(CelebrityAccess News Service) — The Vanilla Fudge will join the 52-piece San Fernando Symphony Orchestra on August 17 at the Bredlow Pavillion Band Shell in Woodland Hills, CA for an evening of "Two Worlds Collide–Symphonic Fudge." The free concert anticipates drawing 5,000-7,000 people.
Incredibly, it will mark the first time the psychedelic rockers ever performed with an orchestra. Their 1960s "symphonic" sounding songs, especially the elongated cover versions of The Supremes' "You Keep Me Hanging On," Donovan's "Season's of the Witch," Jr. Walker and the All-stars' "Shotgun" and The Zombie's "She Not There," were played on just a B3 organ, not even a synthesizer.
"We've toyed with an idea like this for years and from our initial rehearsals with them, it works," Fudge leader and drummer Carmine Appice told CelebrityAccess in New York just a few days before the performance.
In fact, Appice is so excited, that he calls the San Fernando Symphony Orchestra conductor Jim Domain on his cell phone hoping to hear what the rehearsal sounds like. The Fudge will rehearse later in the week for two days.
Although the Vanilla Fudge are non-exclusively booked by TCI and Fantasma, Appice says he got this gig somewhat by accident.
"We booked this ourselves," he advises CelebrityAccess. "My ex-wife turned me onto the orchestra leader Jim Domain, who said he had always wanted to do a symphonic concert with us."
The one-night only performance will be shot for a DVD with a release later in the year. The Fudge also hopes to perform with other symphonies in the future.
"Once we do the concert," says Appice, "we will get the charts and hope to perform with a symphony in Tokyo, Germany, Paris and Italy."
The Vanilla Fudge, in fact, were huge stars in Italy in the late 60's because the Italians thought the Long Islander Appice was Italian.
The Vanilla Fudge (original members drummer/vocalist Appice and bassist Tim Bogert plus keyboardist/vocalist Bill Pascali and guitarist Teddy Rondinelli) have just
returned from a 15-city tour in Europe that drew SRO crowds and much demand for their current CD "The Return" (WorldSound Records). They have since scheduled another European tour for the fall and have even added some elongated remakes of the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" and 'N SYNC's "Tearin' Up My Heart" to the concert mix for newer fans. Plus there is one added treat: Rod Stewart's "Do You Think I'm Sexy?"
"You know, I co-wrote that with Rod," says Appice, "and fans have always asked me why we never recorded it."
The Vanilla Fudge were a major group from 1966-1970, had a reunion album in 1984 and tour in 1987, performed at the Atlantic Records' 40th Anniversary bash at New York's Madison Square Garden in 1988 and reformed once again in 1999 for a tour of Japan. "We've been back," adds Appice, "but 9/ll has really put a setback to the industry."
Appice says the Fudge performed about 40 concerts in 2002. But with the probability of future symphonic shows, Appice beams: "The show should be spectacular. The orchestra lends a new dimension to our songs. It's amazing how many of them are fans. It'll be a magical moment!"
Vanilla Fudge Itinerary:
August 17 Woodland Hills, CA Bredlow Pavillion Band Shed/San Fernando Orchestra
September 14 San Dimas, CA Harley Davidson Anniversary
September 24 Cambridge, MA House of Blues
September 26 Amagansett, NY Stephen Talkhouse
September 27 Chester, NY Bodle's Opera House
September 28 New York, NY BB King Blues Music Club
September 29 Buffalo, NY Tralf Music Hall
November 8 Patchougue, NY Patchogue Performing Arts Center
–by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen