Talk about serendipity. I was talking about these guys on Facebook yesterday with my older son, per fake bands from the movies and TV -- and said fake bands that became real ones. Also, I saw "American Hot Wax" in a theater back in the day; at history, it's bunk, but the music's good and Tim McIntyre gave a terrific performance. So now the Planotones are coming to Cleveland -- of course, when I have to be somewhere else. Anyway, the official word:
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will host a special event entitled Up Close & Personal with Kenny Vance & The Planotones on Thursday, June 7 at 7 p.m. at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in the Foster Theater. Vance will tell stories of his career and perform live with the Planotones. Kenny Vance and the Planotones started out as a fictional group in the movie American Hot Wax, but eventually took to the stage with a concert tour that has been going strong since 1992. Vance was also a founding member of the group Jay and the Americans and produced the first recordings by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, who later formed Steely Dan.
The Rock Hall event is free with a reservation. Seating is limited. RSVP through the Rock Hall website beginning Thursday, May 31 at 10am at https://tickets.rockhall.com or at the Rock Hall Box Office.
The event will be held in conjunction with the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Cinematheque screening of American Hot Wax on Friday, June 8, at 9:35 p.m. and Saturday, June 9 at 5 p.m. at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, 11141 East Boulevard in University Circle. Telephone (216) 421-7450, www.cia.edu/cinematheque. Free parking for filmgoers in CIA lot. Tickets: $9; Cinematheque and Rock Hall members $7; ages 25 and under (with proof of age) $5. Tickets for these film screenings will be available only at the door.
About AMERICAN HOT WAX
USA, 1978, Floyd Mutrux
Tim McIntyre, Fran Drescher, Jay Leno, and Laraine Newman star in this rock ‘n’ roll drama inspired by the life of legendary Cleveland/NYC deejay Alan Freed. In the film, Freed organizes a rock show at the Brooklyn Paramount Theatre in 1959, only to watch the long-simmering hostility of police, politicians, and parents to his “devil’s music” finally come to a boil. Features performances by Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Never released on DVD. 91 minutes.
About Kenny Vance and the Planotones
Growing up in New York, Kenny Vance was captivated by the magic of rock and roll. At 15, he was hanging around the Brill Building meeting other singers and songwriters, and eventually formed the successful group Jay and The Americans. They went on to record 15 albums and tour extensively, opening for the Beatles’ and Rolling Stones’ first U.S. appearances.
Vance went on to compose, supervise and produce a long list of scores and soundtracks for feature films and television. He gave musical life to American Hot Wax, the definitive big screen story of pioneering rock ‘n’ roll deejay Alan Freed, by recreating the groups of the ‘50s and early ‘60s for the film. The Planotones were formed as a fictional group specifically for the movie, and were reformed 14 years later, jumping from the movies to the world’s concert stages with an illustrious career that’s been going strong since 1992.
Vance also was music director for NBC's Saturday Night Live and music supervisor for such Hollywood hits as Animal House, Eddie and the Cruisers, and a number of other films, including Hairspray and Streets of Fire. His material is influenced by the music of the ‘50s and ‘60s, but he consistently brings a unique and musically sophisticated point of view. Filtered through a soulful Brooklyn vibe, Vance gives a gift to those who are discovering him for the first time.