Groovy, Baby! At times, they look like four versions of Austin Powers in floral jackets and white ruffled shirts. Only Powers' toothy protruding grin is missing.
These guys aren't part of the British Invasion.
They're Rockola, a band that calls itself "America's Classic Rock Experience." They'll be the headliner for on Saturday at Dos Picos County Park.
So, what's the interest in the groovy threads?
"1958 to '72 has been our focus," guitarist Bob Tedde told Patch recently. "It was the Golden Age, the most enduring music. For most of us The Beatles were our favorite band. We used to have a Beatles look, with suits and white shirts and ties, but we don't do that anymore."
For the Ramona gig, they're thinking of wearing long jackets, with patterned shirts.
"It's the later '60s look," Tedde said. "Psychedlic. We call it our mod look. We'll probably peel at some point on stage and reveal our patterned paisley."
Tedde said he's excited to be playing up in Ramona. The Music Fest is a first for the group.
The core band of Tedde, Mark DeCerbo, Doug Booth and Larry Grano will come on Saturday. They're from all over San Diego County. Tedde and DeCerbo play guitar. Tedde also plays keyboards. Booth is the bassist and also plays flute.
"We're a very vocal band," Tedde said. "We all sing."
All except Grano have been together for 20 years.
"We used Larry as our drummer for about 13 years, then we used someone else for a while, and now Larry is back with us again," Tedde said.
Grano will do double duty, drumming for at the Fest, as well as Rockola.
Two local boys also will perform with Rockola on Saturday: Jason Mandich, 15, on trumpet (Ramona High School) and Justin Zzkrajsek, 16, on saxophone (Poway High).
Rockola musicians like to bring young people up on stage to sing sometimes.
"I like to set up a couple of mics for them," Tedde said. "We'll see how the stage is and how it could work in Ramona. Kids are more fun to perform with than professional adults sometimes."
He knows about performing as a young person.
"I grew up playing and singing at a very young age in Ohio. There wasn't much competition, so I was put up on stage a lot."
Rockola coordinates a project call Magical Symphony Youth Orchestra for people ages 12 to 24.
"Playing with kids is an energy level that you don't get anywhere else," Tedde said. "It's inspirational for kids. A lot of kids play through high school and then college and then they're done. Most kids don't get to experience being in a real show—the power of it. It's a symbiotic thing. I love giving them that experience. I'm kind of like a big kid myself."
To see videos of Rockola's shows including young students, click here.
Tedde's daughter, Celia, age 14 has been singing with the band occasionally since she was 5 or 6, but she won't be able to come to Ramona.
"We did an Abbey Road Album live show recently with high school kids," Tedde said.
He likes using an orchestra.
"I like to work with violins and cellos," he said.
"We have three different audiences in San Diego. There's the summer concert series, with six or seven outdoor events. That's a family thing. Then there's the club following. Then there's the theater or ticketed shows, and those are classic rock with an orchestra."
Their music in Ramona might range from the British bands to a California Dreamin' sound.
Tedde said he doesn't come from a formal music background but Booth—the bass player—is the opposite. He teaches students at the high school and junior college level.
In April, the band has a couple of appearances at Humphreys Backstage Live. They'll also perform at the Belly Up in Solana Beach and the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
Ramona Music Fest is a fundraiser for local and projects and scholarships. It will be from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at . For information about the band line-up and times, tickets, food, the silent auction and reverse raffle, click here.
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