2009 – 45 = 1964 (baby)

The Catskill 45s made their debut Saturday night, chez nous, for our (belated) joint 45th birthday party, in which all the music was from 1964, and all guests were asked to dress from the era. A full house (literally, a full house) bore witness to myself, Josh Roy Brown, Robert Warren (a.k.a. Uncle Rock), Mark Lerner and Nancy Howell, drummers Ric Dragon and Eric Parker, and token NYC resident Patrick Carmosino work our way through You Really Got Me, It’s All Over Now, Gloria, House of the Rising Sun, World Without Love, Can’t Explain, A Hard Day’s Night, My Boy Lollipop, Glad All Over – and a rather desperate attempt at Surfin’ Bird for an encore. Anyone who remembers how badly I sung in Apocalypse might be relieved not to have borne witness to “Glad All Over,” the Crystal Palace FC anthem, but as for the rest of it, I haven’t had so much fun with a covers band since my wedding. Who can ask for a better birthday than the chance to play Rickenbacker on “I Can’t Explain” and Hammond B-3 on “House of the Rising Sun?”

Robert on the Hammond, myself on the marimbas, Mark on bass, Nancy on vocals (and Patrick’s 12-string Rickenbacker at front of shot) – that would be “World Without Love” then…

For the DJ portion of the night, I drew from the eight hours of music I’d ripped onto iTunes, plus quite a bit of vinyl, and seem to recall playing the following and many many more: Leader of the Pack, Barb-B-Q, Dancing In the Street, Break-A-Way, Do Wah Diddy Diddy, Do I Love You, I Feel Fine, Don’t Ever Leave Me, Don’t Worry Baby, I Can’t Stand It, Do You Remember, Fun Fun Fun, Oh Pretty Woman, Shout, No Particular Place To Go, Sha La La, The Shoop Shoop Song, Tainted Love, The In Crowd, The Way You do The Things You Do, Leavin’ Here, My Girl, My Guy, Baby I Need Your Loving, Wolfman, Needles and Pins, you’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, Dream Baby, Dream Boy, Baby Love, Bullwinkle and Bull Dog. (Thanks to Patrick for taking over the iTunes for a while.) Anyone who can name the artists for all of those songs, I’ll send you the extra souvenir CD I burned for the party.

Getting old can have its drawbacks, but for as long as we can still find it in us to have nights like these, I don’t mind. And 45 is a golden age for any fan of pop music – especially, as the above (excerpted) setlist hopefully make clear, for those of us born in 1964.

Josh’s kids Jamieson and Waylon always bring their own guitars to jam with their dad. Cue ‘the kids are alright’ pun….


Kudos to Holly and Michelle who, independently of each other, dug out sequined dresses – and stormed the “stage” during “A Hard Day’s Night” to scream at the faux Beatles. And total props to Mark and Nancy for digging up such suitably sixties clothes – and recommending “My Boy Lollipop” for the setlist. I’d never have imagined that prototype ska anthem as being from as far back as 1964.

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