It began four years ago with a desire to help. Some fundraising was needed to support a summer camp operating in Clare. Friends who shared bonds of musicianship wondered if they could organize a concert as a fundraiser. The 60s Band was back on stage at the Marc Lescarbot theatre at Université Sainte-Anne earlier this month for three sold out concerts
“Wouldn’t it be fun to have some musical friends from the past get together, rehearse and present a tribute to The Beatles on stage?” The group’s drummer, Gerald Theriault remembers that as the beginning.
The first show was a big hit with the audience. The band mates, most of whom have day jobs that don’t centre on music, realized that they had enjoyed rediscovering the music that, for many, had been the backdrop of their youth.
“Music is basically a hobby for us,” he said.
The core group included Theriault, Eric Blinn,bass; Don Saulnier,lead guitar; Claire Comeau and Lloyd Doucet, vocals.
It was supposed to be a one-time gig, but the audience response convinced them to dust off some more of their old album jackets.
“We where expecting to do just one concert, but were convinced to do more because of the positive public reaction,” says Theriault.
Since that first sold out show, the 60s Band has worked its way through many of the British and American hits from the 1960s. The line-up has changed since the first concert. Brian Amirault, who sings and plays guitar joined them immediately following the first show and the band welcomed guitarist Avery d’Entremont and Rose Madden on stage this year. Christine acts as the band’s master of ceremonies and dancer.
The band members share the vocal load, which might be one of the secrets to the band’s ability to cover a wide range of material.
Theriault attributes the power of nostalgia for drawing the crowds.
“We’re helping people remember carefree times. It was a time of innocence before heading into life and its tribulations,” he observed.
The concerts are dominated by baby boomers, but at the concert on Friday, Nov. 9, younger and older generations were also well represented and cheering just as loud.
“I'm always sort of humbled by the positive comments from people afterwards and thoroughly enjoy watching everyone enjoying such a nostalgic evening of great classic-60s music,” said Theriault.
What about next year? “You never know,” Theriault laughs.