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‘Happy Together’ tour keeps it light (and a little creepy) in Morristown
August 15, 2016
Morristown Green
Morristown, New Jersey


The Cowsills sing on 'Happy Together' tour in Morristown, Aug. 12, 2016. Photo by Kevin C.

Kicks just keep getting harder to find. But Mark Lindsay, a teen heartthrob with Paul Revere and the Raiders a half-century ago, found some in Morristown on Friday.

With a form that any Jets punter would envy, the 74-year-old Lindsay kicked high over his head while singing the Raiders hit Kicks, prompting the next performer, Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night fame, to observe with astonishment:

“That can’t be his real leg. What do you think it is?”

The Happy Together show proceeded pretty much in that vein all evening at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, where a packed house appeared to relish being reminded, in the immortal words of the Turtles’ Howard Kaylan, that “none of us are getting any younger.”

Dubbed the “Take What You Can Get Tour” by Kaylan, this incarnation includes Spencer Tracy, er, Spencer Davis, who these days looks an awful lot like the eHarmony guy; and three members of The Cowsills, the sibling band that inspired TV’s Partridge Family way back when.

Susan, Paul and Bob Cowsill enthusiastically reinterpreted their 1969 hit, Hair, as an ode to the follicly challenged.

Things veered from cutesy to creepy when Gary Puckett, sans the Union Gap, reprised his gold record, Young Girl.

Mind you, the lyrics were pretty creepy back in 1968. Now picture granddad and 1,300 seniors crooning in unison:

Young girl, get out of my mind / My love for you is way out of line / Better run, girl / You’re much too young, girl!

With help from a first-rate backup band, the featured singers managed to hit most of their notes and remember their lines.

They had ample motivation, according to Negron. Introducing Three Dog Night’s megahit, Joy to the World, he explained how he had no idea what “annuity” meant when he was a 20-something rock star.

“But after six children and five wives, you figure it out,” he quipped.

Combined, these six acts have been in the music business for 320 years, give or take. Laid end to end, their careers precede J.S. Bach. (Who, incidentally, outsold The Beatles for 20 minutes in 1720.)

They are survivors, in other words. The Turtles twosome has toured with Frank Zappa, sung harmonies for T. Rex and the Boss, hosted radio talk shows and recorded soundtracks for Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake.

“We’re still a drug band,” Kaylan insisted. “But the drugs are different.”

(Talk about sponsorship opportunities! The Flomax Tour, featuring Flo & Eddie…)

If these two look like they bathe in formaldehyde, it’s understandable. Volman just emerged from a pitched battle with cancer. “It beats you up,” Volman said. In a rare serious moment, he and Kaylan urged fans to get examined.

“Do yourselves a favor. Don’t be a denier,” said Kaylan, who remained seated for his set. “See your doctor this year so you can come back and see us next year, 100-percent cancer-free.”

Clearly, that’s an appealing prospect for these entertainers and their faithful admirers, who looked Happy Together on this summer night.

“Rock and roll keeps you young!” declared Mark Lindsay. Rock on, Ladies and Gentlemen.

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