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Friday, September 26, 2014

Harvest Fair This Weekend at the Wisconsin State Fair Grounds

Among other bands in a great lineup, The Buckinghams perform Saturday; a brief interview with lead singer Carl Giammarese.

By Aaron S. Robertson

“We’re really looking forward to Milwaukee, even if you’re a bunch of Packers fans,” Carl Giammarese, the lead singer of famed 60s pop group The Buckinghams, told me with a laugh in a brief interview with him by phone this past Tuesday afternoon, September 23. It was my second interview with him. Check out my more comprehensive conversation with Carl near the end of 2011. “As you know, we’ve visited Milwaukee many, many times, going back to the 60s, and we always have a great time.”

The Chicago-based group, armed with hits like “Kind of a Drag”, “Don’t You Care”, “Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song)”, and “Susan”, takes the stage this Saturday, September 27, starting at 4:00pm at the Bank Mutual Amphitheater. Admission is free for the family-friendly fair, which opens Friday evening and runs through Sunday.

The Harvest Fair performance will include the band’s horn section, which is always a treat. Joining along in the 75-minute performance will be Brookfield resident Peter Neumer on sax.

Carl Giammarese, The Buckinghams
Carl Giammarese, Potawatomi Bingo Casino, 12/5/12.
“We had a good summer,” Carl told me. “There were some really enjoyable shows throughout the year so far. We recently performed with The Grass Roots and Gary Puckett & The Union Gap. Nick [Fortuna, the band’s bassist and other remaining original member] and I are really pleased with the current lineup. We just keep plotting along here.” The Grass Roots are also performing Saturday at the same stage, starting at 8:00pm. Read my in-depth 2012 interview with bassist and lead singer Mark Dawson.

Aside from additional upcoming performances this year, Carl said the band doesn’t have any new recordings or other special projects coming up in the pipeline at the immediate moment, but he did note that an album was released earlier this year entitled FlashBack, a collection of newer recordings featuring both national hits and regional favorites that The Buckinghams have enjoyed over the years. “I’d like to maybe record another live show for DVD one of these days, as well,” Carl explained, noting, “But you have to have the perfect venue for something like that.” Carl has also been working on an autobiography for some time now. “I’m hoping to complete it before I pass away,” he said with a laugh. “But joking aside, I think our fan base will really come to enjoy it. It will be very extensive.”

Nick Fortuna, The Buckinghams
Bassist Nick Fortuna, Potawatomi Bingo Casino, 12/5/12.
From personal experience, The Buckinghams always put on a great show. There’s something for everyone. It’s actually worth forgetting and forgiving for that 75 minutes that some of the band members are die-hard Bears and Cubs fans. And we know that it’s pretty darn rare when we can say that, right Milwaukee? So come check the band out and take in all of the other great entertainment and food offerings that Harvest Fair has in store for you this weekend. And if 60s pop is in fact your forte, you definitely have to return for The Grass Roots.

Click here for the complete Harvest Fair lineup, and check out

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