Oldies Fest '97

12 July 1997

Pikes Peak International Raceway, Fountain, CO


The Pikes Peak International Raceway is a 1-Mile oval of asphalt, resting atop what used to be a track for horses. Though the race track, as it were, went bankrupt twice, the owners of this new superspeedway hope to turn a profit. In that spirit, they occasionally will promote other uses of the 30-40 thousand seat grandstand of bleachers.

On this hot Summer's day was Oldies Fest, comprised of four famous groups from the sixties, Paul Revere And The Raiders, The Rascals, The Turtles, and Johnny Rivers.

I missed the Raiders set, but hope to catch them next year.

The Rascals, which, for all practical purposes, are now Felix Cavaliere and some "Young"er Rascals, put on a nice show. They began, interestingly, with some of their more mellow material: "It's A Beautiful Morning", "Groovin", "How Can I Be Sure". But, they eventually worked into "People Got To Be Free", and "Good Lovin'".

The Turtles, which, for all practical purposes, are singers Flo And Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan), and additional bandmembers added after their heydays, also put on a nice show. They started with "You Baby", followed with the Dylan classic "It Ain't Me Babe", the Roger McGuinn/Gene Clark composition "You Showed Me", and their (honestly not as impressive) version of Barry McGuire's "Eve Of Destruction". Later, they competently performed others from their catalog: "Elenore", "She'd Rather Be With Me", and "Happy Together". Howard Kaylan is definitely one of the goofiest looking guys I've seen on stage--he looks sort of like a cross between the bass player on Atlanta Rhythm Section and Howard Stern, but nonetheless directing the band like an orchestra, and directing the cheers of the audience equally as well.

Next came Johnny Rivers, who, though I admire his awareness LP from 1967, Realization, including its "Summer Rain", is not the reason I came to the speedway. When they introduced him, he spent five minutes tuning his guitar. I left only a few minutes afterward, because, like a dummy, I made other plans for the rest of the afternoon.

So none of the bands offered any new material or new values. What they did offer was a nice reminder of the great material and values that came out of the 1960s. No complaints from me--we should be thankful for that decade.

[****] - Steven T.


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