors and Brooklyn Bridge perfectly.
Top performance in both my wife's and my eyes was by Mark Lindsay. He still can sing and move great for a 68 yr old.
Low point of the show was by Rob Grill. Wasn't aware he was suffering from some sort of physical problem. He really never did sing, but more so shouted out the words to the songs as the music played. He never left a chair the entire performance and was helped on and off the stage.
Micky Dolenz did acceptable job. I've never felt he was the greatest singer in the world to start with and the Monkees benefited from some great songs by some great song writers to boost their popularity along with a TV show, which didn't hurt at the time.
Flo & Eddie (The Turtles) were good but I felt they were lacking a bit. Songs sung were almost secondary to the banter they felt they had to do.
I would gladly play the full price of tickets to just have seen both the Buckinghams and Mark Lindsay full shows. I would say catch the show if in your area.

I thought your readers might enjoy the review of the Happy Together tour my brother went to a couple nights ago in Omaha. I couldn't make it, but here's his review:
The Buckinghams: Rating: Good ... Performed their 67-68 hits plus a nice rendition of "The Worst That Could Happen". Definitely got the crowd involved starting with "Don't You Care", getting the crowd chanting "I Love You, Yes I Do, I Do." during "Susan". Finisher was "Kind of a Drag" and they really rocked it out to the end.

Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and The Raiders: Rating: Excellent ... Mark came out with a bright shirt and sunglasses ready to rock! He opened with a medley of "Too Much Talk" and "Just Like Me". He rocked to "Louie, Louie" before hitting his only solo effort with a terrific rendition of "Arizona". I loved it, but couldn't help but wish he would've done "Silver Bird" and "Been Too Long on The Road". Next was "Indian Reservation", which was really missing something without any strings. It was still great to hear him sing it live. He bounced on into "Hungry" and a rocked out version of "Good Thing" with some super guitar work by the band. He talked about dressing in the ruffled shirt and tri-pointed hats and a video was shown in the background which was fun to see. Mark finished telling us how much he loved the 60s and then one day he woke up and found himself in the 60s again! (age), but he was still loving to get his "Kicks". Mark was someone I've always wanted to see and he didn't disappoint me. For my money, he made the concert.
The Grass Roots featuring Rob Grill: Rating: Fair ... Well, Mark Lindsay was a tough act to follow and Rob Grill certainly wasn't up to it. I'm certainly glad I saw the Grass Roots twice before so I could remember better days for Rob. He has apparently has had four hip replacement surgeries and deals with a lot of pain, so he was seated on a stool for the entire gig. Lead Guitarist Dusty Hanvey provided ample support and stepped up when needed with excellent vocals.Rob started with "Heaven Knows" and his choices included "Let's Live For Today"; "Sooner or Later"; "Temptation Eyes"; "I'd Wait A Million Years"; and finished with "Midnight Confessions". He seemed in a hurry to finish and was glad when it was over.
A 15 minute break followed.
Micky Dolenz of The Monkees: Rating: Very Good ... Dolenz started with "That Was Then, This is Now" -- not one of my favorites. He handled "Pleasant Valley Sunday"; "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You"; and "Last Train To Clarksville" with ease. Next he talked about how great it was for them to play with Jimi Hendrix who opened for their first tour. Micky did a terrific rendition of "Purple Haze" with some outstanding guitar work. He stopped in the middle of the song to explain how Hendrix had to put up with Monkee fans yelling "We want Davy!" chants after every song! Given how big Hendrix music has become, it seems so ridiculous today. I was hoping he would move into one of the more psychedelic hits like "Words" or "Take A Giant Step", but instead he moved on to a rockin' rendition of "I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone". About five bars into the song, Mark Lindsay stormed onto the stage to stop the music, charging Dolenz with stealing the Raiders song. Dolenz admited it was true and invited Lindsay to join him in playing "The Monkees Hit" song! Mark grabbed a tambourine and the two of them did an awesome job sharing their "hit". Dolenz fumbled around, admitting Davy Jones sang the lead on "Daydream Believer". Dolenz gave ample credit deservedly to the many excellent songwriters that made the Monkees songs great. He finished by telling the "kids" in the audience that he did the following song before any had ever heard of Shrek! A nice rounded out production of "I'm A Believer" followed. As expected Micky was very entertaining and a lot of fun!
The Turtles: Rating: Very Good ... These guys are clearly young at heart. Opening with "You Baby", the crowd was immediately involved in the singing. Lots of showmanship followed with hits mixed in: "She'd Rather Be With Me"; "It Ain't Me, Babe"; "Elenore" and "You Showed Me". The guys did a fun parody of Bruce Springsteen, making fun of his poor choice of words and incoherent ramblings at concerts and in his songs. They also had some fun with Doors songs, played with skill by the band and there was even a little Iron Butterfly mixed in. Unfortunately they left out "She's My Girl" or they would've gotten an excellent rating. The Turtles still sound great. The concert finished with "Happy Together" and there was a CD signing session by the artists.
Overall: Very Good ... The place was a great concert venue with excellent acoustics, but many upper seats were unsold with tickets at $35 and $45 on the main floor. It's a good time, but keep your expectations reasonable if you go.
Clark Besch

Having seen ALL of these artists many times over the past several years, this is one heck of a bill for an oldies show. Too bad about Rob Grill, but I've heard that he is in a tremendous amount of pain. (Readers have written in over the past few years about Sonny Geraci of The Outsiders doing a number of Grass Roots shows in Rob's absence when he was physically unable to perform.) Micky, The Bucks and The Turtles are ALWAYS entertaining in concert ... and it sounds like Mark Lindsay has come a LONG way in embracing his past again. A real plus is hearing that the artists are having as much fun as the fans! Sounds like a show well worth seeing if it comes to your area. Thanks, Guys! (kk)

A few more fan reviews:

Carl and Nick from the Buckinghams absolutely rocked at the Dodge Theater in Phoenix as part of the new Happy Together tour. They clearly had the best vocals and polished performance. Nice job, too, by Mark Lindsay, Micky Dolenz and the Turtles. The meet and greet line after the concert was LONG! Looking forward to seeing the Bucks again soon!

Rob Grill is in a lot of pain. I believe he's on his fourth hip replacement and the fact that he chooses to go out and perform at all is a real plus for all the Grass Roots fans out there. It's great to see him as part of a sensational line-up of artists - all of these guys provided the soundtrack of the '60's and their music lives on through oldies radio to this day. It's all feel-good music and this concert brought out the teenager in each and every one of us. In fact, you might not believe just how many teenagers - and younger - kids were in the audience, singing right along with every word. (Obviously, as CSN might say, these parents have taught their children well!)


I was VERY pleased with what I saw at The Happy Together Tour this year - what a lineup! Biggest surprise of all? Mark Lindsay - he literally stole the show. (Having seen Mark perform as part of a similar bill a few years back I can only tell you that this is a complete turn-around from that performance where he came out, sang four songs and looked as though he couldn't wait to get off the stage!) All of the acts were good - lots of energy for a group of performers who came from the '60's ... and are now IN their '60's!!! Highly recommended to all oldies fans everywhere - if this show is coming to a theater anywhere near you, check it out - you will not be disappointed.


A quick look at the schedule above shows you that this is a pretty hectic pace ... in some cases, the guys are performing as many as 5, 6 or 7 shows a week ... and each one in a different town. That's a rough schedule for a 25 year old, let alone these seasoned veterans. (Check out Carl Giammarese's comment above about traveling on a tour bus again ... I can't even IMAGINE!!!) But they seem to be lovin' it ... and so is the audience ... so thanks, guys, for helping to keep this great music alive. Between The Buckinghams, The Grass Roots, Paul Revere and the Raiders (plus Mark Lindsay's solo hits), Micky Dolenz with The Monkees and The Turtles, these artists account for nearly SIXTY Top 40 Hits of the '60's ... a stellar line-up indeed! (kk)

I did like the overall show of the Happy Together, Mark Lindsey is what carried it. Though I was not Happy when I did not see the Buckinghams as a Band. Carl and Nick did a good job, but I was expecting to see and hear the well rounded sound and antics of the band. Is this gong to be the norm? I hope the band we know isnt really gone and that this is just a "Happy" thing.
Jim Krupa

For the record, the band is still intact and has several more concert appearances coming up this year with the full band members on board. (The Buckinghams recently changed drummers after Tom Scheckel, a 27-year Buckinghams veteran joined Paul Revere and the Raiders ... the version WITHOUT Mark Lindsay ... down in Branson.) The rest of the band remains intact. A special all-purpose back-up band was put together for The Happy Together Tour, allowing the pace of the show to move a little quicker ... now the singers just come out and join the band when performing their hits. With Carl and Nick being the two remaining original members of The Bucks, the decision was made to have these two perform this series of dates.

For individual tour schedules (and all the latest news) be sure to visit these websites:

Click here:
Click here: The Buckinghams - Home Page
Click here: Mark Lindsay, Former Lead Singer of Paul Revere & the Raiders
Click here: MickyDolenz.Com

Click here: - Rock Vocalist, Songwriter & Bass Guitar Legend - Rob Grill - The Grass Roots!