Thursday, June 27, 2019

Preview of Upcoming Concerts

And as the summer rolls on, The Happy Together Tour continues to generate excitement and press buzz for the shows ahead. Just today we see the Happy Together Tour "In the News" in New London, Connecticut!

In today's publication, "The Day," Rick Koster's story carries this headline:

"Happy Together’ package tour brings stars to the Garde Friday"

As one description of what you'll see, "these events feature short, hit-clustered performances by the acts — with other '60s familiars Gary Puckett, the Buckinghams, the Classics IV and the Cowsills also showing up..." For tickets: "Happy Together Tour," 8 p.m. Friday, Garde Arts Center, 325 State St., New London; $49-$69; (860) 444-7373, gardearts.org.

And The Westerly Sun has the concert in its Picks of the Week Shows: Happy Together Tour 2019

8 p.m.; Garde Arts Center, 325 State St., New London.

"Garde Arts Center will host the Happy Together Tour 2019, featuring The Turtles, Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Buckinghams, The Classics IV and The Cowsills. For tickets or more information, visit gardearts.org."

Nice to see the word getting out so well around the country. That's why the packed capacity crowds are showing up for this tour!

The Buckinghams Deliver Hits at Cape Cod Melody Tent

Entertainment & Life Classic rockers, fans happy ... together

On Tuesday, June 25, the Happy Together Tour performed at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis, Massachusetts, and journalist Cynthia McCormick had this to say about the evening in the Cape Cod Times:

"The lineup included The Buckinghams, the Classics IV, Gary Puckett & the Union Gap, Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night) and the Cowsills – all singing and playing to a packed house..."

"Nick Fortuna and Carl Giammarese of the Buckinghams delivered lively renditions of “Don’t You Care” and “Kind of a Drag” and reminded the audience they were Italians from the west side of Chicago – not Brits."

To read the entire review visit this link (click here)

Monday, June 24, 2019

Takin' a Break the Happy Together Tour Way

After last night's concert in the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, we were rewarded for all the miles we'd covered in just one day to get here early. If you're early, you're on time. If you're on time, you're late. At least that's the case in the music business. The Buckinghams were so appreciative of a capacity crowd and the enthusiasm shown by everyone who stood on their feet for so much of the evening.

Tour promoter, Ron Hausfeld, decided to throw an outdoor grill for the entire tour this afternoon on the one day we didn't have to be on the road this week. Really thoughtful of Ron, just his way of keeping the tour keeping. Here's a couple photos from the day.

Tomorrow, the tour heads to Hyannis, MA, for the Cape Cod Melody Tent.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Paul Shaffer Visits Friends on the Happy Together Tour 2019

It's always a nice surprise when you have fellow musicians drop by backstage after the show to say hello and catch up for a few minutes. After the Happy Together concert at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, New Jersey, multitalented musician Paul Shaffer came by to visit many of his friends.

It's always great to see Paul. What an amazing collection of music he is responsible for! Of course you watched him for years every night on the "Late Show with David Letterman" as he conducted his "World's Most Dangerous Band." His book, "We'll Be Here for the Rest of Our Lives," is, as he subtitled it, "A Swingin' Show-biz Saga Book."

He talks about his years leading the Saturday Night Live Band, leading the Blues Brothers Band, and then the Late Show band and TV personality. Get the book here. Do you have a CD of their cover songs? (Find one here: https://theshaffershop.bigcartel.com/).

Here's a photo of Nick and Carl with Paul, taken by Tom Garrett.

Below is a picture of Carl, Gary Puckett, Paul, and Tom Garrett.

There's another Happy Together connection with Paul Shaffer--his good friend Ron Dante. This pic, of course, was borrowed from Ron's IMDB page. Ron produced mega-successful albums for Barry Manilow, Cher, and Pat Benatar, in addition to being the voice of many songs you grew up loving but never really knowing "who's singing on that song?"

As Paul Shaffer noted on a former "Late show with David Letterman" show, Ron is the person who gave Paul Shaffer his first break in the music business, as you'll see he mentions in the video. Ron played during all the commercial breaks with Paul and his Most Dangerous Band, including the amazing guitarist/vocalist/percussionist, Felicia Collins and bass player Will Lee. Paul's entire band was collectively known as the CBS Orchestra.

And, you'll love the connection between The Buckinghams and Paul Shaffer that goes back over 50 years, but it's entirely by serendipity that it happened. You remember how Paul grew up listening to the music of Chicago bands, especially The Buckinghams, at nights in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, as he could pick up the 50,000 Watt signal from Chicago's WLS-AM radio. He knew the voice of our first manager, Carl Bonafede, very well as Carl used to do all the overnight radio commercial spots himself.

In addition to being The Buckinghams' agent and band manager, Carl hosted a lot of music events (called dances or sock hops in the old days) across A clever radio ad man, Carl Bonafede would go around and get sponsors to buy air time to advertise their products and then he'd go into all the radio stations across Chicago and record his ads.

Using his own voice, you would have to know Carl to know that he's one of the fastest talkers in all of radio and he can give you two minutes worth of advertising in thirty seconds. He also has a way of showing his excitement about a project, a product, or a person that gets you all worked up about it, too. That's why he was often referred to as "The Screamin' Wildman!"

We used to say he was the hardest working man in music; he still is today. This is a recent photo of Mr. Bonafede selling his famous "Umbrella Hats," perfect for wearing over your head to keep the sun off you, especially on a hot day at Wrigley Field while watching a Cubs game, right?

So, when Paul used to have the band occasionally play "Kind of a Drag," coming back from commercials on the show, he always said, "The Buckinghams from Chicago, managed by 'The Screamin' Wildman,' Carl Bonafede." One night, Mr. Bonafede remembers, he was watching Dave's show with William "The Refrigerator" Perry as a guest. Because "The Refrigerator" was a Chicago Bear, the band was playing "Kind of a Drag," and Carl Bonafede remembers that as one of the highlights of his life, hearing Paul Shaffer say his name, noting that he couldn't imagine that he'd be remembered all those many years later.

Just like Paul Shaffer remembered Carl Bonafede, Paul Shaffer remembered the music he'd grew up listening to as a teenager himself in Thunder Bay, music from the earliest days of The Buckinghams, when they were on the USA Label in Chicago, before they'd signed with Columbia Records. The beauty of the circle of life that is the music business--it truly is a very small world.

And the tour keeps on rolling down the road.