It has to be one of the hardest things that beloved 60s music star and bandleader Paul Revere has had to do in the past months he’s been on tour while simultaneously dealing with recent health challenges. But on Jul. 18, 2014, Revere posted a special message to his fans on his web site and his Facebook page (over 100,000 there), with a simple request: “Come out and see my boys, and tell them how much you miss me….The show must go on.”
Beginning Saturday night, Jul. 19, 2014, when The Raiders are set to take the stage at the Casablanca Event Center at Eastside Cannery Casino in Las Vegas, their fearless leader won’t be with them. Revere shared his request with his fans via social media, continuing:
You can’t ignore doctor’s orders forever, and I have to give in this time or these wonderful men and women might stop trying to help me. It breaks my heart to have to stay home while the band goes out without me to our next block of dates. You don’t know how much it kills me….So come out and see my boys, and tell them how much you miss me.”
Revere’s message is succinct, sweet, and sincere. He made a good decision, one that’s best for him, for his wife, Syd, and their family, to stay off the road for a while and get his sea legs back underneath him. After all, he’s got a week-long “Where the Action Is” Cruise that he wants to board in January, 2015, and to do that, he needs some rest! Not the sleep-between-shows as you travel the country on a tour bus kind, but real rest.
Who are Raiders fans and how do they feel about this? In today’s business world of music, classic rock fans are a special group indeed. They own the vinyl, vintage and CD reissue; they see all the shows, remember all the words to the music, and even grumble if a favorite song isn’t played (of the myriad of songs that might be performed during an evening). From “Just Like Me,” “Louie, Louie,” “Hungry,” “Kicks,” “Steppin’ Out,” “Him or Me,” “Indian Reservation,” to “Where the Action Is” (the name of their popular concert tour that includes fellow friends and music colleagues across the country from time to time), the Raiders stay more than busy.
As leader of “America’s premier party band” Revere is not as much an extraordinary singer or a musician as he is the crown prince of musical fellowship and expert in how to celebrate an evening of entertainment. He’s also the wise leader of a band of merry men, who are both like family and dear friends to Paul.
In terms of longevity, you won’t find another classic rock band whose members have been on board longer than you realize, even if you’ve been one of the millions who’ve seen them in concert somewhere around the country.
Everyone knows the original members of the band who recorded the albums, and many are still involved in their own solo music efforts, but there’s a core group of touring Raiders who have consistently “been” the Raiders, and whom Paul has loved as brothers throughout these years.
Two Raiders have been on stage with Revere since 1979: Doug Heath on lead guitar, and Ron Foos on bass. Keyboardist Danny Krause has been a Raider since 1986. Now sit and think about who you know who’s worked together that long year after year. Time’s up! It’s a big deal, a really big deal. Before 2008, current, versatile lead singer Darren Dowler had been a Jordanaire, a Letterman, and a Righteous Brother. Six years ago Dowler took on the role held longest by Carlo Driggs (1983-2004), after original band members had gone their separate ways. In 2010, Tommy Scheckel became the showman drummer for The Raiders, and he’s been so beloved by fans that it seems he’d been there from the get-go.
In 2012 on the “Where the Action Is” cruise came my introduction to the on-stage experience of a Raiders show. Paul served as the emcee of merriment and jokes and pranks that have contributed to their show being hailed as one of the most high-energy shows you’ll hear or see anywhere. It's so true and you are so entertained by these grand musicians that you just drift back in time to the best days of the 1960s and 70s and remember when they first rocked your world with their songs. Every bit as much love, energy and music accomplishment is part of a Raiders show today. In fact, it's supercharged. With Revere sidelined for a spell, the Raiders will trust in the band’s faithful, devoted fans to pitch in and make that party happen, for the Raiders and in behalf of Paul. And they'll do fine.
Yes, when you buy a ticket to a show or make the effort and take the time to go where the action is, music fans expect to be entertained. But Raiders fans are special enough to understand that it is, truly, the hardest thing the Raiders will ever do tonight, to take the stage at the Cannery in Vegas, and entertain for the first time without Paul. It’s as hard for them as it is for Paul to listen to his doctors (for a change!) and catch up on the 10 p.m. news tonight on television in Boise, Idaho, his hometown and home. Their leader is healing so they hurt to miss him for now, but each one of the Raiders is a pro and they're stepping up right now to make things happen, for Paul, and for their fans.
The week ahead brings dates in Michigan and Minnesota and there are nine more concert locales scheduled between now and the “Where the Action Is” cruise in January, but if the comments of love, prayers and support of close to 5,000 fans who’ve posted on the band’s Facebook page in just the last 21 hours are any indication, Raider fans are ready to welcome the band with open arms and celebrate for Paul, even if they can’t celebrate with him for a while.
A man of faith, a man of fair dealing and unwavering loyalty to his friends, Paul Revere has every expectation of returning to the stage, the minister of merriment and prince of pranks that he is. In the meantime, fans can do two things for “their” Paul Revere:
1) Post your well wishes, love, and prayers for his complete recovery on his Facebook timeline so he can fill some of his recuperation time with joy;
2) Be sure and catch the Raiders on the road when they come to your town.
The family of classic rock lovers does indeed love their Paul Revere. Sending prayers, love and best wishes to you, and we’ll all see you back on stage as fast as you can join up again. Your Raiders? They’ve got you covered, but then, you already knew that. Take care and get ready to ride again, and continue “The Legend of Paul Revere.” Your story, and your songs, play on.
Sat. Jul. 19, Las Vegas, NV
Casablanca Event Center At Eastside Cannery Casino
Wed. Jul. 23, Charlevoix, MI
Charlevoix Venetian Festival Grounds
Fri. Jul. 25, Prior Lake, MN
Mystic Lake Casino
Fri. Aug. 8, Elkhart, IN
Sat. Aug. 9, Columbus, OH
Fri. Aug. 15, Norfolk, NE
Divots Event Center
Tue. Nov. 11, Deland, FL
Volusia County Fairgrounds
Thur. Dec. 4, Oroville, CA
Feather Falls Casino & Lodge
Fri. Dec. 5, Bow, WA
Skagit Valley Casino Resort
Sat., Dec. 6, Bow, WA
Skagit Valley Casino Resort
Sat. Jan 3, 2015, Las Vegas, NV South Point Hotel & Casino
Sun. Jan. 4, 2015, Las Vegas, NV South Point Hotel & Casino
Appearing at "Where The Action Is Cruise" Princess Cruise Line - Ruby Princess Sat Jan. 17-23, 2015, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Appearing with The Lettermen Sat Jan. 24, 2015, Miami, FL Magic City Casino