On Friday, July 27, at Waterfront Park in Bangor, there will be a celebration of the very best of 60s music as The Turtles, featuring Flo & Eddie, bring their “Happy Together Tour” to the Queen City for an evening of musical memories served up by the likes of The Buckinghams, Grass Roots, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, and Micky Dolenz (of The Monkees, of course). All five acts had a huge impact on the pop/rock scene with such hits as “Happy Together,” “Elenore” (from The Turtles), “Kind of a Drag,” “Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song)” (from The Buckinghams), “Midnight Confessions,” “Let’s Live For Today” (from The Grass Roots), “Young Girl,” “Woman Woman” (from Gary Puckett & The Union Gap), “Last Train to Clarksville” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday” (from The Monkees). If you are a fan, head to Bangor on the 27th!

Anyway, in a recent telephone interview from his Franklin, Tenn., home, Mark Volman, original co-founding member of The Turtles and “Flo” in Flo & Eddie, chatted about the tour and this year’s line-up. We began by observing that he was home for a while before heading back out on the road.

Volman: Yeah, I had about a week to 10 days off between the first leg and the second leg. It’s a nice way to have it set up. Last year, we had a 23-city tour, which we did in about four weeks. This particular summer, we’re going to end up doing seven weeks of touring in 42 cities from coast to coast. So, I think that says a lot about the market in terms of the audience’s desire to have a show in this genre of music … fortunately for us!

Q: It looks like a strong bill this time around, too.

Volman: I would agree. Last year, we had a really strong bill as well, but changed out two of the acts this year, though we haven’t really noticed a change in the response from the audiences. The acts we brought on help to make the show interesting on a national level. I think Micky Dolenz right now is very, very popular with the fan base. I think the fact that The Monkees weren’t able to finish their tour last year, and especially with the passing of Davy (Jones), Micky does such a nice spot in the show saluting Davy that it has made the show very strong. Micky’s a strong act, he’s got great songs,. He’s a great performer, and I would say the same thing about Gary Puckett. I’ve always been a big Gary Puckett fan. I was just really glad to see that he was available to do this tour with us. Gary brings such a very specific style to what we’re doing. Every act really fits into certain styles and I think Gary is a really good part of the “Happy Together Tour,” because nobody else does that 60s ballad music better. I mean, you’ve got kind of a goofy end of things with Micky and the same, perhaps, with The Turtles, but I think Gary has such a very unique spot in the show. So, it’s a nice show, yeah.

Q: I noticed your website lists an East Coast band and a West Coast band of musicians backing you and Howard (Kaylan … the “Eddie” of Flo & Eddie) so when you hit Bangor, you’ll probably have the East Coast guys, correct?

Volman: Well, actually for the summer we kind of put together a band that plays with the whole show. We didn’t want there to be a lot of change overs with bands and their instruments, so we created a house band from all the other groups. The guitar player on this tour was the band leader of The Turtles, but Micky brought his guitar player and everyone else has been kind of picked, because of their capabilities as performers. It runs very much like a Broadway show. The first half runs about an hour and a half. We take about a 20-minute intermission and then we do about another hour. All the acts are just playing their biggest hit songs. It’s a popular music show within the format of the 60’s genre.

Q: Is there anything you would like to have passed on to the readers of this article?

Volman: Well, I’m really so happy that we could kind of get together and talk like this … that there are still newspapers — like the ones you work for — that allow us to come on and let our fans know we’re coming to town. I mean, our fans still read newspapers … that’s really great. We don’t get to your area of the country that often. It is a really strong show all the way around and we’ve had tremendous response to this tour, especially when people know that we’re coming.

Lucky Clark has spent over four decades writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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