NEPA Scene Staff

Psychedelic rockers Vanilla Fudge play with Badfinger at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe on Nov. 18

Psychedelic rockers Vanilla Fudge play with Badfinger at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe on Nov. 18
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From a press release:

It has been announced that classic rock band Vanilla Fudge will perform at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe on Friday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. with Joey Molland’s Badfinger.

Tickets, which are $24 in advance or $29 the day of the show, go on sale this Friday, July 1 at 10 a.m. at all Ticketmaster outlets, the Penn’s Peak box office (325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe), and Roadies Restaurant and Bar (325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe). Penn’s Peak box office and Roadies Restaurant ticket sales are walk-up only; no phone orders.

Vanilla Fudge was one of the first American groups to infuse psychedelia into a heavy rock sound to create “psychedelic symphonic rock,” an eclectic genre which would, among its many offshoots, eventually morph into heavy metal. Although, at first, the band did not record original material, they were best known for their dramatic, heavy, slowed-down arrangements of contemporary pop songs which they developed into works of epic proportion.

Originally, Vanilla Fudge was a blue-eyed soul cover band called The Pigeons, formed in New Jersey in 1965 with organist Mark Stein, bassist Tim Bogert, drummer Joey Brennan, and guitarist, vocalist, and U.S. Navy veteran Vince Martell. They built a following by gigging extensively up and down the East Coast and earned extra money by providing freelance in-concert backing for hit record girl groups. In early 1966, the group recorded a set of eight demos that were released several years later as “While the World Was Eating Vanilla Fudge.”

The East Coast, in particular New York and New Jersey, created a sound all its own. Inspired by groups such as The Rascals and The Vagrants (fronted by guitarist Leslie West of “Mountain” fame), The Pigeons reworked many of their own existing arrangements of covers to reflect their unique interpretation of this “East Coast sound.”

In late 1966, drummer Joey Brennan moved out to the West Coast, so The Pigeons immediately drafted drummer and vocalist Carmine Appice, a disciple of the renowned Joe Morello (Dave Brubeck Band) and a seasoned veteran of the club scene. In early 1967, The Pigeons’ manager Phil Basile convinced producer George “Shadow” Morton (producer for The Shangri-Las and Janis Ian) to catch their live act. Impressed by their heavy-rocking, trippy, and psychedelic version of The Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” Morton offered to record the song as a single. This resulted in a deal with the Atlantic subsidiary Atco, which requested a name change. The band settled on Vanilla Fudge; they were a white group singing and playing with the soul of the brothers. The band toured extensively behind its covers-heavy, jam-oriented debut album, “Vanilla Fudge,” to expand their fan base. The album was released on June 2, 1967, the day after The Beatles’ released “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Their first album rose up the charts to No. 4 without the aid of a big hit single.

Vanilla Fudge reunited in 1984 and recorded a new album, “Mystery,” which had Jeff Beck as a guest artist. In the summer of 2006, the original Vanilla Fudge reunited to tour with The Doors of the 21st Century; it culminated in a VH-1 special, “Decades of Rock.” The group currently continues to tour in the U.S. In August of 2007, they performed at Radio City Music Hall with Deep Purple, an opening act for the Fudge in the ’60s. Critics praised the Vanilla Fudge’s performance that night as one of their greatest.

On Oct. 15, 2006, Vanilla Fudge was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame by Felix Cavaliere for their contribution to music history. Other inductees were Billy Joel, Joan Jett, and Twisted Sister, to name a few.

Also in 2006, they recorded a tribute to their old friends Led Zeppelin by creating their own interpretations of their music on their CD, “Out Through the In Door.” They performed on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” on NBC on March 28, 2011.

Vanilla Fudge will be celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2017 and is still rocking the world in 2016 with concerts in the U.S. and Europe, performing at festivals, theaters, and TV appearances. With the new CD on Cleopatra Records “Spirit of ’67,” Vanilla Fudge are ready to rock the world in 2016.

Rock enthusiasts have reveled in the musical talents of Badfinger for almost five decades. With a litany of rock hits placing high on the charts, Badfinger, whose credits include “Come and Get It,” “No Matter What,” and “Day After Day” continue to entertain fans with high-energy performances of rock music at over 80 venues a year, bringing new life to the classic hits that fans have loved for decades.

Badfinger started out in the early 1960s in Wales, England as a band called The Iveys. In the late 1960s after being signed to Apple Records, they had their first hit as the renamed band Badfinger with the chart-topper “Come and Get It.” This first single was written and produced by Sir Paul McCartney and is the only song Badfinger recorded that was not written by a member of the group. Badfinger members collaborated with Beatles members on several hits, including “Day After Day,” which George Harrison produced, as well as appearing on Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” album, John Lennon’s album “Imagine,” and Ringo Starr’s single “It Don’t Come Easy.”

The name of the band itself also has its Beatles influence. Badfinger stems from an earlier working title of The Beatles’ song “With a Little Help From My Friends” which was earlier referred to as “Bad Finger Boogie.” Badfinger’s string of successful hits have led them to be Apple Records’ best-selling artist after The Beatles. Badfinger has had a lasting influence on music, and their song “Without You” has been re-recorded by over 180 artists and became No. 1 hits for artists Harry Nilsson and Mariah Carey.

Badfinger continues to belt out their classic hits with Badfinger member Joey Molland. Rock guitarist and music composer Molland’s musical career began in 1963 with The Masterminds and continued with groups such as The Merseys, Gary Walker & the Rain and, of course, Badfinger. His writing credits include several songs for Badfinger ,and he has continued to compose new music with three solo albums and as ”Badfinger featuring Joey Molland.”