Jamming with The Late Boomers!


Lollapalooza was this month in Chicago, but our Residents didn’t have to travel that far if they wanted to hear some great live music. Recently at The Heathers we had our own concert right in our front yard. For the second year in a row, The Heathers welcomed back The Late Boomers for a very special event. Read on below for some of our highlights and an exclusive Q and A with the band.


Our concert was open to everyone, so not only did we have Residents and their family members, but we made lots of new friends too. A group of neighborhood friends from South Barrington joined in the festivities. The melodic tunes also drew people taking a stroll around the neighborhood who stopped to listen. Furry Friends were welcome too, we met the mischievous puppy Loki and the well mannered Ollie, who is beginning his work as a therapy dog. Overall, listening ears ranged from a wee six weeks old to several nonagenarians in attendance.


For refreshment people could bring their own personal favorites or stop by the visiting Tropical Chill Ice Cream truck for a tasty treat. Tropical Chill offered classics such as the vanilla drumstick  and the iconic Batman with gumball eyes and includes an array of Hawaiian shaved ice flavors. I can personally attest that the pineapple was delicious. I enjoyed mine while talking with a young fan about some popular video game titles as we were waiting for the next song.


The Late Boomers kept people energized with classics from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Some Residents preferred to enjoy the view from their lawn chairs while others were up and dancing with their children and grandchildren. Everyone was laughing and bouncing during JImmy Buffett's “Margaritaville" and you could hear the cheers of “Salt, Salt, Salt” all the way down the street. Other classics included “8675309" performed by Tommy Tutone, “Turn Turn Turn" performed by The Byrds, and “Secret Agent Man" performed by Johnny Rivers. It was a joy to see Residents bonding with their families, I think my favorite moment was seeing several generations dancing together for “So Happy Together" by The Turtles. Reflecting on the event, Founder Sandy Garifo was overjoyed to see the "huge smiles as [the residents] remembered the times in their lives when these songs were the center of their worlds." It was very inspiring to see how The Late Boomers' own energy and elation was shared with our Residents through music.


The Late Boomers played all afternoon and their positive vibes kept the clouds at bay. Afterwards, they made the time to answer a few questions and you can read their responses below. For Residents and family who want to tap to the beat again a playlist with videos of their performance at The Heathers Pavillion can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/@lateboomersband.


How long have each of you been playing music?:


Barry: I started music by playing trumpet, like my dad, when I was in fourth grade. I enjoyed it, but about a year later I got braces on my teeth and that made it difficult to play the trumpet. My band Director asked me if I'd like to try to play the tuba. I enjoyed it and continued to play it in the band through the end of high school. Along the way however, I started playing the guitar as well when I was in seventh grade; a good move since the tuba is not so much fun to play solo, and it’s really hard to sing while playing! 🙂  I mostly enjoy playing the acoustic guitar, but it’s fun to plug in and play electric with the band.


Gary:  I started piano lessons at age 7.


Phil: I started playing guitar at 11 or 12 years old, and took lessons for a while. Then, back in the late '60s, I switched to bass guitar, because Gary was in a band that needed a bass player.


Kenny: I started playing when I was 11, and have played in other bands.


What got you into playing music/who or what is your favorite musical inspiration?:


 Gary: The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show Feb 9, 1964 inspired me to play Rock & Roll.


Barry: I have to admit that I was excited about the Beatles on Ed Sullivan as well. My dad was a trumpet player and played in a small local band back when he was young. He loved big band music and liked to play it loud in the basement. I love live music and became a serious fan of the Allman Brothers Band having seen them play live at least 40 times.


Phil:  The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show inspired me too.


Kenny: We all liked the same music from the  60,s 70,s, so that is how our band started. The band has been together for about 7 years, and we love playing for people.


If you could each switch roles with a fellow band member for a day who would it be?


Barry: Definitely the bass. We do a few songs where Phil and I swap roles and he plays guitar and I get to play bass. It’s a lot of fun and my previous experience playing tuba helps with the mindset of playing bass.


Phil: Any of them would be fun.


What's one song thats totally outside of your normal genre and setlist that you would love to do sometime? 


Phil:  I’d like to play some Blues type songs, like B.B. King’s “Let the Good Times Roll.”


Barry: Like Phil, I would love to play some more blues numbers. The blues are the roots of American music and I love the opportunity to improvise and reinterpret the songs the way I like. And some good country music. Like they say,”Country music is three chords and the truth.” I love a song that tells a good story.


 Gary:  There are too many to consider. However, I would like to do some doo-wop songs like Romeo & Juliet.


Kenny: I like all music but rock n roll is my passion.


What's a favorite memory you have from playing with the band?


Gary:  Every time I play with these guys!!!


Barry: To be honest, I really love when we come and play at the Heathers. It's so great to see people out there with their families and the staff, smiling, moving, chair dancing, and having fun! I’m not just saying that to just be nice, I really mean it!


Phil: Too many to think of….all have been a blast!


We are very grateful for the beautiful afternoon we had with The Late Boomers. Along with our fond memories we eagerly look forward to our next concert with them next year.


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