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Lovin' Spoonful Bringing Hall Of Fame Tunes To Suwanee

Longtime band member promises hits early and late at Saturday's show at Suwanee Day.

Suwanee has had some notable musical peformers play on the Town Center Park stage in the past few years.

But it never has had a performer from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Until now.

The Lovin' Spoonful, which made its name in the 1960s with hits such as "Do You Believe In Magic" and "Summer In The City," will headline the Suwanee Day activites with a performance beginning at 8:15 p.m.

The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. And unlike some groups from the pre-MTV era that have kept touring, the Spoonful largely has its core group intact. Only founding member John Sebastian is no longer with the band.

The Spoonful's Suwanee appearance is near the end of an active 2011 tour schedule. The band's appeal is obvious -- empty nesters.

"People say the music played an important role in their younger lives, like a first date," bass player Steve Boone said last week in a phone interview.

The band, which has roots in Greenwich Village, N.Y., resumed touring in 1992 after being dormant for most of the 1970s and '80s. Boone said they simply went their separate ways.

"We all have occupations that involve music," he said. "(The Lovin' Spoonful) is not a hobby."

Still, much time has passed and many newer performers have come along in recent years. Boone said that Barenaked Ladies and Athens-based R.E.M. embody the same "good time" spirit that the Spoonful used for its music.

"It's hard to know who the new bands are," Boone said, noting that not many are on television "unless you can penetrate the maze of MTV and VH1." For that reason, he feels that live performances now take on greater emphasis for performers, calling them the "calling card" of the music business. "Most of the rewards are live."

Joe Butler now plays the band's signature instrument, the auto-harp, and does most vocals along with Jerry Yester. "The audiences are pleasantly entertained," Boone said.

Other well known Spoonful hits are "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice" and "Daydream."

Suwanee fans likely will hear a performance that begins and concludes with a well-known hit. "We've settled on that as what works the best," Boone said. "Buyers want to start with a bang and finish with one."

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Suwanee Day festivities are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. For a complete rundown, click here.

Previous Suwanee Patch story on Suwanee Day: http://patch.com/A-lx13

Henk Dinkela September 18, 2011 at 07:44 PM
When you say that ONLY John Sebastian is missing from the group, that certainly is an understatement. John Sebastian WAS the Lovin' Spoonful together with Zal Yanovsky, who sadly passed away a few years ago. The latter isn't mentioned at all. They were the core of the LS. The now touring LS is not more that a pleasant remembrance of the sixties, surely they do their job well but no more than that. Almost all of the songs were written by John Sebastian. Henk Dinkela
Steve Burns (Editor) September 19, 2011 at 10:02 AM
I think nostalgia is the point, Henk. Also, thanks for mentioning Yanovsky. Joe Butler mentioned him and Sebastian during the Suwanee show.

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