John Sebastian to Perform at Stockton PAC!
Do you believe in magic?
If so, there will be plenty of musical magic on hand when John Sebastian, founder of The Lovin’ Spoonful, performs this Saturday, April 23, 2016, at The Stockton Performing Arts Center (Stockton PAC), on the campus of Stockton University in Galloway, NJ. For six decades, Sebastian’s contributions have become a permanent part of our nation’s musical fabric as a member of The Lovin’ Spoonful; a solo artist at Woodstock; a composer for Broadway, movies, and television; and as a major proponent of American folk, bluegrass, and jug band music.
At Stockton PAC, Sebastian promises what he terms a “one guy-one guitar” concert in addition to a memory book of stories. Regarding this performance, Sebastian says, “I try to cover anything that I’ve written over the years” including “a lot of Spoonful stuff and an explanation of where some of the stuff came from,” notably songs like “Do You Believe In Magic,” “Daydream,” and “Summer in the City.”
Adds Sebastian, “I’m never unplugged… that’s sort of a false impression from Woodstock because I played what I could borrow that day. I come with a wonderful warm-sounding electric instrument and a baritone guitar, which is particularly interesting because it does have a bit of a bottom end to get people moving… and a harmonica, maybe, if it strikes me.”
As far as stories are concerned, Sebastian reveals that at Stockton PAC, he’ll probably get around to telling some stories about The Lovin’ Spoonful’s 1960s-era tour with The Supremes which, he claims, “was just more fun than anybody should be allowed to have,” in addition to other tales from that era and even beyond when, he jokes, “I was wildly out of fashion — we get to all of it!”
In the mid-1960s — the height of Beatlemania — Sebastian made musical history with The Lovin’ Spoonful, an American group with roots in blues, country, folk, and jug band that had seven straight Top 10 Billboard hits including “Do You Believe in Magic,” “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice,” “Daydream,” “Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind,” “Summer in the City,” “Rain on the Roof,” and “Nashville Cats.”
After leaving the Spoonful, however, he went to appear as a solo artist at such world-class music festivals as Woodstock, where he performed “I Had a Dream,” and the Isle of Wight festival in England. He had been involved in music for Broadway (Jimmy Shine) and films (What’s Up, Tiger Lily?), but when the producers of a television show called Welcome Back Kotter commissioned a theme song from him in 1976, Sebastian’s “Welcome Back” became a chart-topping solo hit record.
Over the years, Sebastian continued to tour and record, pleasing old fans and winning new ones along the way. In 2000, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and, in 2007, he was the subject of a PBS documentary, “Do You Believe in Magic: The Music of John Sebastian.” He also recently recorded an album with legendary mandolinist, David Grisman, Satisfied, a collection of traditional folk songs interspersed with original songs written by both Sebastian and Grisman.
Show time for Sebastian’s upcoming performance is 7:30 p.m at Stockton PAC, 101 Vera King Farris Drive, Galloway, NJ. Tickets are $32 and may be ordered online at www.stockton.edu/pac or by calling the Box Office at (609) 652–9000, Mon.-Fri. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 90 minutes before the performance. For Group Sales, call (609) 652–4786.