Thursday, May 17, 2012
Terry Sylvester’s 2010 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Hollies isn’t one of his fondest memories.
“I enjoyed it but it was kind of ruined for me by Mr. Graham Nash who was kind of in control of things,” Sylvester says from his St. Augustine, Fla., home. “He and [singer] Allan Clarke sat at a table 60 yards away from the other three: me, Eric [Haydock] and Bernie [Calvert]. Nash was trying to say that the Hollies were just he and Allan Clarke. It was absolute madness. You should have seen me a week after the show, I was really angry.”
The Liverpool native – who spent time with the Escorts and Swinging Blue Jeans before replacing Nash in 1969 after he left to join Crosby, Stills and Nash – was with the Hollies for more than a decade and helped them churn out some of their biggest hits, which are considered as part of the soundtrack of the era, including “The Air That I Breathe,” “Long Cool Woman, in a Black Dress” and “I Can’t Tell the Bottom From the Top.”
“I just think [Nash] got carried away with his misplaced affection for Allan Clarke, who sadly lost his voice and doesn’t look too great,” Sylvester says. “Allan and I were best friends; we did everything together and he totally ignored me at the induction and I have no idea why. Genesis was there and they sat at two tables next to each other with their wives and partners. I’m a little bitter but once I’m on the road I couldn’t care less.”
At 65 years old, Sylvester still looks forward to that time on the road because he can focus on his number-one passion.
“I’m very happy with what I do and what I’ve achieved,” Sylvester says. “A lot of my contemporaries want to go in the studio and still record and I have no interest in that.”
The first stop on Sylvester’s summer tour takes place Saturday (6:45pm) at the Rock and Rod Festival at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. He says his hour-long set isn’t the vanity project of an aging rocker, it’s all the hits his fans have been enjoying for decades.
“When I do live performances, the audience will know every single song I sing,” Sylvester says. “I’m not into putting my head down and saying, ‘Here’s a song I wrote in the bath this morning.’ I’m simply out there to entertain.”
Sylvester won’t be the only Hall of Famer performing at the fairgrounds: Felix Cavaliere, known for his vocal work with The Young Rascals on mid-late 1960s psychedelic-pop hits including “Good Lovin’” and “Groovin’” will take the stage Saturday at 8:15pm. Cavaliere was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009.
The weekend will also feature performances by oldies cover band the Yard Dogs (6pm and 9pm Saturday; 11:15am Sunday), Monterey County sweethearts Chicano All-Stars (3:30pm Saturday), and cosmic Elvis impersonator Jeremy “Elvis” Pearce (7:30pm Friday).
THE ROCK & ROD FESTIVAL happens 5-10pm Friday; 8am-9:30pm Saturday; 8am-4pm Sunday, May 18-20 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairgrounds Rd., Monterey. 2-day admission $30; Friday $20; Saturday $25; Sunday $10; Children $5. 649-0102.