The Remains return, ready to rock Fairfield after all those years
Updated 4:32 pm, Friday, September 26, 2014
With every passing year, band members of the Remains have come to appreciate the special bond they share -- from their whirlwind start in the 1960s to the more recent reunions that brought them to stages in Europe, New York City and Boston.
"We have always talked about how special this relationship is that we have with each other," said Barry Tashian, a Nashville singer and songwriter who grew up in Westport.
That feeling has only grown more keen with the death of Chip Damiani, the band's drummer. Damiani, who lived in New Haven, died in February, at the age of 68, two months before the band was set to perform at the Fairfield Theatre Company as part of the Fairfield's Rockin' Top Ten exhibit at the Fairfield Museum and History Center. That exhibition celebrated 10 musical acts, including the Remains, that had helped to create the region's musical legacy.
Tashian, who handles vocals and guitar, said he and the other band members, 1964 Staples (Westport) grad Bill Briggs (keyboards, vocals) and New Jersey-bred Vern Miller (bass, vocals), took some time before rescheduling the concert, one of two that will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the band's founding.
The group performs Friday, Sept. 26, at the Fairfield Theatre Company and in Arlington, Mass., on Saturday, Sept. 27. They will be joined by drummer George Correia.
More InformationTHE REMAINS
Friday, 7:45 p.m.
Fairfield Theatre Company, 70 Sanford St.
Tickets: $55 VIP, $35
Info: 203-259-1036, www.fairfieldtheatre.org.
"We are going to dedicate these shows to Chip," said Tashian, a 1963 Staples graduate.
The Remains have long represented to the music press and their fans a band on the cusp of super stardom when they broke off after only two years together -- but what a two years.
They came together as students at Boston University and soon were making a name for themselves. The success continued to roll in, with the band performing on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1965, penning a record deal with Epic Records, appearing on NBC TV's "Hulaballoo" and hitting the road with The Beatles in 1966.
Tashian has said it was timing and luck that thrust his band into the spotlight, serving as one of four supporting acts for the Beatles' 1966 North American tour. It turned out to be the last time The Beatles and the Remains would tour. After 14 cities and as many performances, the group, who were all in their late teens and early 20s, disbanded to pursue different paths, even as its first album was being released. It spun off a number of hits, including "Why Do I Cry" and "Don't Look Back," which received heavy airplay.
It is the strength of that first record, the inclusion of their songs on subsequent compilations and the fans that found that music during the band's long hiatus that contributed to the band's first reunion in the late 1990s, more than 30 years after it had formed. It resulted in a successful tour of Europe, a second album in 2002 ("Movin' On"), an off-Broadway musical, "All Good Things" (inspired by the band's story), and a 2009 documentary, "America's Lost Band."
In 2010, the band was inducted into the Boston Music Awards Hall of Fame. In June 2013, they brought down the house at the Bell House in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Tashian, who also continues to perform in a duo act with his wife, Holly, said he has always felt fortunate to have been a part of the Remains.
"We were lucky that we were young guys who got together and started to play and had an identifiable sound," he said. "We immediately fell in rhythm with each other; we just locked in."
Video of the Remains performing "Big Ol' Dynaflow": bit.ly/1AVwxXx.