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Felix and the Rascals


HammondDave

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Dana and I went to see the Once Upon a Dream show last night starring The Rascals. Felix's voice and Hammond playing were sublime. What a great sounding show. Marc Brickman's visuals were quite beautiful as well. I highly recommend it to all.

 

[video:youtube]http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=em-upload_owner&v=AjEQ3NVOTTE&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DAjEQ3NVOTTE%26feature%3Dem-upload_owner

'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
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No Eddie Brigati? Side note.. Long after Rascals, I rehearsed with, and and did a few gigs with him. He had written all new material with another B3 player whose name escapes.

Eddie Brigati was the best singer I have ever worked with of that genre.. blues, pop, soul. He seemed to sound as electrifying as the incomparable Steveland himself. As I type these words, I am in some disbelief, about my comparison. However long ago I learned to trust my musical instincts. Eddie Brigati was, at that time, the most incredible singer in my experience. Absolutely spell binding.

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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Very sad for me... I had heard about this diminishment of his chops, about Eddie.. But trust me, i have worked with some good and very good singers.. and Eddie Brigati ( he looked to be about 115 lbs "soaking wet " when we worked together ) absolutely destroyed me- and added note, I was too young and dumb to tell him so! The sound and soul in his voice, messed me up.

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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Visually, I find a stage without amps and Leslie cab disturbing. Is it just me?

"Think Pink Floyd are whiny old men? No Problem. Turn em off and enjoy the Miley Cyrus remix featuring Pitbull." - Cygnus64

 

Life is shorter than you think...make it count.

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Saw the Once Upon A Dream show back in April on Broadway. Stellar. Felix's voice is better than ever. Eddie's chops are a little diminished but he still sounds good on his featured songs. In a way,it struck me that Eddie had the most challenging job since in his mid(?)60's he had to keep dancing and shaking tambourines through the whole show. Not easy to pull that off and look cool doing it at that age. Dino's playing was rock solid but maybe not quite as agressive as when he was 21. Nonetheless,Dino rules. Despite having a bass player onstage,the kick drum carried most of the bottom,just like the old days. Gene's guitar playing has actually gotten stronger over the years. Also,Gene looked to be having the time of his life playing this show. Great to see.

 

The concept,staging and overall presentation of the show was brilliant. The multimedia element was beautifully done. The main focus was on live performance and these vets pounded out 28 or so tunes during the course of the evening. One thing that caught my attention was that since Felix was standing he just left the expression pedal on the B3 floored through the whole performance yet the organ volume didn't remain static. Must have had a busy soundman. Interesting too was that the supporting cast of players/singers outnumbered the actual Rascals 5 to 4. The 3 backgound singers,bassist,and 2nd keyboard player enabled them to recreate their hits pretty much flawlessly. Unlike the old days,Felix had a DP of some sort on top of the Hammond.

 

This show brought me full circle,having seen them in the Westport CT.Staples High School auditorium touring behind their first album in '66. Just 4 guys with B3,guitar and drums and they rocked something fierce. Big kudos to Little Steven Van Zandt for bringing these guys back together. Word is,this wouldn't have come to pass without his intervention. The guy is simultaneously a rock star and superfan.

 

See this show if you can.

 

 

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I was never directly a part ( I was apart.. lol ) of that NYC N Jersey, Long Island Queens scene, seeing myself as a jazz player ( a bit of self deception there ). But I did witness the onslaught of energy and vibe of that period; including foolishly fashionable drug alcohol smoke side but more importantly the great rush of creativity ( that set up what was to follow in music ) that was just in the air.

So many groups.. and The Young Rascals were in the middle of it.. Love Eddie B though.. I think there is something in the music experience, about standing 5 feet from a singer or horn player etc, that is absolutely not captured on a recording. I was mesmerized by Eddie's voice ( and he as a talented brother who sang with him as well David ). I am glad he sang those gigs.

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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When I was a kid the Rascals came to my hometown. What a treat . The year was probably early 1968. They were just starting to look hippie -ish....

 

Actually I saw a lot of the Hammond oriented bands like Vanilla Fudge and Deep Purple also. So it made an impression on me.

 

It's so interesting that the Rascals are doing this. I wonder what took so long.

 

I played with Buzz Feiten for a while, who became a part of the Columbia records 1970 Rascals.

 

I asked him about Felix-he said "How could Felix be bad?"

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There was a Kickstarter project set up by Steve Van Zandt to help develop this Rascals show. Goal was $100,000; successfully funded at $123,300 with 617 backers. Way to go Stevie! Sure wish I could have made it to one of the shows.
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Kudos to the production designer, Marc Brickman... He is one of the top rock lighting and video designers in the world (quite a few Pink Floyd and Genesis designs). He was there for this show. It was extraordinary!
'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
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  • 1 month later...

I saw Once Upon a Dream tonight. So much fun! Felix does sound amazing.

 

It was a nice homecoming for Gene Cornish. He got a little teary with a story of seeing Buddy Holly 55 years ago in the same venue and telling his mother "this is what I want to do and I'm going to headline the Auditorium Theater". And so he did.

 

 

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  • 1 year later...

I finally got to see Felix and the Rascals Friday night. This was the Christmas version of this show and it was awesome. Got to meet him after the show and he signed his CD that I bought there. Seemed a nice guy. There was a guy waiting for an autograph who brought his B3 music stand to have signed and I had to explain to the woman next to me "why that guy would want Felix to sign a piece of wood."

Couple of interesting observations. His Leslie was mic'ed and shielded way back on stageleft by a plexiglass drum shield, no footpedals on the B3 like in the old days and he did not use the expression pedal at all, although the volume was variable and I'm guessing that was controlled by the sound guys. Felix was standing throughout the show so he could reach his Korg Triton bouncing around on top. Although we fret so much on this forum about this stuff, the Triton was balanced on the Hammond merely with folded towels on the front and no wires coming from it were hidden by any neat snakes. In fact there was a tangle of wires in front of the Hammond on the floor. The fans could have cared less as they were there to enjoy the performance, which they obviously did.

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Met Felix a long time ago when he was touring with "Felix's Rascals" not the originals but a backup group. Lent him my gig B3 for the show at the old CLub Bene in Central NJ. The B was sold and ready for me to deliver to a church but when the Bene owner Tommy called me and asked to use it I said no problem. I used to lend it to him a lot for different groups.

Saw Felix again in Atlantic City, free show on Trumps Marina deck. Talked to him briefly about the Bene gig and we both laughed, you'd have to know the place.

One more time at another free show at a music fest in Cranford NJ. Rained so hard the stage was flooding even though it was covered. Felix cut the set short but is a real down to earth and nice guy.

Last year a friend calls me and says hes getting tickets to the Reunion Show and would I like to go."I yelled, Hell, my last dog was named Rascals are you kidding?"

The story he told me about the reunion came from his brother who has some major entertainment connections. Stevie Van Zant has always been a big Rascals fan and knows all of them. He called them together and asked if they would do a benefit show for a girl with Cancer out on Long Island where they got discovered. No lawyers, no agents, just play. They did it and had a ball. He then told them about the show he had written about them and how he had already booked a theatre in NY to do it. They went for it and the tour took off. All 20 of the original dates sold out immediatly.

The show was amazing, all live with just the addition of a bass player, extra keyboard player and two backup singers. Dino still can kick ass (68 years old), I never realized what a good guitar player Gene was, Felix was right on and Eddie stole the show with "How Can I Be Sure" My friend was also at the opening night show in NY with Eddie's brother sitting right in front of him. Eddie's brother did a lot of backround vocals for them back then. When Eddie got a standing ovation at the opening show for the song he broke down and stopped the show.

The most memorable moment was the opening. Crowd was getting rowdy over the late start and the heat in July. All of the sudden the booming voice of Vincent Pastore (Sopranos alumi ) comes on he says "Welcome to the Rascals OUAD show. It will be a two hour show with no intermission. If you have cellphone (here it comes !!) or wish to take pictures, email or tweet, do whatever the F**K you want, this is NJ !!!"

Crowd went wild, curtain opened and the Rascals were rocking.

One of the best shows I've ever attended. No opening act, just them and total energy. I don't know if they're going to do it again but if they do, go, I guarantee a fun night.

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Dana and I went to see the Once Upon a Dream show last night starring The Rascals. Felix's voice and Hammond playing were sublime. What a great sounding show. Marc Brickman's visuals were quite beautiful as well. I highly recommend it to all.

 

[video:youtube]http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=em-upload_owner&v=AjEQ3NVOTTE&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DAjEQ3NVOTTE%26feature%3Dem-upload_owner

 

cut & run?

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home: steinway m, 1950 hammond c2

 

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