On Saturday afternoon, while the world erupted into peaceful protests against Putin’s puppet, Diane and I – and two likewise liberal friends – weren’t marching in the streets, though we were supportive of those that did, but applauding, laughing and singing along (some more than others, granted) to Lights Out, a Four Seasons tribute band, at the Sellersville Theater in Sellersville, Pa.
Now, some on the right will think us daft for embracing progressive principles and me misguided for my view of the charlatan in chief; others on the left will ding us for drowning out the din of the day with the sweet sounds of yesteryear; and plenty from all political persuasions will likely find common ground in their contempt for tribute bands. Fair points, all. On the last: Lights Out are but the second tribute group I’ve seen; and like the first, a Laura Nyro act, we enjoyed the show, though exiting the theater at 5pm instead of 11pm was a tad disconcerting.
I hasten to add, my memories of Frankie Valli and/or the Four Seasons does not begin here –
– but, instead, on the Saturday Night Oldies show on WPEN-AM in late 1977 and early ’78. They were among the ingredients of the delicious sonic stew that the deejay, Michael St. John, routinely brewed. The first time I heard anything by Valli beyond that show, I think, was in a movie theater:
And, yes, “Grease” and other Valli solo tunes, such as “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” and “My Eyes Adored You,” were performed alongside such Four Seasons hits as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Dawn,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” “Working My Way Back to You,” “C’mon Marianne” and “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night).” Falsettos flew fast and furious, the dance steps and hand motions did, too, and the entire night – I mean, afternoon – was just plain fun.
After the intermission, the group performed a medley of songs that influenced the Four Seasons and songs influenced by their hits. Not to quibble, but I can’t help myself: I doubt that the Eagles’ “Hotel California,” a ruminative ode about the high life, was descended from “Sherry.” It was the only flat note of the night – er, afternoon.
Anyway, for today’s Top 5: River Deep, Valli High – the Four Seasons & Similar ’60s Groups.
1) The Four Seasons – “Working My Way Back to You”
2) The Association – “Cherish”
3) Brooklyn Bridge – “Worst That Could Happen”
4) Spanky & Our Gang – “Sunday Will Never Be the Same”
5) The Supremes – “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”