Lonnie Lee The Class Of '59 Interview

Lonnie Lee The Class Of '59 Interview

Get Ready Australia! From the producers of the smash hit concert tour "Elvis Meets Buddy", comes "The Class Of '59"! From the original class of '59, Australia's very own living legend Lonnie Lee brings this unique concept to the stage. His own history is presented in the first set to introduce to you, the audience, just how rock began, and that it is alive and rockin' today! With the greatest rock and roll band ever assembled, 2011 gets ready to rock to the golden era of Rock 'n' Roll as we know it today…

Dance with us back to an era when rock and roll influenced and created a social movement for the days teenagers… the way you dressed, the hairstyles, the language and the love. Walk along the street and you saw the gals sporting hourglass silhouettes accessorised by gloves and pearls. Bobby socks and bubble gum were everywhere; and the guys with sideburns and slicked back hair sporting the leather jacket and denim jeans… an era where black horned rim brow line glasses became a trend… an era where petrol was so cheap that it fuelled not only the hot rods on the roads but fired up a musical movement that would only be lived for a short while but would last in the hearts and souls of billions for eternity. It is this era that will be recreated on stage ….

Introducing The Class Of '59 band:
Picture this…. It's backstage and as Elvis Presley quietly ties his trademark blue suede shoes Buddy Holly nervously says goodbye to Peggy Sue as he ushers her outside to a chorus of now jealous screaming girls. He returns to tune his guitar above the noise. Suddenly without so much as a knock, in through the back door comes Jerry Lee Lewis chewing away like a man possessed on his favorite gum. Elvis says to Buddy, "can't a man even tie his own shoes in peace?" Buddy says "Elvis those shoes of yours are the least of our problems, cause if we don't play good enough to satisfy all them girls out there, you may as well go back and sing to your mama". Little Richard chimes in with "Boys if you don't got the soul how can you expect to Rock n Roll?" In that instant Chuck Berry bursts through the door hollering about this girl Maybellene that's driving him crazy. Buddy, Elvis and Jerry eventually calm him down by telling him to listen to all the other screaming girls out there. Chuck quickly sees the light and starts tuning his guitar frantically knowing the company he is in and that he cannot be anything but his best tonight. As the stage manager gives a 10 minute call Elvis says "Hey boys, where`s our rhythm section?" Buddy says "Elvis I got it covered, Bill Hayley is in town and he owes me a big favour. So he`s fixin' on playing double bass and he tells me he`s got a great drummer". Everyone starts to panic as the last time Bill said he had it covered; the guy fell backwards off his stool before the first song. Finally Bill arrives with this edgy cool looking character in blue jeans and a black leather jacket. He says "Boys I'd like you to meet my friend Arthur Fonzerelli. I met him at this great burger joint down the road called Arnolds." Arthur says "Heeey just call me Fonzie." Suddenly all the girls start screaming hysterically for Fonzie and forget all the other guys are even there. Pandemonium starts to kick in with the walls being bashed in and a whole lotta shakin' goin' on. Eventually the moment arrives for history to be made as they prepare to take the stage. Elvis says quietly to Chuck "Hey do you think this Fonzie guy can actually play? Fonzie overhears and says "Hey you guys, the way I am with chicks, you just worry about what you have to sing and play as the drumming comes naturally like everything else the Fonz does…..Heeeeeeyyyyyyy"

Did this happen or could this happen? The truth of the matter is its going to happen live on stage every night as Australia's own RnR legend himself Lonnie Lee presents to you The Class Of 59.

Elvis Presley - Launching the rock and roll revolution with his commanding voice and charismatic stage presence, we'll re-live Presley's string of hits that captivated and liberated the teenage audience of the 50's including "Don't Be Cruel," "Hound Dog," "Love Me Tender," "All Shook Up" and "Jailhouse Rock."
Buddy Holly - Pioneering Rock and Roll in the 50's with his trademark horn-rimmed glasses and the ever so engaging and charismatic figure with his vocal hiccup spanning a career that lasted only two short years, but brought with it a wealth of material that made a lasting impact on popular music including "That'll Be The Day", "Peggy Sue", "Oh Boy!", "Maybe Baby" and "Rave On".
Chuck Berry - Laying the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance with his particular genius to graft country & western guitar licks onto a rhythm & blues chassis and using his trademark double-string licks, Berry's hits include "Maybellene", "Johnny B. Goode", "Roll Over Beethoven", "School Days", "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Rock and Roll Music".
Bill Hayley - Labeled as "the father of rock and roll" and credited by many with first popularizing rock and roll in the early 1950s with his group Bill Haley and the Comets and their hit song "Rock Around The Clock" - an anthem for rebellious fifties youth that changed the face of Rock and Roll - Haley, for most of the Fifties, was a presence on the record charts with hits including "See You Later, Alligator," "R.O.C.K.", "The Saints Rock 'n' Roll", "Rip It Up", "Rudy's Rock" and "Skinny Minnie".
Jerry Lee Lewis - Jerry Lee Lewis came to fame in 1957 and dubbed the wild man of rock and roll, embodying its most reckless and high-spirited impulses. Jerry Lee Lewis is on such piano-pounding rockers from the late Fifties as "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On", "Great Balls of Fire," and "Crazy Arms".
The Everly Brothers - With Don Everly taking the melody and Phil Everly harmonizing above him, the Everly Brothers released a steady string of hit records between 1957 and 1962. The Everly's hits include such timeless favourites as "Bye Bye Love", "Wake Up Little Susie", "Devoted To You", "Bird Dog", "Poor Jenny" and "All II Have to Do Is Dream".

Hail, hail, rock and roll… Elvis, Buddy, Chuck, Bill, Jerry, the Everly Brothers and Fonzie welcome you to step back to the decade that created music legends and influenced a formidable culture, performing a catalogue where their songs are timeless, their hits are endless, and their flair is never forgotten.

Guaranteeing a foot tapping, head bopping fantastic rock 'n' roll show for all, come lose yourself in the show and the music that will have you swinging in the aisles and jiving the night away! Join our own legend Lonnie Lee and take the journey back to the Class of 59!

The Class of '59 Band:
Elvis Presley - Anthony Petrucci
Buddy Holly - Scott "Buddy" Cameron
Chuck Berry - Eric Rassmussen
Bill Haley - James Nation-Ingle
Jerry Lee Lewis - Cassidy Wilson
Arthur Fonzerelli - Leon Isackson
The Everly Brothers - Brian Dean & Alan Freeman

Class of '59 Tour
Friday April 1: Ipswich Civic Centre, Ipswich, QLD
Tickets from the venue - phone 3810 6100 or www.ipswichciviccentre.com.au
Saturday April 2: QPAC, Brisbane, QLD
Tickets from Qtix.com.au or 136 246
Saturday April 9: State Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Tickets from Ticketmaster.com.au or 136 100
Friday April 29: Palms At Crown, Melbourne, VIC & Saturday April 30: Palms At Crown, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets from Ticketek.com.au or 132 849
Friday May 6: Burswood Theatre, Perth, WA
Tickets from Ticketek.com.au or 132 849
Saturday May 7: Her Majesty's Theatre, Adelaide, WA
Tickets from www.Bass.net.au or 131 246

Interview with Lonnie Lee

Question: What originally motivated to create this show?

Lonnie Lee: We have noticed that interest in the original Rock'n'Roll' era of the 50's and early 60's, is growing faster than any other music era and we are constantly asked at shows about all those superstars of the 50's we performed with over the years. One night at one of my shows, I told the audience that the next songs we were going to sing were some we recorded in 1959 which was the year Rock'n'Roll took over the music world.

The reaction to that, sparked the idea to create a show like no other before it. An imaginary night when the biggest stars of Rock'n'Roll performed their biggest hits in the same concert. So, as 1959 was the major year of original Rock'n'Roll, what better name than. 'The Class of '59'.

Question: How did you get the Class of '59 Band together?

Lonnie Lee: After that idea was born, we got with our management team and agent, and as they too thought the idea was terrific, it was all stops out to find the best tribute performers Australia had to offer. Everyone is extremely excited about the show because it doesn't take much to imagine just how incredible that show would have been had it had taken place. We all want to make it happen as if it was the real deal.

Question: What can audiences expect from this show?

Lonnie Lee: Firstly audiences can expect to see and hear a show which they will remember for many years to come. This is not just another concert! This is as if the greatest stars of Rock'n'Roll moved and grooved on the same stage in the same concert. Those in the audience who were around in that early era will instantly be taken back to their youth and to the emotional feelings they had then. Those who have come along later but would have loved to have been there will be transported back to a time of innocence and freedom which only the 50's offered. The magic of the songs and the energy of the show will be an experience never to forget.

Question: What songs can audiences expect to hear?

Lonnie Lee: They will hear some of the most successful songs of the entire Rock'n'Roll era done exactly as they were back then. The same excitement and beat that changed the world in 1959. I will be singing my biggest Gold Records and together with the others, there will be more Gold Records sung on that night, than any other show.

Question: Do you encourage audiences to come dress in the era's attire?

Lonnie Lee: Yes we always encourage audiences to wear the colourful 50's gear and some of them do go all the way. The haircuts, the full clothing trip and many even drive up to the concerts in their 50's cars. We want everyone to feel like this is the real thing and if dressing up a lot or a little will help that, then we are all for it.

Question: What music/artists do you listen to when you are not playing your own?

Lonnie Lee: My heart is with the emotions and the melodies of the 50's however my musical tastes are quite varied. Swing to country to blues to ethnic all can get to me providing it is done well as I do have a great appreciation for those who have exceptional talent. Every era from the 20's to today have given us some very talented singers and instrumentalists, and all of them have my applause.

Interview by Brooke Hunter

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