Fenichel has a truly a magical evening  . . . a 15 minutes of fame

By Mark Fenichel

Mark “Fenny” Fenichel

I often think about the days when I was working as an ad rep at KFOX Radio. That was between 2002 and 2009. No two days were ever the same and this day turned out to be unlike any other. As the phone on my desk rang I could see it was morning hosts Greg Kihn and Chris Jackson calling from the studio phone. Chris said, “Get your harmonicas, Jesse Colin Young is coming with his entire band and we want you to play with all of us.” Just then my manager shows up at my desk and asks me to meet him in his office in five minutes. There goes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Turns out he just wanted to tell me he was going to be out for the rest of the day. Coast was clear.

What a remarkable couple of hours it was hanging out with one of my acoustic music idols and hearing many of his road stories and then playing with him and his awesome band. We all had so much fun and Jesse and I got to trade off on the solo of his huge hit “Get Together” one of the biggest hits to come out of the ’60s.

As they were gathering their stuff the bass player asked me if I was planning to come to their show and I told him it was very likely. So he said I’ll put you on our guest list in case you decide to make it. A couple hours later I get a call from the studio. It appears the drummer left a bag of percussion equipment and he called to ask if I could bring it that evening. Well I guess I was going. The show was at The Little Fox in Redwood City and I decided to go a little early to deliver the equipment. I get there and there is already a good size line formed down the block to the corner.

The box office manager saw me and knew me so when I walked in he had two tickets in his hand for me.  I told him I had to give the band some stuff they left behind and he said, “you know your way around here just go in the back and bring it to their dressing room.”

When I got there, they were all seemingly happy to see me. We exchanged hellos, chatted for a bit and I started to leave to give them their space when the bass player came up to me and said, “You were the main subject at lunch today, and Jesse wanted to know if you could sit in on T-Bone Shuffle? It will be our second to last song.” Of course, I said that would be great. So I went into the main showroom and got a good seat before the crowd came in. You could feel the electricity in the room as the crowd from outside quickly filled the place.

Soon the lights went down, the packed house went crazy as the band started to approach to the stage. Then the crowd got even louder as Jesse came out.  He walked right passed me then stopped and whispered in my ear, “Hey stay on the stage after T-Bone and play Get Together with us.” Oh man, a musical dream come true.

The band played songs past and present all night long, teasing the audience with some of those special nuggets that only Jesse Colin Young’s most devoted fans would know word for word. The crowd was pumped, the sound man was on his game. Then they introduced T-Bone Shuffle. I approached the stage, stepped up with harmonica in hand and we started the song with no hesitation as if I was just another band member. Smiles everywhere on and off the stage. The song went off without a hitch, the crowd is mostly on their feet screaming for more. Then Jesse hits the opening chords of his hit song “Get Together.” Everyone in the place got on their feet and started dancing, hugging each other and swaying

“Come on people now smile on your brother everybody get together and love one another right now.” The studio session earlier in the day was like a rehearsal as Jesse looked to me to share leads during the guitar solo. The band was still smiling. Love was in the air.

Everyone in the place hugging and singing at the top of their lungs. Oh man, is this really happening or am I going to wake up and realize it was just a dream? But it was far from a dream. The song ended. The crowd cheered for what seemed like an eternity. Every band member came over, hugged and thanked me for being part of their show. They signed autographs, snapped pictures with their fans. I stayed with the band until the last person left. Truly a magical evening …  a moment in time I will never forget. My 15 minutes of fame.

On another note, the South Valley Symphony still has tickets available for their March 7 event “Spirit of Music 3: NextGen 2020.” The orchestra, led by Anthony Quartuccio, will host talented young musicians and premieres “Ozian Symphony” based on the novel “Wicked.” For tickets visit southvalleysymphony.org. Or stop by the ticket outlets in Gilroy at First Street Coffee or Porcella’s Music. in Morgan Hill at Booksmart or the Chamber of Commerce.

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