The Buckinghams to play SylvaniaWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Bringing back memories, making fans feel like dancing and thinking about romancing — The Buckinghams are still playing their songs.
It’s been more than four decades since the band from Chicago launched an assault on the charts. In 1967 and 1968, radios blared “Kind of a Drag,” “Don’t You Care,” “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” “Hey Baby, They’re Playing Our Song” and “Susan.”
“We were fortunate that they were good songs, they were arranged, they were right for the times,” said guitarist and singer Carl Giammarese. “I think the reason why they’re still played today and we still get a really great turnout for concerts is because the baby boomers, our fan base, have been very supportive through the years. They still want to hear our music.”
And original members Giammarese and bass player and vocalist Nick Fortuna are happy to oblige.
“We still enjoy what we’re doing. I don’t think I could do this at this point in my life if it were a drudgery to do. I still enjoy entertaining, and I still enjoy seeing people’s faces light up when they hear a certain song,” Giammarese said during a call from Philadelphia en route to a show in Ocean City, N.J.
“Traveling gets a little tough when you’re our age now, but we get by,” he added and laughed “We’re still in pretty good shape.”
The Buckinghams will roll into Sylvania with the Happy Together Tour Aug. 5 for a 7:30 p.m. concert. The bill also features The Turtles, The Association, The Grass Roots and Mark Lindsay. Tickets are $37.50 and $21.50; day of the show, tickets will be $30. Gates open at 6 p.m.
Later this year, Giammarese’s biography, “Reinventing The Buckinghams: My Journey,” will be released. He co-wrote the book with Dawn Lee Wakefield.
“The bulk of the book is about The Buckinghams and what we went through — the ups and downs, the successes, the failures, the things we had to deal with. Some of it is kind of tragic, serious, you know, the classic story of getting ripped off by the establishment — the record companies and managers. And there are a lot of funny things that happened along the way,” he said.
“[The book] has a lot to do with reinventing The Buckinghams as myself and Nick Fortuna have gone through,” continued Giammarese, who took over lead vocals in 1982. “We’ve had quite a few personnel changes through the years; it talks about the fact that I think we’ve had 25 or more different members in the band, but there’s always been some original member there.”
A CD will go along with the book. Giammarese said he recorded the hits and songs that were significant to him in an unplugged format.
“I wanted to capture a more intimate feeling, like singing to family and friends, just playing the songs with my guitar and my voice.”