50 years later, band back at school

The Shames to play Fam­ily ‘Sock Hop’ Dance at St. Cle­ment’s

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Joseph Phe­lan jphe­lan@dig­i­tal­first­media.com

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.

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