British Invasion comes to the Vail-Leavitt with Chad & Jeremy

10/05/2012 8:00 AM |
Riverhead, Vali-Leavitt Music Hall, British Invasion, Chad and Jeremy

COURTESY PHOTO | A recent photograph of Chad Stuart (left) and Jeremy Clyde in London.

The Chad and Jeremy rock and roll group, part of the so-called British Invasion of the 1960s and singers of hits “Yesterday’s Gone” and “A Summer Song” are performing tonight, Friday, at the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall in downtown Riverhead.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the music starts at 8 p.m.

Tickets for the show, produced by Sandpiper Ice Cream of Greenport, which previously brought former Monkee Peter Tork to the North Fork, are $25 for general admission and $35 for VIP seating. Tickets are available at sandpiper.ticketleap.com.

We recently caught up with Chad Stuart, one half of Chad and Jeremy (Jeremy Clyde).

He talked about their music, their breakup after Mr. Clyde returned to England to pursue an acting career, and the duo’s rebirth.

Q: You and Jeremy have been performing together for more than half a century. How have you done it?
A: Well, we cheated because we have not performed consistently for the past half-century. If we had, we would have killed each other long ago. We officially broke it off at the end of the ’60s. Jeremy decided he wanted to go back to acting and went back to London, which was sort of inevitable. He’s a unique person. He’s also the nephew of the Duke of Wellington.

Q: What did you do during the ’70s?
A: I floundered about L.A. and did a lot of arranging. I was a staff producer at A&M Records and media director for the Smothers Brothers. I tried my hand at just about everything. I was trained as an arranger and am basically the musician of the duo. Jeremy’s the actor. Actors don’t work, they just pretend to work.

Q: Was he acting when you met?
A: Yes. I met him at a drama school in London called the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Q: How did you reunite?
A: We did a tour called the British Invasion II, which is a bit embarrassing, but it was quite lucrative and fun to do. I put together a band of my friends in L.A., so it was kind of fun.

Q: What do you mean embarrassing? Was it embarrassing to be part of the British Invasion?
A: It is, in retrospect. They keep trotting it out. You can see a cartoon on our website that has this grizzled old veteran chatting up this younger woman in a bar and he says, “Perhaps you remember me from the British Invasion.” And she says, “1776 or 1812?”

Q: Did you feel like a commodity during that time?
A: Oh, absolutely, and we didn’t get paid for the first three hit singles and two albums.

Q: Sounds like they took you to the cleaners.
A: They took everyone to the cleaners. It wasn’t just them. That’s just the way it was because we were kids and didn’t have the faintest idea what we were doing, so that was hopeless. Jeremy’s connected — his father was a movie producer and partner at Douglas Fairbanks studio and his mother, the Lady Ms. Clyde, was pals with the Rat Pack. She was amazing. I came out of nowhere and we ended up as house guests at Dean Martin’s house.

Q: What was that like?
A: It was amazing. They had a huge house with two laundresses, a housekeeper and a cook in Beverly Hills. The kids were great, too. They had this huge garden and a tennis court and a swimming pool. I’d never seen anything like it. I’d never seen houses with bug screens on the window. I was in my room with its own bathroom, which is unheard of in England, and I was looking out through the bug screens thinking “Gosh, what are they keeping out?” It was crazy. Uncle Frank [Sinatra] would come over and I remember sitting on a couch talking to him.

Q: What was the most memorable thing he said to you?
A: “When you’re singing, you have to sing in the mask. If your face isn’t registering, you’re not singing properly.” Excuse me, I’m a bit hoarse right now because of the fires in Idaho — you can hardly see the mountains for the smoke.

Q: Is that where you live now?
A: That’s right. Sun Valley, Idaho. People get inordinately proud of where they live, but [my wife, Jules, and I] live in a really lovely part of the world. We’ve got a stream running through the garden and a pond and all that. There’s a big pond across the street and you can go sailing on it.

gvolpe@timesreview.com

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