Last night Stephanie and I saw The Golden Boys – Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon and Fabian – at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. I interviewed Bobby this past summer about his impressive career and new memoir, and he was nice enough to have us as his guests at this great concert. Here’s a recap of this fun evening, along with photos taken by Stephanie backstage after the show. Enjoy!
The Golden Boys kicked off the night with “Bandstand Boogie,” which features lyrics by one of my favorite musicians: Barry Manilow. Then, after joking around with each other, Bobby took center stage and wowed the crowd with a string of songs that got everyone clapping and singing along. Hearing him sing “Wild One,” “Wildwood Days,” “Sway” and other excellent songs – including a terrific rendition of “I’ve Got The World On A String” – was awesome. I got chills numerous times watching Bobby work the crowd with his impressive artistry. After Bobby’s set, Fabian took to the stage. I knew less of his songs than Bobby’s, but he performed them well and his charisma was on full display. I especially enjoyed a number where he invited members of the crowd on stage to twist along to the music. Among the coterie of women was an energetic man who was bopping around like he won the lottery. He had short blond hair that was swirled up in the front like Kohr Brothers custard; and he wore a tight, sleeveless shirt that had intentional rip marks along the upper-back, similar to what Hulk Hogan used to wear to the wrestling ring. Fabian playfully said to him, “Get the hell outta here!” As the women were leaving the stage, Fabian asked one of the women who was with the mystery man, “Who the hell is your friend?” Everyone laughed and had a good time, and then Frankie Avalon was introduced. Frankie performed a substantial set, during which he performed all of his big hits, including “Beauty School Dropout” and “Venus.” At one point he walked through the crowd and was greeted by numerous women who were overcome with emotion. One of the highlights of his set was when he performed a few hit songs by The Everly Brothers with one of their sons: Edan Everly. Seeing them perform “Bye Bye Love” and “All I Have To Do Is Dream” was a real treat.
I was also thrilled when Frankie introduced his son, Frank, who was on the drums. He said his son got into drumming because of KISS, and then Frank proceeded to play the famous drum fill from the iconic KISS song “Love Gun.” I spoke with Frank after the show and told him I just returned from the KISS Kruise and that I’m a huge KISS fan. He gave me a high-five and told me a terrific story. A few years ago he was performing at a benefit concert and someone in the band said to him, “Frank are you nervous about performing tonight?” He said, “No, why would I be?” And his bandmate said, “Because Gene Simmons from KISS is in the crowd.” Frank quickly realized that not only did he need to put on a stellar performance, he needed to try and meet this rock icon after the show. Afterward, Frank tracked down Gene and the “God of Thunder” shook his hand and said, “You’ve got a great foot,” which is a high compliment for a drummer. Frank also told me that he met Paul Stanley recently at one of his “Soul Station” performances and that he’s met Tommy Thayer and knows Eric Singer. It was very cool to find out that at a concert featuring radically different music than KISS, there was another huge KISS fan on stage – and he happened to be the son of one of The Golden Boys!
If you have a chance to see The Golden Boys, you should. They put on a high-energy show filled with their numerous hits; and they pay tribute to legendary artists whose music is timeless, such as Elvis, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra. It’s an evening of beautiful music you won’t soon forget.