2016-07-08 / Weekender

Still Kickin’ After All These Years

By Dan Offner

Alive N’ Kickin’ will perform at the Beach 94th performance space on Sunday, July 10, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. Alive N’ Kickin’ will perform at the Beach 94th performance space on Sunday, July 10, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. Alive N’ Kickin’ couldn’t be a more appropriate name for this classic rock cover band, which has continued to perform hit music for more than 40 years.

In preparation for their upcoming performance on July 10 at the Beach 94th performance space from 6 – 7:30 p.m., The Wave caught up with lead singer Pepe Cardona to talk about the band and its evolution over the years.

“Basically [the band] was born in Brooklyn, back in the late ‘60s,” Cardona said. “We were just playing around Brooklyn when we met Tommy James and the Shondells.” According to Cardona, James had liked the band so much that he even went as far as to ask them to record his song, Crystal Blue Persuasion. However, after several rehearsals, James found he liked the song so much that he decided to record it himself. “Then, one day [James] brought us up to his record company, Roulette Records,” Cardona continued. “Bam! In 1970, this week, the song [Tighter, Tighter,] was shooting up the charts. A lot of places it reached No. 1.” Their first hit single, Tighter, Tighter, was a monumental success. It spent approximately 16 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, climbing as high as No. 7, and would go on to earn them the RIAA gold record for more than one million copies sold. Following the success of their 1970 hit single, Alive N’ Kickin’ soon found them opening up for such iconic bands as Chicago, The Monkees, Seals & Croft, and The Ides of March, among others.

“It was a great experience,” Cardona said. Over the years, Cardona and cofounder/ vocalist Sandy Toder, have kept the group “alive and kicking,” despite the loss of some of its founding members, including: bassist Woody Wilson, guitarist Dave Shearer, drummer Vito Albano and keyboardist/singer-songwriter Bruce Sudano. “The band we have now is probably the best group of musicians that I’ve ever put together,” Cardona said. “We go over fantastic everywhere we go. I got a little mix of classic oldies and some of today’s [more] up-tempo songs.” Cardona said that while the band may have been around for nearly half a century, they like to stay current and perform a mix of classic rock and contem-porary pop songs, such as Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson. “I look forward to every concert,” Cardona said. “We’re doing concerts on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday [be-fore]. So, it’s going to be a long week.” Be sure and catch Alive N’ Kickin’, presented by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz as part of the 2016 Summer Concert Series, on Sunday, July 10, at the Beach 94th performance space, from 6–7:30 p.m.

For more information visit Alivenkickin.com.

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GREAT write up Dan! I hired

GREAT write up Dan! I hired this band a few times for my National Night out Against Crime and they never disappointed us at all, GREAT BAND GREAT MUSIC. Pepe live on!!!

Thanks Danny!

Thanks Danny!

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