Summer Breeze-The making of a Yacht Rock band

By August 29, 2019 March 14th, 2020 Music, News, Uncategorized

It hit me when I first heard a carload of teenage girls screaming Toto’s “Africa” from a convertible.  Why in the era of Ariana Grande’s sultry “I want it, I got it” would teens, who basically “got” anything they want in the palm of their hands, opt for an out-of-date song that forces the phrase, “as sure as Kilimanjaro rises above the Serengeti” as the car jam of choice?  My best guess is that they are bored.  Bored with the beats.  Bored with DJs.  These kids are starving for a new sound and if no one is making it new, (or copping old grooves, thanks Bruno Mars) the kids are gonna go back in time for it.  They will find those quirky, harmony heavy mid-tempo grooves complete with sax solos and they will love them.  They will love them as ferociously as Star Lord loves his “awesome mix.”  Because let’s face it, the music of late 70’s early 80s was awesome.

Sometimes to keep up with a trend in entertainment, you have to go backwards.  Guardians of the Galaxy said “The Pina Colada Song” was a bop.  Ted Mosby admitted in How I Met Your Mother that “Summer Breeze” was his guilty pleasure song.  Weezer of covered “Africa” and radio stations actually played it.  A “Yacht Rock” station popped up on Sirus XM and a little band called the “Yacht Rock Revue” started selling out pretty large venues.

An event where everyone was encouraged to wear preppy outfits and sailor hats while drinking rum drinks and grooving to the Doobie Brothers’ “What a Fool Believes” was a party I wanted to throw.  I just needed a band.  Fortunately, my best friend Sammy plays bass and can crank on Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgetting.” His trio was the heart of the rhythm section.  For Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire tunes, we got Jim to organize the horn section as well as add tasteful hits to tunes that didn’t originally have them.  Our front three singers nail the harmonies better than the original records!

Charts were made, rehearsal tracks were recorded, everyone rehearsed and rehearsed again for our first gig, and it was a success!  Now the fun part, to shoot a video!  As the genre is Yacht Rock, we wanted to shoot on a Yacht.  Our good friend Captain Carl, seen in this behind-the-scenes video had a friend with a yacht and his own sailboat, so between those TWO boats.   We were in business.

For the ultimate success of any video, you need super-talented people…and rum.

Now I’ve always maintained that for ultimate success of a video, you need super-talented people…and rum.  So after the beautiful establishing shots on the yacht, we started drinking rum like pirates, and took the small “Gully Rooster” sailboat out for a spin.  What we didn’t realize as we were sailing over the calm waters of the inlet, was that waiting for us just off the coast of Cocoa Beach were 3-foot high swells.  We had positioned our singers-Jessie Tony and Sara- at the bow of the boat and suddenly, it started dipping and bucking all over the place, along with a fierce wind that knocked off Tony’s hat.  (You’ll see that in this final cut)  The singers and players giggled and fell all over each other on the rough seas and we all had a blast.  We captured this festive mood on film and that was the ultimate goal.  Because when you are giggling and hanging all over your friends on the dance floor at any event, don’t you want a party band that can do the same thing?