Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Benefit Concert For Marty Grebb

You've got us on pins and needles!
We've been waiting to hear all about Thursday's Chicago Rock Benefit Concert!When do you plan on running a review, photos, and videos of this historic event? 
It must have been an incredible night!
Tom Cuddy
It was ... and coverage starts today in Forgotten Hits! 

 All photos courtesy of Jack Mongan Photography for  
exclusive use in Forgotten Hits and Copyright 2015

Let's just say that we kept our word ...  

>>>I don't care WHEN you've seen The Buckinghams ... WHERE you've seen The Buckinghams ... or in what CONFIGURATION you've seen The Buckinghams ... you have NEVER seen The Buckinghams look and sound like this!!!  (kk)   

Here is some feedback from some of the fans (and musicians) who were there that night ...   

First up, Ron Onesti, who donated the use of his Arcada Theatre for the Marty Grebb Concert Fundraiser, sent this note out to all of the participants after the concert ended  Thursday Night ... and I just HAD to share it with you ...  

OH MY GOD!  What an honor to be a part of this project! Thank you all so much for honoring the Arcada with your presence!  You are all Hall of Famers, true legends, true talents, and true friends!  
Ron, I am SO proud to know you and of all you've done to help keep this great music alive ... and even prouder that you consider me to be your friend and part of The Arcada Family.  You've got one of the biggest hearts in the biz ... and it is always an honor to work with you. 
Happy Birthday ... Happy Anniversary ... and Thanks Again for all that you do.  (kk)

Y'know, back "in the day," these bands would even play high school dances!!  EVEN IN KANSAS!!!  With THE WHO as opening act, the feature band Buckinghams were the main event at KC's Shawnee Mission South High School auditorium dance in November, 1967.  Judging by Jimy Sohns comments today in FH, I assume the Kansas girls were all named "Susan" as the band's current hit was such too!  'HEY, Tufano, get away from my locker!"  
Clark Besch  

Steve Krakow of The Chicago Reader ran a neat little piece on Marty Grebb last week ... and gave us permission to include it today in Forgotten Hits ...

Check out Steve's website here:  http://www.plasticcrimewave.com/   

Hi Kent -  
Hope Marty Grebb's Concert will be available on DVD.  A great keepsake and more money to cover his medical bills.  Looking forward to the reviews!!  
We will keep you posted ... based on all the outpouring of love that we've seen since Thursday Night, I think there's a pretty good chance that all of the participating artists will agree to have this dvd made available to the public ... heck, they probably want it for their own personal video libraries, too!!!  (kk)  

I wish I could be there to help support this wonderful party for Marty. I think it's a wonderful gesture and a class act for all of these incredible entertainers and behind the scenes folks to take time from their hectic schedules to help one of their own. And, my friend, you deserve a LOT of credit for helping put this tribute and benefit together.  You are INDEED a Class act. May the night be a HUGE success, and may Marty get all the things he needs to get him back on the road to good health, and may his financial burdens be eased.  It just goes to show you that through all the terrible things happening in this world and in our country, that when good people are in need there's great humanity in all of us! 
Good luck tonight, God Bless, and Marty ... KEEP FIGHTING!!  
Pete Garrison ... aka peteysmoke   

Last night's show was a once in a lifetime opportunity that Lucy and I would not have been able to experience without your help.  Our seats were last row, center balcony, and they were the best seats in the house.  In fact, Tom Doody of The Cryan' Shames came right up to us as we were sitting in our seats and shook our hands during the intermission and thanked us for coming to the show.  It was great to see all of those bands playing together at one time.  To see Danny Seraphine playing drums for The Buckinghams was fantastic!  I'm a huge Chicago fan anyway and to hear their songs live was spectacular.  We would have paid three times that much to see that show. 
So thanks again for all of your help ... I encourage you to continue with your Forgotten Hits work and keep sending me the emails.  
Best regards and hope to see you next time - 
It was a once-in-a-lifetime event, not to be missed, so I'm glad you were able to see it (last minute as it was!!!  lol)  The place was jammed (complete sell out) and EVERYBODY went home satisfied ... what a GREAT night of music! 
And special props to The Chicago Experience ... I caught them at the rehearsal and they blew me away ... sounded even better live on stage.  We are DEFINITELY going to see them again.  (You can, too ... here's a link to their website and upcoming appearances): http://thechicagoexperience.com/   
If you live here locally, you are going to want to check these guys out for sure!  (kk)

I am truly grateful to have been part of this wonderful event for Marty. You guys shaped a generation with your music. Timeless songs, great melodies, meaningful lyrics. You influenced me as a musician. To actually be a part of this is humbling. 
God bless,
Steve Frost 

Hi Everyone! 
First of all, I would like to thank everyone responsible for including me in this magical event!!! It was so overwhelming to see so much Love and Talent. Marty is an incredible person and musician and I finally had the chance to not only to meet him but perform with him! I'm still pinching myself! LOL
Marty, I love ya brother!!!
Thank you all for giving your all to make this event successful. It was History in the making!
Dave Zane

Hello everyone, 
That magic night was a true blessing for all present and allowed both audience and players to experience  one of the true joys that life has to offer. 
When we share our power of being loving and compassionate human beings, we bless each other and make the world a better place to live for every being on the planet. 
That is the gift that Marty gave to us
Much love and muchos kudos to Chris for pulling us all together.  
Peace ad Ache!! (Gods's grace) to all, 
Rubén P. Alvarez

Hello guys!!!   
Let me say that being the only one on the stage that's not from Chicago (I live here now), I'm truly honored to take a small part in this legendary show.  I'm a fan of everyone that was on that stage and a fan of Chicago music.  Mary Grebb is one very talented individual ... I hope the night was a success for him.  Loads of talent on that stage.  Thank you all for letting me be a part of it!! 
Billy Sullivan

I, too, would like to express my thanks to everyone who went over the top to make this happen. It was a day we'll never forget. Marty, as you can see by the outpouring of efforts ... You are LOVED!
God Bless ...
Paul Wood
Cryan' Shames
The Chicago Experience   

Hi All,  
Mike and I just want to  say what an honor it was to be able to participate in such a great show for such a great cause.  First of all, Marty is a unbelievable talent and hopefully will be with us to keep giving us his music and to be able to share the stage with musicians that we have admired for so long.  Thanks for letting us share the experience. 
Cindy and Mike Gotshall   
Shadows of Knight

Dear Kent;
This is one of those nights where - body and soul - you just felt the magic. Your zest for the music that made the 60's so remarkable seems to ooze through your every pore.
You sorely wanted to turn back the hands, but you stopped, paused and recognized that the list of iconic Chicago rock Gods, gathered on one stage, provided a renewed hope that the music we sang and danced to at the Cellar, The New Place and the Wild Goose (Jeez, did Dex Card really know just how many "Goose" establishments he actually operated?) will somehow reemerge with a young band that will lay the blueprint for rock's next great chapter.
Till then, I will sit in amazement at what I saw this past Thursday at Ron Onesti's venerable Arcada Theater. The Arcada has hosted so many memorable shows during the "Onesti Era", but this given night was a night I truly wished all our F.H. buddies could have been in the house.
There was the engaging passion of a happy -go-lucky Ronnie Rice and the kick-ass funk of Jimmy Sohns, Chicago's original rock 'n roll bad boy.  Jimmy Peterik, a vision in purple (coiffure, glasses and jacket), and his Ides of March teammates made you recognize, once again, that "L.A. Goodbye" remains one of rock 'n roll's most under appreciated tunes.  Chicago's famous, fabulous Buckinghams tossed egos aside as they played with spirit and heart in honor of their drummer Mart Grebb.  Former Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine illustrated once again why he was the fulcrum that delivered a sound for an enduring band that remarkably has never been given a ticket to the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame.  The beloved Dick Biondi, 85 going on 15, made mention of the tragic omission of Chicago by the east coast elitists who have for years refused to recognize the vitality of the Midwest's multi-layered sounds.  There was horn section that burned rubber.  But, to be frank, here’s what really grabbed my heart and soul as I sat with my gal-pal Joanne just off stage.
I saw no jealousy, heard no snide remarks. I saw guys who've known each other nearly 50 years  cheering like the devil for each other. The sense of camaraderie was heartfelt and, quite frankly, amazing. The existing vibe was, "We're all in this together!"  Kudos to Denny Tufano and Ronnie O. for their yeoman work in putting this remarkable show together.  Ron, a guy who brings new meaning to the word "kindness", gave up his building to provide a fitting venue for this once-in-a lifetime show with proceeds earmarked to help the ailing Grebb deal with his ongoing physical ailments.  Perhaps, we will see this show again. Perhaps, it was meant to be a one night offering so delicious, so delectable that to try a repeat might somehow seem flawed.
Kent, I hope I've driven home the point. For a lifelong rock 'n roller who will never forget his days as "roadie" with the New Colony Six this was a slice of musical brilliance. An evening so ethereal, so magnetic, that if I live to be 90 the memory will still be colorfully vivid.  Jimmy Sohns, nailed it as he closed out "Gloria", when he barked in almost primal fashion about his trademark number, "I've been screaming it all my life … I been screamin' it everywhere."
Jimmy, keep on screamin' …. cuz, we're still digging you and all the rock 'n' roll royalty that gathered under one given roof for one night of indelible memories.
Chet Coppock:
Author: "Buffone: Monster of the Midway". Due in book stores July 25 

After much anticipation and hype, I am happy to say the Marty Grebb benefit concert last Thursday night at the Arcada Theatre, lived up to every bit of it and then some.   There was electricity in the air when we arrived early for what would be a once in a lifetime night for all.  The house was packed and we all settled in for a quick set by Ronnie Rice, lead singer of New Colony Six.  He got the party going and it never stopped.  When will we ever see these great Chicago icons in one room again:  the Cryan Shames, Ides of March, Jimy Sohns of the Shadows of Knight, and of course the Buckinghams.  Also, what a treat to have Danny Seraphine, formerly of the band Chicago, playing drums all night!   When he joined the Chicago Experience on Make Me Smile, with Marty Grebb on lead vocal, it was one of the highlights of the evening.  But there were many other highlights.  The Ides of March and Jim Peterik never sounded better.  The Cryan Shames harmonized on their greatest hits.  It was just one great moment after another, leading up to the group that everyone was waiting for.  Even Dick Biondi couldn't wait, so he introduced the Buckinghams an hour too early.  Oh well!  You gotta love him.  
How awesome to see the all the Buckinghams together again.  You could feel the love and excitement in the air.  I am a huge fan of Dennis Tufano and the enthusiasm and passion he brought to the show Thursday night was unmatched.  He was the driving force and organizer of the show and he orchestrated many emotional and heartwarming moments, the main being when he and Marty sang Mercy Mercy Mercy together at the organ.  The crowd was in tears.  
I first saw the Buckinghams at local sock hops on the northwest side of Chicago back in the 60s.  I don't think there are too many times in life that you get to recreate moments 45 years later.  Thursday night was one of those moments for me and it was surreal and wonderful.
I was happy to see first-hand the talent of Marty Grebb.  Amazing! 
The concert went on for nearly four hours, and I don't think anyone in the house wanted it to end.  No one was leaving and that says quite a bit since most of the crowd was easily over 60 and it was a Thursday night after all! 
On my drive home down North Avenue, I got another "moment".  Driving alongside me was none other than Ronnie Rice!  We rolled down our windows and gave a thumbs up to signal the end of a magical night! 
LOL ... I caught up with Ronnie in the parking lot, too!  EVERYBODY had a great time ... fans and musicians alike, as witnessed by the incredible testimonials listed below.  A night to remember for a long, long time to come. (kk) 

THANK YOU ALL ... each and every one of you that made this event utterly awesome and successful!!!  Early on in our formative years, all of us were competitive as we carved our way into Rock and Roll history ... .I now feel that we have come full circle! The amount of energy and LOVE coming off the stage last Thursday was truly amazing.
On behalf of the Shadows, Hawk, Billy Sullivan and that crazy good harp player Dennis Tufano, we want say how proud we are to have been in yet another moment of CHICAGO rock and roll history. 
Rock on Chicago ... Rock on Marty! 
Jimy Sohns

Yes, I agree,  it was an awesome night! Dennis and Chris did a wonderful job putting all that together, and they deserve much appreciation for their hard work.  It's no easy task to pull all that togethe,r but they did it!  Thank you, Ron Onesti, and all the great talent that came together to make this happen. Chicago produced some unbelievable talent back in the day, and I’m proud to be a part of it. I have to mention we have the most loyal and best fans in the world ... we couldn’t do it without their support. Everybody was so giving and made it a special evening for all!
God bless Marty ... we pray we can experience his exceptional talent for many years to come. 
Carl Giammarese

Hi Team Marty!   Awesome night! 
I had the time of my life hanging out with everyone and reliving old and dear times.   
Thanks especially to Dennis and Chris for having the vision and stamina to take this all the way.  
And, of course, to Ron Onesti and his team for his generosity of spirit.  
Everyone's performance was crazy good. We proved we still got it!  Lol! 
Marty, you're awesome.   
On behalf of myself and the Ides of March, thank you!!   Warm regards. 
Jim Peterik
Keep Rocking!

The Power and Courage of Marty Grebb is an inspiration for us all.
I will remember this night forever. Humbled beyond words that I was able to stand, let alone perform on the same stage with the Artists who have left (and continue to leave) blessed and indelible marks on my heart and soul.
If there is any doubt that Music - Our music - The music of our city - is the supreme healing and nourishing energy, that surpasses disease, mends fences, encourages charity and goodwill and just plain makes it all better …
Your performances vanquish that doubt.
Long may you live, Marty!
And to you all: Bravo. BRAVISSIMO!!
Peace and Love,
Scott May

We all outdid ourselves ... our music never sounded so good as it did the other night. The positive energy of us all working in the same direction for Marty, for ourselves, to make the world a little bit better ... It was music for a higher cause. 
To witness the Buckinghams come together for the first time in 45 years, putting all their differences to the side to perform as one again ... I know that wasn't easy, so hats off to you guys.
It was inspiring and a joy to play and be a part of it.  It couldn't have been better. 
As for Ron and the Oshows crew ... great job!!!! Ron, you are a gift to all of us artists. You treat us with dignity and respect. Your support crew are just as special.  The biz needs more Ron Onestis. The music industry would be so much the better for it. BTW, the sound the other night was great, I had so many comments of how good the mix was. Great job, Rich and sound crew.
Danny (Seraphine)   

My cup runneth over!  How much beauty and eloquence created by all!!!!

Tomorrow in Forgotten Hits ...
The complete concert set list along with some more great photos ... stay tuned!!!

(from the grand finale ... L-R:  Dennis Tufano, Ronnie Rice, Jimy Sohns, Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna ... three Bucks, a Shadow and a 6er ... all up on stage together for the evening's final song "I Go Crazy", a 1966 Buckinghams hit originally done by James Brown)  Photo Copyright 2015 Jack Mongan Photography for exclusive use in Forgotten Hits

Video of this event ...
(The entire concert was video taped ... but so far this is the only clip to have surfaced on YouTube)  Enjoy!