Friday, June 17, 2011

The Buckinghams (Part 3)

Wrapping things up today, we share a few thoughts and memories from original Buckinghams Lead Singer Dennis Tufano:

Hey Kent!

Here's a little thing I like to call:

The Buckinghams - The Beginning (1965-1970)  “Debunking the myths”

In the beginning, drummer John Poulos personally recruited the band members ... first myself and George LeGros, to be the singers in his new band, The Pulsations. John and I then added Carl Giammarese and Curtis Bachman from the band The Centuries, with whom Nick Fortuna played rhythm guitar.

“All Time Hits”, the WGN TV show, spawned the newly named band, “The Buckinghams”.

Members at that time were: John Poulos - drums, Curtis Bachman - bass, Carl Giammarese - guitar, Dennis Micolis - keyboards, Dennis Tufano - vocals, and George LeGros - vocals.

George LeGros was drafted into military service and had to leave the band. This left me, Dennis Tufano, to step into “lead vocals”.

Later ... after the All Time Hits Show ... Nick became a “Buckingham” as bass guitarist on the Kind Of A Drag album.  After the release of Kind Of A Drag,  John Poulos and myself enlisted Marty Grebb from The Exceptions, whose bass guitarist was Peter Cetera, soon to be a member of the group CTA / CHICAGO.

Now The Buckinghams were: John Poulos - Drums, Nick Fortuna - Bass, Carl Giammarese - guitar, Marty Grebb - guitar / keyboards / sax, Dennis Tufano - lead vocals / harmonica.

The Buckinghams officially disbanded in 1970 just after Marty Grebb left to play with Leon Russell. Carl and I recorded three albums with Lou Adler’s Ode Records from 1972 - 1976 as Tufano & Giammarese and The Tufano & Giammarese Band.

In 1980, just after the passing of John Poulos, WLS radio asked us to have a reunion for Chicagofest and we played a number of  “reunion” shows for the next year. To answer the pressing question, “Why did Dennis leave the band?” – I never “left” the band ... the band was officially dissolved in 1970 and we only got back together in 1980 for the Chicagofest Reunion shows and not as a permanent re-packaging of the original band!

Due to the amazing response at these concerts, Carl and Nick felt that we could put the band back together and be The Buckinghams again. I was already working as a solo act both in music and acting and living in Los Angeles, so I wasn’t available at this time. Respectfully declining to reunite, I gave them my blessing to go forward and be the band. Even though we all shared trademark ownership of the name, and due to the fact that I didn’t choose to use the name, "The Buckinghams”, Carl and Nick by “using” the name have legal ownership of the name and I admire the great work they’ve done through the years.

Today, we all do our own thing and continue to perform, Carl and Nick as “The Buckinghams” and myself as “Dennis Tufano, the original voice of The Buckinghams”.

Marty Grebb has been successful working with many artists including Bonnie Raitt, Leon Russell, The Band, Eric Clapton, to name a few.

Just a note: There are times when a promoter will use the “billing” of Dennis Tufano of the Buckinghams ... this is just an Historical Connection and a Factual Relationship to the said trademark. It does not mean I’m “in the band”. To avoid any confusion, I am not, in any way, associated with Carl and Nick’s version of the band. I am a solo artist performing in many shows including a tribute to Bobby Darin and Classic Rock shows. 

What a blessing to have both longtime and new fans that support all of our work.  We are truly living the dream!!!!

Thank you all for listening and allowing us the opportunity to do what we love.

Many thanks to our families, Carl Bonafede, Dan Belloc, Jim Holvay, Gary Beisber and The City of Chicago.
And thank you, Kent, for keeping the music alive in our hearts and minds and most definitely in our ears.
Dennis Tufano

So there you have it, folks ... thanks to a couple of GREAT guys for helping us set the record straight once and for all.

Check out Dennis Tufano Live here:
July 8, 2011
Dennis Tufano, Sonny Geraci
Outdoor Festival
Follansbee, W.Va.

July 12, 2011
Dennis Tufano and The Cryan Shames
The Village Green
Elk Grove Village, Ill., 7:30 p.m. Free.

July 20 - 25; July 28 - 31, 2011
Dennis Tufano, Gary Lewis and The Playboys
Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas, Nev.

August 17, 2011
Dennis Tufano
River Raisin Center
Monroe, Mich., 7 p.m.

August 18, 2011
Dennis Tufano
Berkley High School
Berkley, Mich.

October 14, 2011
Dennis Tufano and Sonny Geraci
Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Show
C-Tec Career & Tech Center, 
Newark, Ohio

December 11, 2011
Dennis Tufano, Jay and the Americans
Irvington Town Hall Theater, 
Irvington, N.Y., 
7:30 p.m.

More details on the website: