People love to party, and that’s a basic fact of life upon which Paul Revere of Paul Revere and the Raiders has built a music career that still thrives after nearly five decades.
As the self-described “Mad Man” of the group, which has released 25 albums since its 1961 debut, Revere brings a high-energy vibe to the stage that propels the band through more than 100 shows each year, including a headlining gig at this Saturday’s Glendale Cruise Night — where the Chantays, of “Pipeline” fame, as well as tribute bands The Roy Orbison Experience and Abbey Road will perform.
Speaking from the road during a 10-hour ride from Rochester, Minn., to a gig in Chicago, Revere proved to be a boisterous wisecracker. He explained the key to his incredibly long-lasting success when countless others among his contemporaries have fallen out of popularity or retired.
“For starters, we work all the time. The show is very entertaining, high energy and fun, and it’s a trip into my time warp,” says Revere. “It just seems like nothing has really changed since the ’60s. We’re still doing the same kind of fun, entertaining show and people are still singing along to the songs.”
Revere started the band in the late 1950s in Boise, Idaho, where he originally named the group The Downbeats. But just before his first record label was about to release the debut album, company execs said they’d be crazy not to use his historic name to gain attention and added the idea of having the band perform in Revolutionary War-style uniforms.
Logging more than 500 appearances as the house band on the daily Dick Clark show “Where the Action Is” on ABC, Paul Revere and the Raiders quickly became embedded in music fans’ consciousness as a major American counterbalance to the decade’s musical British Invasion. That strong image has served him well ever since.
“First of all, I’m extremely healthy and youthful and my brain still thinks I’m 30, and I have as much fun as I ever did,” says the 72-year-old entertainer. “As long as people out there remember the songs of the ’60s, there’s gonna be people wanting to hear them. What’s amazing to me is that children have been brainwashed by their parents — and now their grandkids — by hearing the songs on the oldies stations all over the country. Internet XM radio has stations that just play songs, too. A whole lot of people didn’t grow up with the songs, but know the songs.”
Paul Revere and the Raiders headline Glendale Cruise Night from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday along Brand Boulevard between Doran Street and Broadway in Glendale. Admission is free. Visit Glendalecruisenight.com for more information.