Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Marty Grebb Benefit Concert (Part Two)


Several people who missed the show (and some who were there!) wrote in asking about the set list ... this next email provides the perfect opportunity to review it ...  

Hi! Love this blog and figured this would be THE place to get the answers!
Looking for help completing the musical set lists from the Marty Grebb tribute concert in St. Charles the other night ... especially in Marty's set!  Everyone have a look at this and see if you can help eliminate the ???s with titles and personnel. Thanks in advance for your help, and thanks for a terrific blog!

They changed things up a little here and there from the original song schedule I was given ... but here is what I've been able to piece together (with a few isolated comments here and there) 

Hosts:  Comedian Tim Walkoe, River DJs Scott MacKay and Danielle Tufano, and the legendary Dick Biondi (who just last week celebrated 55 YEARS since he first signed on to Chicago radio back in 1960 with WLS!!!)

 L-R: Dennis Tufano, Dick Biondi, Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna 
(photo courtesy Jack Mongan Photography, copyright 2015)

I'm Ready
Shake Rattle and Roll
I Will Always Think About You
Things I'd Like To Say
ALWAYS a great way to break the ice, Ronnie had some fun with the audience and then gave them the two biggest hits recorded by The New Colony Six, both of which he wrote and sang back in 1968 / 1969.

 Ronnie Rice (photos courtesy of Jack Mongan Photography, copyright 2015)

If I Needed Someone
Up on the Roof  (Great version of a great song ... Tom Doody made his way through the audience during this one and those trademark Shames harmony were out in full force)
It Could Be We're In Love
Sugar and Spice
A GREAT set of music from one of my all-time favorites.  (By the way, lookin' sharp, Jimmy ... I like the whole beard thing!  We didn't get a chance to talk after the show ... but my wife caught one of the Cryan' Shames beach balls!!!)

 Original Cryan' Shames members Jim Pilster and Tom Doody
(all photos courtesy of Jack Mongan Photography, copyright 2015)


Oh Yeah
Got My Mojo Workin'  (Jimy Sohns was cookin' that night ... and this one, which also featured Dennis Tufano on harmonica, definitely rocked the house!)
Gloria  (As Jimy called it, "Rock And Roll's National Anthem")

 Jimy Sohns, in top form Thursday Night  (photo courtesy of Jack Mongan Photography, copyright 2015)

TRIO with Danny Seraphine, Hawk Wolinski, and Al DeCarlo
Stagger Lee
Johnny B. Goode
Probably the question I got asked the most during Thursday Night's performance was "Who was that guy on guitar playing with Hawk Wolinski and Danny Seraphine?"
Well, it was Al DeCarlo, who also handled the lead vocals on "Stagger Lee".
Their second song ... as far as I could tell, it was just a blues jam / instrumental.  (The original set list called for them to do "Johnny B. Goode" ... and I was quite convinced that it definitely wasn't that!!!  But apparently it WAS "Johnny B. Goode".  We received an email later telling us that:
This was a mini-Madura reunion ... and the arrangement was the same as the one used on the first Madura album...which, unless one is really listening to the lyrics, is pretty radically different than the Chuck Berry!
Had I HEARD any lyrics, I might have picked up on that ... but to my ears, this was a straight blues instrumental ... so clearly I was missing something!  (lol)  Thanks for straightening this one out for us!  (kk)

Al DeCarlo and Hawk Wolinski
(photos courtesy of Jack Mongan Photography and copyright 2015)

Cool Baby
Without question, one of the high points of the evening.  Scott's tribute to Marty's Fabulous Rhinestones days (with a very touching story about how Marty reworked Scott's original "demo" tape and sent it back with full vocals and instrumentation ... ALL provided by the incredible Marty Grebb.)  You can hear him tell the whole story in the clip below.
May was especially pleased to point out the fact that his band that night featured Marty Grebb as well as Dennis Tufano and Tom Doody on background vocals.  A VERY pleasant surprise to be sure ... and a great performance.  We loved it!

Scott May, courtesy of Jack Mongan Photography - copyright 2015

L.A. Goodbye
Eye of the Tiger
They pretty much HAD to schedule the intermission after this one!  NOBODY was going to top The Ides for pure power and electricity that night ... (until four 1967 Buckinghams took the stage together for the first time in over 45 years!!!) ... and they delivered in fine form.  You could tell Peterik was having a blast up there ... I am SO glad that he was able to rearrange his schedule to appear.  (Check out his comments above ... HE was glad, too!!!)

(All photos courtesy of Jack Mongan Photography, copyright 2015)


Take It Easy
50 / 50
Come Rain or Come Shine
For What It's Worth
Latin Medley
Man, Marty can do it all ... and he certainly proved it during this set.  "Take It Easy" is a song he says he wrote especially for this concert ... a state of his current affairs, if you will ... and it's absolutely BEAUTIFUL.  (We had hoped to share a copy with our readers today but Marty tells me he has yet to record the song ... and now plans to do so with Danny Seraphine on drums!)  And "Come Rain Or Come Shine", delivered as soulfully as Ray Charles ever did it, paid tribute to those who have left us from the Chicago Rock families performing that night.  If Marty is ailing at all, it sure didn't show Thursday night ... he was in top form throughout the evening, jumping from guitar to sax to piano to organ ... and his vocals were stirring and spot on.

(Photos courtesy of Jack Mongan Photography, copyright 2015)

Questions 67 and 68
Make Me Smile
Colour My World
Incredible ... a MUST SEE act if you get the chance this summer.  (We posted a link to their itinerary on yesterday's page ... scroll back to see where these guys are playing this summer ... we'll probably see you at one of their shows!)  They have TOTALLY nailed the Chicago sound ... killer lead vocals by Brian Hemstock and Adam Briel ... scorching guitar by Ron Brandt ... and a horn section that rivals Chicago's very own.  How great were they?  The night of this performance I turned to my wife and said "I have NEVER seen Chicago perform "Dialogue" as well as these guys just did here tonight."  And I mean that ... and I've seen Chicago live at least a dozen times.  Absolutely amazing.

(photos copyright 2015, courtesy of Jack Mongan Photography)

Back in Love Again
You Misunderstand Me
Don't You Care
Hey Baby (They're Playing Our Song)
Expressway to Your Heart
Mercy Mercy Mercy
Kind of a Drag
The moment of magic ... FOUR of Chicago's best-known Buckinghams on stage together performing their hits again for the first time in 45+ years.  "Back In Love Again" (written by Marty) was the PERFECT opening song ... and has always been one of my all-time overlooked favorites.  You rarely hear this one on the radio ... or performed live ... so this was an especially sweet treat to kick off their set.  Carl and Dennis were BOTH in excellent voice that night ... and you could just tell they were having the times of their lives playing these tunes together again.  "Don't You Care" was excellent ... and Dennis and Marty swapped out their vocal parts from the original recording, allowing Marty to take the lead this time with Dennis doing most of the filler.  And "Susan" (sung by Carl Giammarese) is still my all-time favorite Buckinghams song.  (I just wish SOMEBODY would figure out what to do with that Jim Guercio-produced psychedelic interlude!!!  During the rehearsal, Marty explained that they were going to De-Guerc it for the live show.  I'm one of those rare few, I guess, who actually PREFERS the Guercio single mix over what sounds to me like a chopped-off, quick-edit version that plays on the radio quite often today.) 



(All Buckinghams photos courtesy of Jack Mongan Photography, copyright 2015)

Man, what a night ... Electric doesn't even BEGIN to describe it.  A once-in-a-lifetime event that had to be experienced.  (Folks are STILL buzzing for the past two days about how they've got to do this again next year ... honestly, I don't think that's likely to happen ... which makes Thursday Night's show all that much more precious and exciting.) kk 

I Go Crazy

(photo courtesy of Jack Mongan Photography, copyright 2015)

Here are a couple more clips from last Thursday Night's concert ...

For anyone out there who wants to make a donation to Marty, please go to and look up artist Marty Grebb.

Or, to donate by check, make the check out to The Marty Grebb Fund at Sweet Relief and mail it to:
Sweet Relief Musicians Fund
2601 East Chapman Avenue, Suite 204
Fullerton, CA 92831
Sweet Relief Musicians Fund is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity.  Federal ID #95-4443269

Thanks for your awesome coverage of the Marty Grebb Benefit Concert!  
I can’t imagine not being part of this heartwarming, magical, musical  event!!    
Would you please mention on your blog that we have a limited amount of “Official Concert Posters” as well as Buckinghams Photos (autographed by The Buckinghams at the concert) that will be available for purchase. All proceeds will go to the Marty Grebb Sweet Relief Fund. 
I will post the details  within a day of two on the Official Concert website:   
As well as on The Official Concert Facebook page: 
Thanks Again!  
Pam Dixon

One of the perks of doing a show like this is that you get to meet a lot of really cool people whose passion for this sort of thing runs as high as mine does.  One such person I met was Jack Mongan,a Chicago-based freelance photojournalist, who provided the majority of photos used during our entire Marty Grebb series, spread out over the past three weeks.
Shooting a concert like this has to be a welcome change of pace for a guy like Jack, who otherwise is just as likely to be photographing a murder scene or breaking news story!
He tells us ...

I met Dennis Tufano many years ago in LA when I was an associate producer on a show called Remington Steele. Growing up in Chicago in the 60s, The Buckinghams were my favorite group. They were our Beatles. The Shadows of Knight, our Stones. It was a great time for Rock and Roll in Chicago and, the country.
Dennis was acting and doing voice over work and when the woman who ran the Loop group I used in post production told me he was in her group, I said, " That's it ... He works every session he can or, you don't ..."
Despite all of this, I had never seen the Buckinghams. Last week was the first time! Definitely worth the wait .
Dennis and I reconnected on Facebook and, when he saw some of my work, he said he'd like me to shoot the concert.
This has to be the high point of my photographic career and I am honored to have been even a small part of such an iconic event. I will be forever grateful to Marty and Dennis for the opportunity.

Jack Mongan


Forgotten Hits Reader Clark Besch (who's also written the liner notes for a brand new Buckinghams "Complete Singles" release coming out this summer) asks ... 

Can you do a Helping Our Readers poll for me? 
I would like to know how many out there like the "Susan" Buckinghams song with the edit or without the edit of sound effects?  I actually had the DJ version of both when the song came out and preferred the long version, whether it made sense of not.  I seem to be the only one who likes it that way.  Also, how many people ever heard the short version on the radio when it was a hit?  I NEVER heard the edited version at the time, even tho I have an aircheck with it being played on KYNO in California at the time.  Anyone remember hearing the short version?  I KNOW WLS played the full length, because I have it taped off them.  Does Shelley Tufano remember or have any comments about the edit version vs. long version?
Clark Besch  

For the record, Shelley Tufano is no relation to Dennis Tufano, lead singer of The Buckinghams during the hit years.
I have ALWAYS preferred the psychedelic interlude ... A) Because it's how I first heard and best remember the song ... and B) The edited version is such a short, sharp edit that it doesn't sound right ... the song needed SOMETHING to bridge the two parts.  Maybe the psychedelic interlude wasn't the BEST choice (although it certainly was "of the time") ... and I know the guys were shocked and hated it when they first heard it ... but I've come to appreciate it as a "Sound of '67".
I can say that growing up here in Chicago, we ONLY heard the full-length version.  In fact, I don't think I heard the "chopped edit" version until the mid-'80's ... and my immediate reaction was "What the hell was THAT?!?!?"
Happy to open the polls on this one ... what say you, Forgotten Hits readers???  (kk)