Oldies Extravaganza

22 September 2000

Deseret Peak Complex, Grantsville, UT


Lucky for me, I happened to be attending a conference in Salt Lake City, after which a co-worker and I commuted to the Deseret Peak Complex near Grantsville, UT. Because of intense rain this evening, the organizers moved the event from the outside bleachers to an indoor rodeo pin.

The first observation I made was of the polite friendliness of our neighboring concertgoers. This alone made the evening comfortable.

We arrived too late to see the opening act, the Buckinghams. As a result, I wasn't able to yell out "Hey, baby, they're playing our song." This was kind of a drag.

We got to see most of the next act, Gary Puckett. After opening numbers "Lady Willpower" and "Over You", Gary, with band, tried his hand at Jimi Hendrix guitar work, with a decent version of "Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire". After the fans sang along with his "Woman, Woman", he treated the audience to a cover of Stephen Stills' epic, "Love The One You're With" sung in a fashion almost identical that of Luther Vandross, followed by an encore of "Young Girl".

Next came the headliner, the Turtles. In addition to Flo and Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan), the stage included Andy Cahan, a famous session musician from the 1960s. They started, as they often do, with "You Baby", followed by a Sam The Sham comic rock classic, "Wooly Bully". Next came their first smash hit, "It Ain't Me Babe", as well as "Eve Of Destruction".

Amidst the music, Flo and Eddie gabbed a lot, jokingly claiming that they were the music behind many of the famous bands of the sixties, saying things like, "We were the Doors", and following the comment by singing a couple lines from "Light My Fire." Though Flo and Eddie were not the Doors, they did appear as backing vocalists for an uncountable number of acts in the 1970s, including Bruce Springsteen, Stephen Stills, John Lennon, Blondie, and even Sammy Hagar. Their on-stage act was more of a variety show than a musical event at times. But, it kept the crowd in good spirits.

The set included a song with a riff made famous over 30 years ago by keyboardist Andy Cahan, the Monkees #1 hit, "Daydream Believer". The Turtles then filled their set square with hits such as the Roger McGuinn/Gene Clark composition "You Showed Me", "Elenore", "She'd Rather Be With Me", and "Happy Together".

The best part of the evening came when I got to chat with and get an autographed T-shirt from Flo and Eddie. Both were tired after the show, but nonetheless very polite, friendly, and human.

[***] - Steven T.


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