The "Outta Leftfield" Weblog

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy together . . . and forever after

My folks had quite a record collection when I was a kid in 1960s. Much if it was hip for its time — The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Elvis and the like. Mostly though, they seemed to favor music that featured harmonies.
One album I absolutely wore out as a kid was “Insight Out” by The Association. It featured two wonderful songs and big hits — “Windy,” which reached No. 1 in 1967 and “Never My Love,” which climbed to No. 2 that same year.
The Association was part of the 2011 Happy Together Tour that stopped at the Keswick Theater last week; I was thrilled to get a chance to hear a band that I so fondly remembered from my youth.
There are three current members of The Association who performed on the “Insight Out” album: Larry Ramos, Russ Giguere and Jim Yester. They are pictured as young men on the album cover.
I had interviewed Larry Ramos to preview the Keswick show and got quite a kick listening to him talk about the music of the 1960s.

The copy of “Insight Out” that my folks had is long gone, but I found another original copy of the album at a record store in Chestnut Hill a few weeks before the show. I was hoping to get a chance to meet The Association guys and have them sign my album.
Fortunately, I got to do just that. But it almost didn’t happen.
I shared the Happy Together concert with Older Daughter, which was lucky for me. She was riding shotgun during the autograph-getting portion after the show. I had already secured the signatures of Giguere and Yester on the album cover when Ramos came out for the meet-and-greet. I was so excited to meet him that I forgot to ask him to sign the album. I’m getting older, too, I guess.
“Dad, the album!” said Older Daughter, saving the day. The picture that accompanies this item shows Ramos completing the Association autograph trifecta for me, in a photo taken by Older Daughter.
My daughter, whose big-deal music group is N’SYNC, was familiar with only a few of the songs from the Happy Together show, which also included appearances by The Buckinghams (“Kind of a Drag”); The Grass Roots (“Midnight Confessions”); Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders (“Kicks”); and The Turtles (“Happy Together”).
In addition to meeting the guys from The Association, we also got to meet Carl Giammarese of the Buckinghams and Howard Kaylan of The Turtles and get their signatures.
When I introduced Kaylan to Older Daughter, he said, “You should thank your father for introducing you to good music.”
With all due respect to N’SYNC, Kaylan is right. There was some great, great music in the 1960s. Older Daughter and I enjoyed seeing all those talented musicians whose songs have stayed with me all these years.
You might say we were happy together.

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Location: Fort Washington, Pennsylvania

Mike Morsch has been executive editor of Montgomery Newspapers since 2003. His award-winning humor column "Outta Leftfield" has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, the Suburban Newspapers of America and the Philadelphia Press Association.

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