July 4th has always been a big day for our band, with a lot of memorable performances over the years.
The last couple of fourths, however, have been rather wistful because of what’s been done to the country by the unskilled people charged with running it. So I’ll just have to rely on memories for this time around.
Those memories begin for me in 1976 in Las Vegas, our first fourth as a band. That was, among other things, the day that our guitarist Richard Bennett Tina got hitched to his wife Tina Ward Bennett in our vocalist’s suite before the show. Fireworks later followed (no irony intended), which we watched from the roof of the Jockey Club across the street after our show at the newly-opened Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts, which is now newly-demolished. It was the bicentennial, and worthy of a big party, and we had good reasons for one.
Flash forward many years to Dubin, where our caterers served up a holiday themed spread for a rehearsal day, albeit one with a bit of Asian flavor. Any day in Dublin brings fun, and this one was no different.
Another year we were invited to "our home in England," Woburn Abbey, where our friends threw an American-style Independence day party for us, even though we were in England, the place we got our independence from.
Then there was Boston in 2009...The 4th is a jolly time in Boston, so we jumped right in, performing with the Boston Pops (that's conductor Keith Lockhart hanging with the vocalist above), for an evening hosted by the brilliant Craig Ferguson (below, next to an unidentified Muzoid).
Above, our vocalist says "Hi, Pops!"
And there was the very impressive one in 1986, on Governor’s Island in NYC, when we re-opened the Statue of Liberty after it had been refurbished. The ferry ride back from the island was one of those rare moments when everyone on the boat was the most important person there.
I hope our country gets back to normal sometime soon, so we can celebrate it the best way possible. We’ve got a really good song for it, one about immigrants traveling here.
Perhaps you'd like to hear the fine version of it that we did at the Greek Theatre in August of 2012. It will appear on our upcoming Hot August Night III package, coming in August. Here's a link to see it right now.