My wife Winnie and I got invited to a party the other night at the Conga Room in Los Angeles. As stated on the invitation, we would be entertained by none other than The Buckinghams. Not necessarily a household name, but they did have a few hits. Their biggest would be 'Kind of a Drag' from 1967. The tune spent two weeks as the national #1 single. Preceded by The Monkees 'I'm a Believer' and knocked off the charts by The Rolling Stones 'Ruby Tuesday' which was knocked off the charts by The Beatles 'Penny Lane.' Not bad company for a couple of guys from Chicago.
Contrary to popular [non music geek] perceptions, the band was not from England. The mis-conception arises from the Anglo-ish name and the costumes they wore at the time. They were actually named after The Buckingham Fountain in Chicago's Grant Park.
So - on to the evening.
The band opened with their hit 'Don't You Care.' The bulk of their set consisted of covers by their contemporaries, many of whom were one hit wonders. The American Breed (Bend Me Shape Me), The Outsiders (Time Won't Let Me), and the Soul Survivors (Expressway to Your Heart) got some tunes in. The Turtles, The Grassroots and The Temptations were also represented.
In addition, I had a copy of 'Don't You Care.' Asked for him to sign that one too adding 'This is the one you opened with.' Got some love back on that one.
The band's set was a lot of fun. Watching my wife and her friends dance seemed like one of those PBS fundraiser concerts. Some of the more jaded music fans might find these kinds of spectacles a bit on the pathetic side. I say more power to these bands. If a bunch of guys can keep it going by doing something they love, who are we to judge. It beats working in a bank. Besides, how often do you get to say you saw The Buckinghams.