Gary (who bears a striking resemblance to Benny Andersson from ABBA), always enjoyed the music of ABBA, even learning three of their songs during the “Gary & Sandy” show years. He had the opportunity to see the band in September of 1979 and remains a true fan of their sound. How do you put together a tribute/concert to one of the greatest rock bands in the history of music? You start by recruiting your team to help you. Gary had two vocal surgeries which did not allow him to sing all the parts himself, so he called on his 30-year partner, Sandy Selby, to share in the vocal undertaking. ABBA used unique recording techniques to record vocals, and all those parts had to be dissected, cataloged, arranged, and organized. This task would take 6 months, up to 10 hours a day.
Every musical note would have to be transcribed and replayed into a computer. Gary called on Fred Sampson whose knowledge in midi computer music would facilitate this part of the operation. Gary would listen to the song of the day on the 45-minute drive to Fred’s studio, replay all the parts starting with the drums and bass, and working through piano, strings, horns, vibes, bells, and whatever else ABBA used. This one month job turned into a 5-month perfectionist’s nightmare. No part was too small. Gary then had to supervise: (1) The combining of three different formats into one; (2) Re-record and perfect parts; (3) Compare that to the original recordings for audio authenticity; and finally, make it all “user-friendly.”
Certainly not the least important… Who rounds out the team? Gary’s wife, Jeanene, and their children, Ben, Casady, and Garrett, of course, who were blessed with the patience and the eyes to see the vision of their husband/father’s dream, and allow him the freedom to passionately go for that dream.
You merge that with the vocal and instrumental rehearsals. Put together a collection of the best singers, musicians, choreographers, and technicians to assemble the package into a working show program that includes audio, visual, live TV, lighting, and effects….and you now have the beginnings of a masterpiece show.
So sit back, take a sip off your beverage, and get ready to reminisce with your past to some of the greatest music ever written, and performed so authentically, that we hope you never forget this experience
Dance Floor Closed