Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Gary and The Wombats

I love music -- just about all genres, except rap and some of that Euro-Electronic-Thumping-Club music.

I also like reading artist biographies. One of my favorites is Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye by David Ritz, a longtime friend of Marvin Gaye's.

My favorite decade is the 80s, but I'm not stuck there. I listen to a lot of the new stuff and even like some of it. I lean heavily towards rock, then country, then jazz. And I really like the late 50s/early 60s.

I listened to 50s/60s music while growing up, but didn't really appreciate that era until years later. What renewed my interest was one song (video actually) in particular. It was 1985 -- back when MTV was still good (and VJ Martha Quinn was driving me wild) -- and Eddie Money was singing "Take Me Home Tonight". Who IS that babe singing background vocals?! And that walk. Look at that woman walk!

Eddie would belt out:

"Just like Ronnie saaaaaaaaaaaaaaang"

and she would answer in that sultry, sensuous voice:

"Be my little babeeeeeeee"

She is, of course, Ronnie Spectre. And she and the Ronettes had lit up the charts with "Be My Little Baby" back in 1963. I was hooked. I tried to get my hands on everything Ronnie ever sang.

I also started paying more attention to that time period. A time when:

Hershey bars and Stage Planks cost a nickel; "Little Cokes" came in 6½-ounce bottles -- ice cold on a hot summer day; old gas pumps had glass bubbles with colored balls inside that bounced about as the gas was pumped and the service station attendant actually performed a service. John Glenn was orbiting the earth; JFK was integrating Ole Miss; Martin Luther King was dreaming of mountaintops; Andy Warhol was painting the Campbell's soup can; Sam Walton was opening his first Wal-Mart; Jack Nicklaus was winning his first U.S. Open; Tommy R. Franks was in Midland chasing girls and racing cars; George W was doing the same in New Haven -- well, probably not racing cars; and Gary and The Wombats were rocking the socks off the teens of New England and points beyond.

And it's The Wombats and bands like them that fascinate me. The Wombats are still rocking today. And that is impressive, but even more impressive is who these men are.

The 60s generation has taken a pretty good beating of late. And I don't have to 'splain much more than that. Bill & Hill have certainly not helped the image. But then Bill & Hill only define that generation to the extent that one buys into the MSM hype.

If you aren't old enough to remember, you might think the entire country back then was one big bubbling, communal cauldron of Berkley and Madison hippies. Not that I have anything against hippies. Some of them make pretty nice turquoise jewelry in places like Bisbee, Arizona.

The Wombats are much more representative of that era. Friends in school and friends for life; men whose love for life and love for country have kept this nation great.

And they don't get enough credit. They are too often overshadowed by the MSM-manufactured icons of the 60s.

I'll take The Wombats anyday. There's Gary, Proprietor of Tivoli Gardens Restaurant, St. Croix; John, Founding Partner, Capital Benefits Group; Lee, Director of Corporate Communications for Weyerhaeuser Corporation; Richard, President of Evergreen Capital; Brooke, Director of Foundry Engineering, The Jones Group; and Steve, Chairman of New Mexico Finance Authority.

Not bad for a bunch of 60s rock n rollers.



Gary and The Wombats
Safari Beach Motel, Daytona Beach, 1964

2 comments:

edsuzy@aol.com said...

You are so right about the WOMBATS---as a group of friends for over forty years they have had fun together and given much joy to their fans. And they are still very much in demand! If you have a big bash coming up for a special birthday or a reception or a reunion of your high school or college class, CALL THE WOMBATS!John has the schedule I'm told. If I sound as much in favor of the band as you are, maybe that's because I'm John's mother. What's YOUR excuse?

MerryMadMonk said...

Ma'am, I am honored by your visit. MY excuse is THE WOMBATS paid me large sums of money to write this.

Juuuuuuuuust kiddin' :)

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comments.

Monk