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Cherry Pop

Book Reviews
The Bang Story: From Basement to the Bright Lights
By: Lawrence Knorr, Frankie Gilcken, Tony Diorio & Frank Ferrara

Description: In the summer of 1971, BANG, a trio from the Philadelphia area, decided to take a road trip to Florida to try their fortune. While buying some rolling papers in the Sunshine State, they learned about a Small Faces and Deep Purple concert nearby in Orlando.

They showed up at the venue and brazenly declared they were ready to go on stage. The concert organizer asked them to set up and play for him. As they say, the rest is now history!

Verdict: For those not in the know, Lawrence Knorr has authored or co-authored over 20 books, mostly on history or biography.

He is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), the Sons of the American Revolution, and numerous other historical organizations.

He enjoys most writing about the formerly famous and his beloved Pennsylvania Dutch culture. He is a lifetime Penn State alum.

Here in his newly co-authored book, 'The Bang Story: From the Basement to the Bright Lights', we quickly get to learn that back on that fateful day in the summer of 1971, that after a couple songs, the concert organizer told them they were opening for Rod Stewart and Small Faces!

So yeah, before they knew it, BANG was playing with Bachman Turner Overdrive, Deep Purple, Three Dog Night, Fleetwood Mac, Ike and Tina Turner, The Doobie Brothers, and even Black Sabbath.

Capitol Records signed them, and three LPs were released. But this book, that is also co-authored by the three band members themselves - Frank Ferrara, Tony Diorio, and Frankie Gilcken - starts where any self-respecting biography should, back when they first all met.

It details how Gilcken met Ferrara as early as the first grade in 1959, but then flashes back to a time when each was a kid growing up in households that weren't too dissimilar from one another.

As they recall their rapid rise to fame, playing with numerous Rock and Roll Hall of Famers along the way, the guys detail fun road facts, such as being on tour with Steve Miller; a full year before 'The Joker' was released. Also detailed are facts such as when Gilcken, after crowd surfing, got back on stage to find his satin pants had split!

Now, it also has to be said that as much as there are way more exciting revelations to be read in this wonderful new book (I just don't want to spoil it for you, as once you read them you'll either laugh or cringe, trust me!), the book does contain one of the largest amounts of pages donated to old flashback photos of Bang that I've ever encountered!

That combined with pages upon pages of lyrics, and the actual written biographical side of things is not as overwhelming as I was hoping it would be. But don't let that detract you from buying this book for it your love of Bang is still strong within you, then this book can only enrich your life.

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