50 years later, band back at school
The Shames to play Family ‘Sock Hop’ Dance at St. Clement’s
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. » Fifty years ago, The Shames played at St. Clement’s School Gym. Sunday afternoon will mark the first time they’ve been back, as St. Clement’s Parish hosts a Family “Sock Hop” Dance.
“It’s really neat for us. It was 50 years ago that we played there,” said drummer Bill McTygue. “There were a bunch of youngsters back then when we formed a group. We were doing very well.”
The Shames used to be a fourmember band in the ’60s. McTygue, Gary Brooks played the piano, Steve Henderer played lead guitar and Terry Gates played bass.
The group took a lengthy break until nine years ago when McTygue decided to bring the band back together. Gates, however, just couldn’t do it, said McTygue.
“The three of us decided to try it as a trio, and we worked at it as a trio. We did many rehearsals and put together enough material that we could go with, and we’ve been at it ever since,” said McTygue. “It’s worked out pretty good for us.”
The Shames play all types of music, from British Invasion songs to tunes from Motown. Brooks, Henderer and McTygue share the vocals, too.
“Each of us are Saratogians,” said McTygue. “We’re all native Saratogians, so we’re known around the community.”
It was McTygue’s idea to bring the band back together. The Shames play about once a month. Beginning in October, the band plays from 7-10 p.m. the fourth Friday every month at the End Zone at Saratoga Strike Zone.
Next month St. Clement’s Parish will host a dinner and mass to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Throughout the year, the parish has hosted several events commemorating the anniversary.
The Sock Hop dance serves as an opportunity for families to come together and have a fun time.
“[We wanted] to make it family fun so people can wear socks and sneakers and remember the
old times because the band plays the old music,” said organizer Patty Roberts.
Roberts is familiar with The Shames, volunteering at the show 50 years ago for an ARC benefit.
“I chose them because I knew it would be a fun event for kids,” said Roberts. “They do a lot of different songs, so I figured adults and children are going to like the group.”
The event goes from 2 to 5. Roberts encourages guests to wear fun socks and sneakers. There’s a fee of $2 per person or $5 per family. Snacks will be provided, but guests are asked to bring their own non-alcoholic beverages.
Roberts thought a Sock Hop would be an appropriate theme for the anniversary.
“We always called them sock hops or teen hops. We wore the poodle skirts. I know one lady if she can fit in it, she’s going to wear her poodle skirt,” said Roberts. “That’s what it was all about back then. They do play a lot of that music. Not that they don’t play some updated stuff because they do, but they really are classics.”
After 50 years, McTygue is thrilled to be back at St. Clement’s School Gym.
“This is going to be a lot of fun. They’re building it as a family event, so we’re looking to have some fun with the families and the kids, and even our own followers that like to come out and dance,” said McTygue.
The Shames at St. Clement’s Parish Gym in 1967.