Events INSIDER Interviews ‘New England’ Before Reunion at Arlington Regent This Friday
Rockers New England Reunite at the Arlington Regent – 7 Medford St, Arlington, MA, August 15th, 8PM.
AOR mainstays New England will reunite on Friday August 15th, 2014, 8pm at The Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA for their first full length headlining concert since 1983.
The foursome, comprised of John Fannon, Hirsh Gardner, Gary Shea and Jimmy Waldo, first came into prominence in 1979 with the release of their self-titled debut album on Infinity/MCA Records. Produced by Paul Stanley of Kiss, the album shot up the charts with the release of the Top Forty single “Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya”. Arena tours with Kiss, AC/DC, Styx, Journey, Thin Lizzy and others followed. The band (which will include all original members) will play old favorites plus some deeper cuts never before played live. Events INSIDER caught up with Gary Shea last week:
Events INSIDER: I just watched the video for “Don’t Ever Want to Lose Ya”. Were you guys a hair band?
Gary Shea: (Laughs) No. We were never a hair band at all. Hirsh (drummer Hirsh Gardner) had that hair back in the early seventies. We were just a heavy rock band, unlike our contemporaries in Los Angeles. We liked English bands like ELO, Moody Blues and King Crimson and were (influenced by them).
Events INSIDER: Is this really the first concert in thirty years?
Gary: It’s kind of a misnomer. We played a set last year at the Regent, and we played in 2005 at Steven Tyler’s “Music for Middlesex” (Human Services) charity event, so our first reunion was really 2005. But we only played 6-7 songs because we were playing with other bands. The last 8-9 years we’ve been playing and recording a bit. We’re looking to get back to playing again, so the focus of this show will be towards getting out and getting back doing that. It will be a lot more interesting for us. We’ll cover a lot more musical ground – from the acoustic things to the heavier things – instead of wham, bam, play a couple of fast songs and then just leave.
Events INSIDER: What did you guys do during that long layoff? Nobody got a job selling life insurance or anything did they?
Gary: Nobody sold their drum kit and can’t play anymore like happens with a lot of bands. We were all really lucky that we kept our finger in the pie. We’re rehearsing pretty hard because we’re not the kind of band that will say “We’ll do it live, so it will be fresh.” No, no, no, no. We’re still professional players. I’m doing a studio session tomorrow, Jimmy’s a session musician in L.A., same thing with John and Hirsh. I’m in two bands that play live in Detroit, so for us it’s a lot easier for us to just step into back into it.
Events INSIDER: How does it feel to be back in rehearsals with the boys?
Gary: It feels great, we got together last month for a rehearsal. We’ve always had a great time playing together. Some bands, one card falls out of the deck and the whole thing falls apart. Most bands, even famous bands, can’t even get into the same car together for different reasons. We could get into a small car and drive to Philadelphia and play, no problem.
Events INSIDER: Is this the start of a re-union tour?
Gary: We’re looking at everything. Classic rock cruise ships, maybe go to Japan. We’ve played there before and it’s fabulous. We have fans in Europe, Brazil, and we’re hoping to get that going. But we’re going to start by playing around the Northeast and get running again. It just takes a while to re-boot.