Saturday, December 10, 2011

60's Rock & Soul...KQED Special takes fans down memory lane!

When I flipped the dial of the old boob tube and stumbled on KQED's Special on 60's Rock & Soul Bands - and their hits - I was catapulted down memory lane.

And, why not?

As a spokesperson for PBS astutely noted at one point during the course of the free program, their music was the soundtrack of our lives.

Though one of the hosts - Davey Jones (The Monkeys) - was a bit long in-the-tooth, my foot started tapping to the "feel-good" beats of the iconic pop stars of yesteryear once they sauntered into the spotlight and lit up the stage with performances that turned out to be engaging for the most part.


The former teen idol - Peter Noone - had his teeth fixed since his first appearance on the legendary Ed Sullivan Show so many moons ago.

Though fuller in the face (and bod), I expect the "Herman's Hermits" front man still causes hearts to flutter, judging by the ecstatic responses he received from fans in the packed house last night at the concert hall.

When he warbled "Henry VIII", enthusiastic music-lovers sang along merrily at the top of their lungs, go figure!

Unlike so many of the old "rockers", Mr. Noone was stylishly attired (and presentable), too.

In contrast, the lead singer for "96 Tears" looked positively silly (in a time warp?) all gussied-up in a flaming red silk wrap-around "thing" with bizarre over-the-top cowboy hat to boot.

In a nutshell?

The door should remain on closed on some old acts for eternity!

As to the music?

On occasion, a tune rustled up a naughty chuckle or two.

For example, strains of the hard-driving dance hit - "Louie Louie" (Kingsmen) - transported me back to childhood haunts and I vividly recalled belting out a raunchier version of the lyrics:

She had a rag on!
But, not for long!
Not for long!

But, the tribute to "Jack Lord" and Hawaii-FIVE-0  left me cold, strayed off the track.

Perhaps, the idea was best left for a concert series down-the-road, zeroing in on musical themes from popular TV shows.

And, Gary Lewis?

Well, once a nerd, always a nerd!

His choice of diamond-patterned sweater and nondescript (yawn) slacks (with signature specs) were a testament to that.

What about the wiry  unkempt hair?

Unlike many of his contemporaries, at least he wasn't going bald!

His tune - "This Diamond Ring" - was timely in the wake of the Kardashian fiasco, though.

When the producers showcased music from the "Heart" of the era, the concert turned vastly entertaining and often brought a smile to the face.

The musical gifts of a talented Afro-American crooner - who dazzled with a poignant rendition of "Lonely Girl" - was a particular highlight.

The golden notes floated out as smooth as butter as butter, in fact.

The elegant tux he sported drew emphasis to the fact that he is a man of style as well.

Vegas, he's your man!

By the way, "Sha Na Na" had the ecstatic house up-and-cheering and dancing in the bleachers.

 On the other hand, "Chad & Jeremy" were as boring as milk toast!

Throughout the course of the evening, the viewing audience was treated to insightful interviews, rare musical clips, and a memorable  - humorous - quote or two.

For example, one of the musicians quipped at one point during the broadcast:

"They say if you remember the 60's, you weren't there!"

Well, I guess the lyrics for "White Rabbit" tell the story, eh?

Contributions to the PBS entertainment arm help fund future programming and guarantee patrons DVD sets (and collectables) of their favorite music artists in concert.

It's a win-win situation!

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