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INTERVIEW: The Sixties Show Founder Craig O'Keefe Talks Music

T.J. Clemente

Craig O'Keefe is the founder and leader of The Sixties Show, an act from NYC that is billed as "The Greatest 1960s Musical Re-Creation Show in the World." They are performing at the Bay Street Theater is Sag Harbor on Friday October 12 and Saturday October 13.

The word is the shows are awesome and after interviewing Mr. O'Keefe I can understand why, the word is "passion." Mr. O'Keefe claims '60s music is perhaps the "best produced music ever." He mentions legendary late Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick as a hero of his. However, his main hero of the era is Brian Wilson because "he did the whole thing, the sounds, the arrangements, he did it all."

Mr. O'Keefe noted, "We do the great sixties songs note for note, with the guitars and amps of the era along with our multi-media and light show. We give the folks a great quality show." He said he and his band members, Tom Licameli/guitar, vocals, Jim Boggia/guitar, vocals, Chris Parker/drums, Peter Chiusano/keyboards, orchestrations, and John Cardone/bass, backing vocals, "are really into this. We don't play any song we don't love and do great. We kill the songs we do."

He explained the metamorphosis of playing small bars with ten people to selling out all the venues they now play, rooms with up to 1,500 people. When asked when did he know they made it, he paused, thought, and then responded, "We were playing a club on the West Side of NYC near Columbus Circle when the owner was sort of angry at us because the club was too crowded. We looked out at the crowd and it wasn't our regulars, it was all new people, from that day on we knew we had to book the bigger rooms."

I asked Mr. O'Keefe what are his top albums of the sixties era and he said, "That changes week to week, but if I had to list a few I would start with The Beatles' Rubber Soul, The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, Led Zeppelin II, Strange Days by The Doors and Village Green by The Kinks."

This will be The Sixties Show's third year playing the Bay Street Theater. Mr. O'Keefe said, "It is one of the smallest venues we play, but the people are fantastic, from the ownership to the audiences. We are playing two nights to accommodate the demand. He said they only do 20 shows a year because, "We all have other lives, other bands, other interests, but we really love doing this and it shows in our music."

Mr. O'Keefe, originally from L.A.m now lives in Connecticut. He has two young teens and credits his wife Laura for being "so supportive of all our music endeavors."

Both shows begin at 8 p.m. and tickets are $35.

Bay Street is located at 1 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call or visit www.baystreet.org.

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