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The Association at Yoshii's

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Last weekend, a somewhat unknown icon from the 1960's made a rare Bay Area appearance. The Association, which over the past 49 years has gone through an assortment of transitions, still showed those in the audience that they still can make music in harmony.

Though only two of the original seven members were in the entourage, the nature of the music and the somewhat anonymous arrangements has made the music the true stars of the band as, in truth, it always should be. That is something that the egomaniacal, so-called artists of today could learn a lesson from. How a band can endure over half a century is the result of the fact that no one person was bigger than the whole unit.

The show consisted of the obvious hits that were penned by the band or at least brought to the world through their interpretation. Original members Jim Yester and Jules Alexander told the majority of the stories from on stage which in truth is always the most compelling and interesting feature for concerts by legends. As for songs, they of course played the traditional stable of hits, Windy, Never My Love, Cherish and Along Comes Mary as well as some that really were not so often played by recent incarnations of the band like Alexander's Dubuque Blues and Yester's movie theme Goodbye Columbus.

Honestly, the sound was wonderful and did harken back to the hey day of the band and the music. The era from which they were spawned was truly unique in that a band like the Association could easily be missed because they were a California band trapped between beach music, the "LA" sound and the psychedelia from San Francisco. However, while others from that time have vanished from the scene, the Association has forever been apart of the music landscape... At least for the past 49 years. And, yes, there will be a 50th anniversary as an effort is underway to reunite the original cast for at least a handful of shows. Those will most assuredly be special.


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