My buddy Randy Erwin manages a number of 60's - 70's vintage, aging rock bands like; The Guess Who, Mitch Ryder, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Rare Earth, Iron Butterfly, Humble Pie and "My Man" Otis Day & The Knights.
Hopefully some of you will catch that reference to a very awkward scene from one of my all-time favorite movies - Animal House.
It astounds and amazes me that;
A: These guys are still performing (very well I should add) when most people their age are in a nursing home and...
B: They still command some serious $$$ to perform... $30,000 to $150,000 a night serious.
If you were to ask Randy why people are willing to pay these old bands such big dollars to perform, his response would be; "Each band has had one of more Top 10 hits. Each is very recognizable and everyone in this room knows them - many by heart." "Venues have a choice; bring in some unknown local band that no one has ever heard of, or, treat the baby boomers to a night filled with the music they listened to growing up... it's pretty much a no-brainer which will pack-em in."
Most of the bands managed by Randy's company have gone through multiple member changes. Last year Amy and I got to hang out with The Guess Who - only the drummer and bass player are original members. Forgive me when I say this. When we were introduced I thought they were the grandparents of the band members 🙁 Which, when you figure they formed the band in 1958 and these two joined the year after I was born (in 1962), was an understandable mistake for me to make. That was until they played. If you had told me they were 30 year olds, wearing old-people masks, I would have believed you. They came alive on stage. Which maybe the secret to their success long into their late 70's and probably beyond .
At times Randy sources bands for private events when the event organizer has a special request. Last night we were treated to a show from the band formally know as ELO & ELO2, now simply going by the name The Orchestra. That link will take you to a page showing their tour dates and locations. Those guys are performing all over the world. Last week they were in the UK and later this Fall they have a bunch of shows in Eastern Europe. How fun would that be?
ELO/The Orchestra played a 90 minute set last nigh. I knew every song and from the energy in the crowd, so did everyone at the event!
I'm thinking my class would enjoy hearing some of these old hits as well. So I've but together this playlist from the bands Randy manages. No super serious profile - just something I hope brings a smile to everyone in attendance.
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