(Photo by Henry Diltz © 2008)
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If someone had said back in 1965 that in 2008 that we would still be touring as the Lovin' Spoonful nobody would have believed them. In the winter of of 65 we played our first gig at Joe Mara's Night Owl Cafe on West 3rd St in Greenwich Village and were told by Mr. Mara to go back and practice some more and come back and he would give us another chance. Well that was some good advice. Practice we did at the Albert Hotel on W. 10th St. in the basement alongside the laundry room, the trash chute, the cockroaches and on yeah the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. When we finally got back to the Night Owl it wasn't long before Bob Dylan, Phil Spector, many teenyboppers and folkies from MacDougal St and the suburbs were crowding into the club to hear and cheer us on. In June of 1965 we signed up with Kama Sutra Records and in July of that year we were out on the road promoting our first hit single "Do You Believe In Magic". What a magic carpet ride it has been since. But to think that 43 years later we would still be playing our songs all across the country was probably the last thing on our minds. After Magic was a hit, the next 6 singles hit the top ten on the charts with appearances on the Ed Sullivan television show, Murray the K's Brooklyn Fox Special with the entire Motown Revue and a tour with the Supremes soon to follow. In 1966 the Lovin' Spoonful became the first rock band to have a hit on the pop charts and the same song a hit on the country charts with Nashville Cats. Summer in the City went to # 1 in the same year and was nominated for a grammy. By 1969 the band has suspended touring and everyone went on to solo careers in recording music, appearing in movies and Broadway, working in television and radio and owning a recording studio. It wasn't until 1977 when Paul Simon asked the band to to perform and appear in his movie "One Trick Pony" that we all got together to play again. A great concert at the Concord Hotel in the Catskill Mountains as part of the movie reminded us how much fun it was to play our songs again for live audiences. 14 more years would go by after that when in 1991 the band decided it was time to get out on the road again. John was busy with his solo career and Zally was totally involved with running his very successful restaurant "Chez Piggy" in Kingston Ontario and they passed on the idea of performing again as the Lovin' Spoonful. Joe, Jerry and Steve and Jerry's brother Jim (lead singer of the Association) then got together at a resort in the Berkshire Mountains rehearsed and rehearsed and on Thankgiving Day 1991 played their first gig at Lulus in Kitchner, Ontario. In 1993 Jim left the band and was replaced by Lena Yester, Jerry's daughter, later on Mike Arturi would join the band on drums and when Lena went on to pursue a solo career, Phil Smith would join us in 1999 and the five of us have been playing together ever since. The original band would reunite in 2001 to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and just this year we were included in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame class of 2006 where the current line-up would perform alongside some of the true legends of early rock and rhythm and blues.
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