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Blogger Deena Canale wrote her impressions of the ONCE UPON A DREAM reunion show in Toronto,2013 (JR) ..... Almost as close to our home, and even closer to my heart, was the Rascals’ two-week stand at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in August. I can’t adequately express how excited I was when I first saw the Big Pussy-voiceovered TV ads for this event back in June. Part of me really wanted to go down to see ‘em at the first Capitol Theatre shows last December, and the April Broadway stint—but I gotta admit, I was sort of put off by the “theatrical/multimedia” aspect. Look, I dig Little Steven, I also dug him back when he was Miami Steve, I’ve been to many of the Cavestomp events he co-sponsored with Jon Weiss, I went to his Randall’s Island fest and loved it, I've purchased Wicked Cool releases, I respect how he put his money where his mouth was regarding the garage scene, and lord knows Silvio Dante Forever. His heart’s in the right place fer sure, but sometimes the execution can be off—such as go-go dancers moving more like strippers, that sort of thing. It was much easier to put aside my apprehensions about the visuals and bells and whistles of Once Upon a Dream, not to mention the potential “nostalgic cash grab/retirement fund” angle, when I heard I could actually WALK a half-mile down the road to see my beloved Rascals. We went on the second night, figuring they would have worked out any kinks from the opening, yet still be fresh and somewhat enthusiastic about T.O.. When all was said and done, I could take or leave the visuals—they were fun but didn’t add that much to the proceedings, and at times they felt a little awkward and unnatural, a stiff counterpart to the banter you’re used to hearing at a rock show. However, I respect the attempt to differentiate this show from your typical Oldies Night, for above all bands, the Rascals certainly deserve a unique setting. All I really cared about was the music, and on that they exceeded my wildest expectations of excellence. I may be a deluded sap, but I didn’t feel any pandering, insincerity, or old codgers going through the motions jive. They played damn near every song you might wanna hear, they killed it, nay SLAYED it, and I was truly feeling it all the way up in my nosebleed seat. I kinda liked being up there actually—I had my opera glasses for close-ups, and with all the venerable plaster mouldings and comedy/tragedy masks and chandeliers and stuff surrounding us, I could squint and feel like I was at the Fillmore East. We exited through a side door, which made me forget to check the lobby merch table. Afterwards, I found out that an expensive Visual Biography was for sale, lavishly loaded with luscious vintage pics…so a couple of days later, before checking out the splendid A Band Called Death at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, I went back and sweet-talked an usher into letting me enter the Alex's lobby real quick so's I could satisfy that pricey urge.(note:...good thing he did-JR) Anyway, I’ve been on cloud nine ever since the show, gorging myself on Rascals interviews and ephemera, delving deeply even into the band’s later forays in jazz-funk territory…and developing a serious Felix fixation that’s starting to rival my Hicks-xation. Looks-wise, nowadays he kinda reminds me of my dad, but his voice and musicianship are utterly, gloriously intact. I’ve always found vintage Felix to be handsome and of course I adored his voice, but it took seeing and hearing the gent in the flesh to finally grok his sexational side. At any rate, all these old-timer shows have been so wonderful that I feel compelled to go to a few more, just to see if the streak will last.
EXCLUSIVE!-Shortly after the 2013 demise of "Once Upon A Dream", we created a video of highlights.Presented here is the "Good Lovin' " segment.If anyone missed seeing The Rascals reunion...this is what is was like. So many of you have lamented that no proper video of the show exists, so here is a piece.I hope it brings back some fond memories. ( footage shot by Joe Russo,edited by Michael Pomarico). (JR) https://drive.google.com/file/d/191qmFh_KoSdMqsyz_tOHBbhLgz3teYto/view
STAND BY YOUR BAND--Uncovered treasure...Felix on-air phone interview from 1967 on "American Bandstand"! The tour Felix refers to was conceived as a "world peace tour" featuring The Rascals which,of course,never materialized.(JR) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnW2PDk6p9k
Fresh Squeezed RASCALS-Two lines from the song "Love Is A Beautiful Thing" can be heard in the new Tarantino film "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" (..the kind of thing that makes you crazy...makes you wanna swing..). I'm probably the only person I know who noticed,but if anyone else out there can identify the scene/moment, you win a quart of orange juice. (JR) (PS-you don't really get the orange juice, this is just a fun challenge)
SEEMS TO ME, PEOPLE KEEP SEEING MORE AND MORE EACH DAY---I was pursing all the previous postings made over the last seven years or so on this page. I had never done this before. It was pretty overwhelming to review the vast amount of content ,and to see how much reaction,appreciation and how many views they have received (some over 10,000). It takes tremendous time and effort to create this material, so when you respond or contribute a comment or photo...I consider that my reward. Thank you for your interest and please continue your support of this page and all things Rascals. (JR)
Hawaii had a great love affair with The Rascals. In 1981, I interviewed manager Sid Bernstein and asked him why this was. His answer was "The families.Most groups brought their chicks...we brought our families".True.Visits to Hawaii were the chance for the band to celebrate their success with their extended families. Parents,aunts,uncles,nieces,nephews,friends...it was always "paradise in bloom" as the song says. (JR)
The rate at which cover versions are made of a band's music is a pretty good yardstick by which to measure the music's influence. If it is something you guys cotton to, I would like to feature selections of various people,known and unknown, recreating the music of The Rascals.If you want to see what drums are hit at what time in the phenomenal A GIRL LIKE YOU, this is a birds-eye view of drummer Sal D'Amato playing along with Dino. Keep in mind he is not using a full,acoustic vintage kit, so the sound and dynamics will not match the Rascals recording. If anyone has Rascals covers they'd like to share, please do so! (JR) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPK-nNEygwU