“Jumping Jack Flash” San Clemente’s Own, Gary Roach
I keep a “People I Would Like to Lunch With” list and the Rolling Stones are on it! I know that’s not likely, but I did have breakfast with San Clemente’s own Gary Roach of Jumping Jack Flash, and that is close. Really close.
Gary is a founding member of Jumping Jack Flash, recognized as one of the best Rolling Stones performance bands in the world. Do not confuse this group of worthy musicians with the cover bands that are popular today. Roach explains, “These are theatrical shows designed as faithful recreations of the Stones’ concert tours from 1964 to 1972. We use the same make of guitars and drums, have costumes made to copy, and study video of the original performances to get everything right.”
Gary, aka Charlie Watts, has been making music since the 5th grade in school bands and orchestras. As the only musically inclined member of his family, he says, “I was the dorky middle child who found that music was what I could do that no one else could.”
By Junior High, Gary was done with trombones and wanted the guitars and base of a teenage band. Like many 60’s teens in Southern California, he and his friends were influenced by surf music and the English invasion. Unlike many of these garage bands, he and his bandmates were already seasoned musicians. They knew how music was formatted and understood music theory. Popular sheet music was expensive and hard to come by then so they learned songs by listening to them, each player perfecting their part then practicing to put a performance together. Gary is still a friend of the guys he played with in Jr. High and sometimes performs with them in their bands.
Jumping Jack Flash came to life here in San Clemente about 13 years ago. They always played a lot of Rolling Stones but when Roach read in a trade magazine that tribute bands were signing lucrative performance recreation deals, he knew what he wanted. He did research and leg work, found the right partners, and got Jumping Jack Flash going. They have gone from being a popular local band to playing major venues nationally and internationally. Last year they played Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve.
If spending New Year’s with this show band sounds like fun, you are in luck. Thanks to The San Clemente Rotary Club, you can give a rocking welcome to 2016 with JJF at the beautiful San Clemente Casino.
For tickets go to: rotarynewyears2015.eventbrite.com.
This will be a very special evening because it will be the last time you can see Jumping Jack Flash in it’s current formation. The band will have the same accomplished players but, as Gary Roach says about many things, “it just keeps getting better.”
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