It’s tradition that every July 4 my husband and I go see the 1910 Fruitgum Company. I had their 45-rpm records when I was a little girl, so I love to support them. Their shows are always so much fun and yesterday was extra special because they had a kick-ass sound guy! I loved that they saved their best two hits for last: “1-2-3 Red Light” and “Simon Says” (which I always get up and dance to!) Their other big hits were “Indian Giver” and “Goody Goody Gum Drops” which they did earlier in the show. [Side note: Every time they play “Goody Goody Gum Drops” I always think about the ’90s song “Faith Healer” by Redd Kross — it’s almost the exact same song! Though I doubt Redd Kross blatantly ripped off Fruitgum Company, my guess is Fruitgum were a definite influence on them.]
Hits Fruitgum did by other artists included: “Midnight Confessions” (Grassroots); “Bus Stop” (Hollies); “You Know She’d Rather Be With Me” and “Happy Together” (Turtles); “Surfin’ USA” (Beach Boys); and so much more!
Ever since we’ve been going to these July 4th extravaganzas, Barbara Harris & The Toys performed too. Not so last night. I was sad not to see them, but thrilled to see John Ford Coley! Now his 45-rpm record, I had as a pre-teen, “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight.” I was 12 when that song came out in 1976. I loved music since I can remember, which was probably at the age of 3 or 4. But it’s those pre-teen years that are extra special, when you go into a record store, pick out the singles you want — with your own money — and you feel like you know a little something. To this day I can remember buying the England Dan and John Ford Coley single, thinking I was so important! I was the nerdy late bloomer and all the other little girls had boyfriends already, but buying music, for me, meant something.
Ford Coley’s live performance was excellent. He had a great sense of humor, told some good tales and delivered his three hits: “Nights Are Forever Without You,” “It’s Sad to Belong to Someone Else (When the Right One Comes Along); and of course, “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight.”
After the show we approached John Ford Coley to take a photo. I told him I had his single when I was 12.
He jokingly replied, “You were single when you were twelve?!”
I was so in awe of meeting him, I didn’t know what to say next. My husband and I were just smiling and laughing. John Ford Coley is a cool, down to earth guy!
Prior to the show, we checked out the petting zoo. Of course, the rabbits were the best!
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X