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The Romantics: Rock out to the legendary American rock band with hits like "What I Like About You" and "Talking in Your Sleep." Their electrifying performance starts at 8 pm.
Starship: Enjoy the melodic sounds of this renowned American rock band, known for chart-toppers like "We Built This City" and "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now." They take the stage at 9 pm.
For more information on the bands, please read further.
Cherokee Expo Center / Old High School Site
1501 Acquoni Rd
Cherokee, NC 28719
The original members of The Romantics—Wally Palmar, Jimmy Marinos, Mike Skill and Rich Cole—formally became a band on Valentine’s Day, 1977.
Bred on the streets of Detroit’s east side, The Romantics were inspired by the British invasion, American rock roots and their hometown music scene. They favored short hair, shorter songs and leather suits. More than 40 years later they are still known for having created some of the most influential rock and roll of all time.
After signing with Nemperor Records in 1979, The Romantics released their debut LP, recorded in three weeks, anchored by “What I Like About You,” “When I Look In Your Eyes” and a cover of Ray Davies’ “She’s Got Everything”.
A follow-up, NATIONAL BREAKOUT, was released in 1980, followed by tours of North America, Europe and Australia. The songs “Tomboy,” “21 and Over,” “Stone Pony” and “A Night like This” carried the well received second album.
The third album, STRICTLY PERSONAL, is released in 1981 and introduces Coz Canler as Lead Guitarist. Underrated on its release, Strictly Personal, includes “In the Nighttime” and “Bop” and remains a fan favorite. In 1983, Mike Skill rejoins the lineup. The band reaches its commercial peak with their 4th album, IN HEAT, which is referenced in the radio hit “Rock You Up”. IN HEAT goes platinum and bears two top ten singles: “Talking In Your Sleep” and “One In A Million”. “Talking In Your Sleep” was the Romantics’ biggest chart hit, garnering substantial radio airplay and sales world wide. The song reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1984. It also went to #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart in the U.S., where it remained on top for two weeks. In Australia, “Talking in Your Sleep” climbed to #14 on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report). The song’s music video, widely aired at the time on MTV and elsewhere and The Romantics were the first white band to appear on Soul Train, because they were “extremely funky”, according to Don Cornelius.
A 5th album, THE ROMANTICS LIVE, is recorded just after the release of their fourth LP, In Heat. The Romantics deliver a King Biscuit Flower Hour performance as red-hot as their red leather suits. They start things off with "When I Look In Your Eyes" and for just under 60 minutes play a signature string of tunes. After performing "Talking In Your Sleep," they launch into the final assault with "Shake A Tail Feather”, “What I Like About You” and "Little Latin Lupe Lu."
In 1984, Drummer Marinos departs to pursue solo projects. The Romantics, with Dave Petratos on drums, released their 6TH album RHYTHM ROMANCE in 1985, which included the hit “Test of Time” that peaked at #44 on the US main rock chart. The memorable “Test of Time” music video played in heavy rotation on MTV.
In late 1990, the Romantics added current Blondie drummer Clem Burke to the lineup, and in 1994 they released a 5 song EP titled MADE IN DETROIT for Westbound Records, containing fellow Detroiter George Clintons’ Funkadelic songs along with three originals. Later that year, The Romantics received an award for Outstanding Pop/Rock Recording Artists from the Motor City Music Awards.
The Romantics were presented with the Distinguished Achievement Award at the Detroit Music Awards in 1999.
The next several years were spent recording and finishing songs for their next album, “61/49”. Released in the fall of 2003 and named for the storied crossroads near Clarksdale, Mississippi where bluesman Robert Johnson made his pact with the devil.
Group members continue to work on various side projects and studio sessions. Wally Palmar was fortunate enough to have performed in Ringo Starr and His All-Starr band in 2010 and 2011.
The Romantics are continuously being re-introduced to new generations today via the extensive airplay on contemporary rock radio, satellite radio, digital music services, various artist compilations, commercials and movie soundtracks. Some of which include: Grown Ups 1&2, Ritchie Rich, Stuart Little 2, Freaky Friday, 13 Going on 30, Shrek 2 and Surf’s Up, as well as some of the more notable commercials with sponsors such as Budweiser, Burger King, Applebees, Papa John’s Pizza, Esurance, Hampton Inn, TGI
Fridays, Old Navy and Toyota. Sirius/XM Satellite radio has also embraced The Romantics. Their songs can be heard on a number of stations including Little Steven’s Underground Garage.
Mickey Thomas is the owner of the soaring voice that propelled STARSHIP throughthe decade of the 80’s. With his soulful and compelling vocals, Mickey hasestablished himself as one of Rock Music’s most recognizable stars.
Mickey made his mark in 1976 as lead vocalist on the mega-hit “Fooled Around AndFell In Love” with The Elvin Bishop Band. In 1979, Mickey joined Jefferson Starship asthe lead vocalist, after the departure of Grace Slick and Marty Balin, and recorded astring of hits including “Jane”, “No Way Out”, “Find Your Way Back”, “Stranger”, and“Layin’ It on the Line”.
The group was renamed STARSHIP in 1985 and went on to record three #1 hit songsincluding “We Built This City”, “Sara”, and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, from thefilm,Mannequin,which also was an Academy Award nominee. Their hit “It’s Not Over‘Til It’s Over” became Major League Baseball’s theme in 1987. Mickey’s stellar voiceand video charisma on STARSHIP’s video classics such as “We Built ThisCity” and“Sara” became staples on MTV and VH1.
One can expect to hear hits from STARSHIP and Jefferson Starship at STARSHIP’slive performances, as well as a few selections from Jefferson Airplane as a nod toboth band’s beginnings.
MICKEY THOMAS–LEAD VOCALS