By John Staton
Posted Dec 13, 2019 at 6:01 AM
Florida band Paisley Craze brings the Peace & Love Tour to UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
Marty Bednar was only 15 when half a million people descended on Bethel, N.Y., in 1969 for what would become known as the Woodstock music festival. Already “a music freak,” he followed events from afar.
“We saw it on the news,” Bednar said. “Of course, my parents thought it was the end of the world.”
Bednar, however, had older siblings who were deeply into the music of the ’60s, so “I never saw it that way. I couldn’t. I had my own thoughts about how cool it was.”
The music of that era -- bands like The Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Grateful Dead and more -- led him to become a musician, Bednar said. On Tuesday, Dec. 17, the singer and bassist will bring his band, Paisley Craze, to Wilmington for a concert paying tribute to the music of Woodstock and the 1960s.
Billed as the Peace & Love Tour and presented by StarNews Media and Finkelstein’s Music, the band plays Kenan Auditorium on the campus of the University of North Carolina Wilmington on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
Based out of Sarasota, Florida, Paisley Craze formed a little over five year ago, made up of career musicians who’ve played in everything from rock and jazz bands to funk, soul and reggae outfits. All of the band members have similar backgrounds, he said, in that “we all got wrapped up in the music of the ’60s and it just took over our lives.”
Paisley Craze includes Donna Lamoureaux on vocals and flute; Dave Mankes on keys, guitar and vocals; Rich McDonald on drums; Bob Deilman on guitar and vocals; and Bednar on bass and vocals. In addition, folk singer and guitarist Robert Garcia will perform as part of the show as well.
When: 6 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. show, Tuesday, Dec. 17
Where: Kenan Auditorium, 515 Wagoner Drive, UNCW campus
Info: Tickets are $20-$29.
Details: 910-962-3500 or SunEvents.com
And not only do they love the music of ’60s, Bednar said, but they’re all in their 60s.
“Except for Donna, our singer,” Bednar said, a twinkle in his voice. “We don’t really know how old she is.”
The 50th anniversary of Woodstock this year has seen demand for the widely touring band skyrocket.
“It just keeps kind of snowballing. I keep pinching myself,” Bednar said. “This tour has been a mind-blower for all of us.”
For the Peace & Love Tour, Paisley Craze will mostly play music from the 33 bands who performed at Woodstock, which gives them plenty to choose from. Not only did the festival feature such iconic acts as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Creedence and The Dead, but there were also artists largely forgotten today, like the Keef Hartley Band, The Incredible String Band, Tim Hardin and Melanie Safka.
’60s cover band Paisley Craze celebrate Woodstock’s 50th anniversary at Johnny Mercer Theater
The 1960s was the defining era of popular music. The Peace & Love Tour is at the Civic Center will celebrate the music of the era, as well as the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, what many call the greatest gathering of musicians and fans ever.
“It’s just such a rich era,” said Marty Bednar, bassist and vocalist for tour headliner Paisley Craze. “There is probably more creativity there, for music, across the board than any era we can think of. There are so many different styles all in a 10-year period, it’s impossible to cover them all. I think if you saw record collections back in the ’60s they’d have jazz mixed with soul mixed with rock, psychedelia, pop, everything. People were much more open to different styles and genres, so the level of creativity out there in the music world was heavy and the acceptance of all that diversity, also.”
Paisley Craze were picked by promoters to perform on the Peace & Love Tour on the strength of their energetic ’60s covers led by the Grace Slick-like vocals of singer Donna Lamoureax. The band perform songs by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, the Who and Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
“We get to do what we do to a wider audience,” said Bednar of the tour. “What’s happened is, and we didn’t really see it coming, but the kind of people that want to celebrate what happened in the ’60s — and they’re our age, they’re boomers— people come up to us and they cry and hug us saying, ‘Oh my God, I forgot.’ or ‘I needed that.’ That’s the reaction more than anything else. How many people miss it. How many people still actually cling to some of those core values they had when they were younger and that are still a part of who they are today. They grew those feelings and attitudes back then — peace and love, everybody is OK, accept everyone, we’re all in this together.
“It was a big deal that we got picked to do it because we had this body of music and we really wanted to show it to everybody... people are just going crazy over it. We really didn’t see it coming.”
Woodstock seemed to have its own special magic that no one has been able to capture since. There were attempts like Woodstock ’99 that failed to adhere to the original message of peace and love, with Limp Bizkit’s infamously violent performance as an example. And organizers of this year’s Woodstock have not been able to secure a venue or investors. So why is it so difficult to recreate Woodstock today?
“We’re not really sure, except that we know when we were young, there was a music culture that doesn’t exist today, and by that I mean — if you weren’t there it’s hard to get it — but everybody knew who was on everybody else’s album, when the band was gong to have a new album out, when the band was touring, who was in it, what their names were," Bednar said. “It seemed like everybody back in the late ’60s, early ’70s were unified. The younger people were all unified. We picked up each other’s hitch-hikers, we helped each other, ... maybe today that just doesn’t exist, that camaraderie when a million people are on the same page and show up for an event.
“People just aren’t rallied around a unified music,” Bednar said. “It was a big deal then and it’s hard to understand if you weren’t there. It was everywhere and everything, and it changed the world. We like to say we play the music that changed the world and it kind of did for awhile.”
Before the show, audiences will be able to celebrate the era of peace and love with Woodstock trivia, tie-dye merchants, photo booths and more.
Newspaper article from Spartanburg, SC.