Classic Rockers New England to Reunite at Boston's Regent Theatre for First Full Show in 30 Years!

ARLINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS – On Friday, August 15, legendary AOR rockers New England are reuniting for their first full-length concert in 30 years, at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts. Except for one 2006 “special guest” appearance at a benefit concert titled Music for Middlesex in Medford and a Channel Club “reunion concert” last year in Boston, the upcoming performance will be the band’s first headlining show since 1983.


Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of Steve Rosen

Featuring the original foursome of John Fannon on guitar and lead vocals, Hirsh Gardner on drums and backing vocals, Jimmy Waldo on keyboards and backing vocals and Gary Shea on bass, New England began contemplating a full-blown reunion after last year’s aforementioned Channel show. “After we played last year at the Channel Reunion Benefit show and just rocked the house, we knew we had to find a way to do this on a larger scale,” John Fannon said in an exclusive Standing Room Only interview. “So this time, we’re playing a full headline show, with plans of playing more and more moving forward.”

Hirsh Gardner: “We all talk regularly whether it's through emails or phone calls... I think the infrequency of our performing together is simply based on the complexity of all of our individual lives right now. I know we all dearly love playing in New England and love being together and performing with each other, but we all have tremendous responsibilities outside of the band as well.”

New England originally hit the big time in 1979 with the release of their self-titled debut album, released on MCA/Infinity Records and produced by Paul Stanley of Kiss. The album would reach #50 on the Billboard album charts and their hit single, “Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya,” would climb to #40 on the singles chart. The success of the album and single propelled the band to open up for such iconic rock bands as Kiss, AC/DC, Rush, Thin Lizzy, Styx and Journey.

New England would release two more albums, Explorer Suite in 1980 (produced by Mike Stone and Fannon) and 1981’s Walking Wild produced by the legendary Todd Rundgren, before the band dissolved. However, several re-releases of the band’s catalog, along with a live CD and a disc of never before released material, has kept New England’s music alive over the years. Japan and European record labels have also released New England albums and to this day, the band still receives fan mail from around the world.

The aforementioned Music for Middlesex show in 2006 gave the members of New England their first taste of reclaiming the electrifying stage presence that had thrilled fans back in their heyday. "I’m not really sure how long it had been since we had actually played together, but when we started rehearsing for that show, it came together very quickly,” Jimmy Waldo said in a recent Standing Room Only interview. “We just got in the rehearsal room, Hirsh counted us in and we played the entire set… It was like we had never stopped touring! We all have a great time working together, so it makes rehearsals very easy along with a lot of laughs.”

Because of other commitments, plus the simple fact that the band members live all over the country; John and Hirsh live in Boston, Jimmy in Los Angeles and Gary in Detroit, it’s not an easy task for everyone to coordinate schedules in order to launch a full-blown reunion tour.

“After the Music For Middlesex show, we worked on some new music in the studio and them played the Channel Reunion show last year at Club Royale in Boston,” Gary Shea said. “After that show, we definitely decided to get serious and play more live shows together. We are committed and are currently in the process of working on new material as we speak. Opportunities are coming in and we are very excited about what`s down the road for us.”

As the concert date approaches, the band has not only had more of an opportunity to rehearse, but also work on said new material together. “We rehearsed together for a few days in June,” Fannon added. “But unlike the other shows where we only played five or six songs, we were playing as many as 20 songs... songs we had not played in over 30 years and it felt awesome!”

“Hopefully the new music will be finished in time for the show,” Gardner concluded. “Each of us has our own recording studio so passing around the files is not really a problem. I think we all feel that New England, as a band, is most creative when we're all together in the studio. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could take three or four months and just hang out and record an album?” Stay tuned!

To learn more about the upcoming New England show on Friday, August 15th at the Regent Theatre in Arlington Center, Massachusetts, call the Regent Theatre box office at 781.646.4849 or visit their website at www.refgenttheatre.com.