The only place to be Saturday, September 28th is at the Sandler for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach as the Righteous Brothers will be performing all of their hits live, as well as other surprises for their fans. And now part II of my interview with Bill Medley and Bucky Heard of the Righteous Brothers.
Yiorgo: How did the two of you meet and decide to work together?
Bill Medley: Well there were two things that were very, very important. Bucky is doing a phenomenal job and he is a Righteous Brother, but you cannot replace Bobby. Bucky was a big fan of Bobby and I went in to see Bucky sing one night and he was doing a couple of Journey songs and he just knocked me out. I had a bunch of people on me about reforming the Righteous Brothers and Bucky and I had been friends for years. That was the other thing that was important to me,that if I was to take over a new partner it would have to be somebody that I already knew, and knew that I would like, get along with and have a lot of fun, and I was right. Bucky has been amazing.
Bucky Heard: It’s been an amazing four years. It’s hard for me to believe that I am even saying that. I am enjoying every second of it. Like Bill said we have been friends for a long time. Being with him is like going to Rock and Roll University, I’ve learned so much. I love him so much. He has been a second dad, a brother, a best friend. My family adores him. Everything you see on stage is not a put on, it’s sincere. We get up there and we have the most fun you can imagine and that carries over to the audience and they have a good time with us.
Y: What was the pivotal moment in each of your lives that changed everything for you?
BM: l In 1964 we were doing a national TV show called Shindig. We were on it every week and we got an offer to go to Chicago to do a show and we did not know why they wanted us. We were California guys and we didn’t realize we were touching a lot of lives on this TV show. We went to Chicago, pulled up to the theater and we were the headlining act. It said the Righteous Brothers on the marquee and we figured then, wow, I guess this is the real deal. Then we recorded Lovin’ Feeling and we never looked back.
BH: Without getting to down about it, I lost my mom in 2000. She died suddenly. She was not sick or anything, it was just something that happened. She was 58. Losing her was the hardest thing that has ever been in my life. My mom had such a love for music. She had the same birthday as Elvis. She introduced me to Elvis and bought me my first record. It was a Chuck Berry record. It was such a heart wrenching moment for my family, but I live every day now to make her proud. When I sing on stage with Bill, I can feel her on stage smiling down at me because she is the one that brought music into my life and now music is my life.
Y: What has been a wow moment or two for both of you?
BM: Two things for me. The first time they handed us a big wad of money, because we were not making much money working in clubs. When we started having hit records and they started handing us a lot of money, it was kind of a mind blower. The other thing was some beautiful girl came up to me and she hit on me, I mean a girl that I would not even think about approaching, she is approaching me, I said boy, life is changing pretty good.
BH: OK, but it’s going to sound weird but this is the one for me personally. Around the week of the NFL playoffs, Bill, myself and one of his friends we rent a cabin in the mountains, watch football, eat junk food and have a great time. Bill asked me one time if I wanted to go pick up a pizza. I said sure, I was kidding around, and said can I drive the Jaguar? Bill said yes. I had my Falcon pajamas and slippers on about to leave and Bill says, it’s a bit chilly outside you may want to put this on. And he puts his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame jacket on me. I get down the hill, I called my wife described what I was wearing and driving, and said, I have arrived. It just does not get any better than that.
Y: Why should people come to the show? What should they expect to see and hear?
BM: We do all the hits because I know the fans want to hear those songs and relive those memories. We also have an amazing amount of fun while we are performing. We take the songs very serious but we have a lot of fun doing the show and the audience will be surprised how much fun it is.
BH: Lots of cool stuff. We come out and do all the hits. I try to stay as true to what Bobby did. Bill told me one cool thing. He said, “Think about this. I don’t need you to sound like Bobby, I need you to sing like Bobby.” I put my own feel to it but I stay as close to the script as possible so the fans hear the Righteous Brothers song like they expect to hear and we have a lot of fun on stage giving the fans some history, and some facts about the Righteous Brothers they might not know. Also as Bill said McKenna comes out and sings with her dad as well as perform her own songs. She is an unbelievable songwriter and singer and absolutely floors the audience. We also have some other surprises as well.
For ticket prices and other info, go to www.boxofficeticket.center/3894258/the-righteous-brothers-tickets
If you missed part I of our interview with Bill and Bucky, you can read it at this link. https://www.militarynews.com/norfolk-navy-flagship/entertainment/music_and_the_arts/righteous-brothers-show-will-be-the-time-of-your-life/article_cc0c4f2e-d89f-11e9-add0-8ff476f70a6d.html
Yiorgo is a Hampton Roads arts, entertainment and sports writer. A stage, TV and movie actor, he is also an educator, motivational speaker, writer, storyteller and columnist.