Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summer Means Oldies Tours

Summer is here and that means oldies bands get together to tour so we can all get that nostalgic feeling of yesteryear: music of the 50's, 60's, and 70's. A staple band in these tours is the Four Tops. They had a slew of hits beginning in the early 60's such as "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" and "Reach Out I'll Be There".

But oldies bands now face a dilemma of having to change their names due to deaths of original band members, legalities and just plain old accuracy.

Big Dan interviews the Four Top's lead singer Levi Stubbs:

Big Dan: So, tell us about the new names of the oldies bands we've known for years, Levi.

Stubbs: Well, Big Dan, as you know, most of these bands have been around for decades and they're undergone many changes over the years. To cut to the chase, many band members have flat out died of old age. But we keep chugging along, and the people are nostalgic and still want to hear the old tunes done live. They love us!

Big Dan: The name changes, can you tell us about some of them?

Stubbs: Some people claim it's misleading to keep the same band name if members have died or moved on, especially bands with numbers in their names, or the band name has a person's name in it, and that person isn't in the band anymore. They have a point.

Big Dan: Can you give us an example?

Stubbs: Take our band, for instance, "The Four Tops". One of our orignal members died a while back, and some fans were saying, "You aren't the original 'Four Tops', what a ripoff!" So, for legal purposes such as not giving them their money back, our band changed the name to, "The Three Tops". We were thinking of changing it to a catch-all name like, "The Surviving Tops" so we won't have to change it if another one of us dies, to "The Two Tops".

Big Dan: What about bands with people's names in it, and that person isn't in the band anymore, like say "J. Geils Band" joined the oldies tour and J. Geils wasn't in the band?

Stubbs: Well, we do have that case in this tour, funny you mention it. The band Santana is with us, but Santana isn't in the band. In fact, only Santana's lead singer is in the band. They call themselves, "Santana's Lead Singer". Some bands like "The Who" add national characters after their name. They sang "I hope I die before I get old", and the band "The Who?????" are made up of the members that got old before they died.

Big Dan: What are the band names in this year's tour?

Stubbs: Before I give you the list, I'd just like to drive home the point that if people ask for their money back, they ain't gettin' it this year! We've complied with these band name changes. Here's this year's tour's lineup, and as a special treat this year, it will be MC'd by "The Odd Person", one of the original "Odd Couple"...and remember, Rock On, everybody:

● The Three Tops
● Dave Clark's 4 out of 5
● The Pip
● The Supreme
● The Monkee
● A Hermit
● The Turtle, The Cowsill, The Grass Root, and The Zombie (combo band)
● The Beach Boy
● The Kingston Duo
● Chad's Younger Brother
● The Associate
● The Mysterian
● A Momma and an acquaintance of one of the Papa's
● Some of Bill Haley's Comets
● The Pacemakers (they really have Pacemakers now!)
● The Letterman
● A Guy Who Sounds Like Bobby Darin
● Peter, Paul, and Brittany
● The Venture
● Chuck Berry's Great Grandson
● , , Nash and nobody
● ...and Garfunkel
● The 3 Seasons
● The 4th Dimension
● 2 Dog Night
● 5cc
● Ohio Player
● Stick
● Santana's Lead Singer
● Half A Century After
● The Grateful Not Dead Yet
● The Who?????
● The Guess Who!!!!!
● Jethro Tull's Keyboard Player
● Pat Travers Band Member
● Alan Parson's Bass Player's Project
● Talking Head
● The Silver Bullett E Street Heartbreakers (combo: members of Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Petty's backup bands)

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