Legendary concert ‘THE WRECKING CREW’ playing their golden hits Nov. 13 at El Portal Theatre

Guitar great Don Peake talks about the special reunion

  The Wrecking Crew, the original legendary musicians who helped change the sound of popular music with their superb skills turning out #1 hit after #1 hit, are doing a once in a lifetime concert on November 13, 2022 at the historic El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood.

  Creating the unique sounds that turned to gold, The Wrecking Crew were the heart of the top recordings during the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and beyond. And now they are showcasing their golden hits in a reunion concert with original members. On stage will be Don Peake (guitar), Don Randi (keyboard), Chuck Berghofer (double bass), and other veteran musicians. Plus Lamont Dozier, Jr., and surprise vocalists and performers.

The great Don Peake of legendary The Wrecking Crew (photos by Margie Barron)

 This special show is for music lovers who enjoyed the beats and bought the records that made up the soundtrack of our lives.

 The Wrecking Crew members were the creative backbone in the studio sessions and/or on tours with Ray Charles, Glen Campbell, Linda Ronstadt, Sonny & Cher, The Beach Boys, The Mamas and the Papas, Bobby Darin, Wayne Newton, Nancy Sinatra, Frank Sinatra, The Everly Brothers, The Jackson 5, and other Motown legends, as well as Elvis Presley’s NBC Special.

 Their stellar collaborations are just too many to list, but among the hits they’ll be showcasing at the concert will be: “Be My Baby” (The Wrecking Crew backing up the Ronettes and starting their collaboration with producer Phil Specter), “River Deep, Mountain High” (Ike and Tina Turner), “Different Drum” (The Stone Poneys with Linda Ronstadt), “These Boots Were Made for Walkin’” (Nancy Sinatra), and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” (Righteous Brothers), and many more.

 The legendary Don Peake revealed, “It will be an authentic experience for the audience. This is not a cover band, we’re the guys who played on those hit recordings.”

 Peake added, “Along with the music being played, the heart of the show will be the stories and the visuals, with some vintage film and photos of sessions and performances with the greats.”

 This concert will highlight all their talents. “Being in the studio is one thing, communicating with an audience is another. I love to talk to people and bring them into the world of the musicians, tell them the stories behind the music. We’re going to do ‘And the Beat Goes On,’ and have some stories about working with Sonny & Cher, as well as the story behind Bobby Darin’s ‘If I Were A Carpenter.’ I’m going to tell the story about a bass guitar I played on Glen Campbell’s ‘Wichita Lineman.’”

 Talking about his accomplishments, Peake shared memories about being in the studio and going on the road with Ray Charles. “It became the Ray Charles school of music for me. He taught how to play ‘in time’ correctly. As a guitarist, I played with Ray on ‘America the Beautiful,’ ‘Crying Time,’ ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ and many others over 10 years with him. He could have called anyone. He had the greatest musicians in the world in the studio with him, and he asked me play on those songs. That’s earning some stripes,” Peake said with pride.

 The Wrecking Crew members are a formidable force, bringing back the music that brings back the memories of our youth. Peake said, “I hope the audience will sing along while we’re playing. These are the songs we all grew up on. I want everyone to enjoy, sing along, and feel good. I want them to see our musicianship is still top notch. And after the show when the audience is walking out, I’d like to hear them say, ‘Wow, those Wrecking guys are really the greatest players in the world.’”

 Peake’s credits as a guitarist, record producer, composer and arranger are many. And he can add teacher to that list because he said, “The point of bringing the Wrecking Crew together again is to show and teach the younger players our style. What people will see on stage is authentic. What we did in the studio, we’ll be doing on stage. We’re playing the Wrecking Crew style, playing with feeling and rhythm, and playing perfectly, no mistakes. In the studio, they could put the music in front of us and say ‘play this,’ or say ‘add something to this’ that would improve it. And we were masters at doing that, perfectly. When Capital Records would bring in an artist, we were the band.”

 That’s why they were called The Wrecking Crew, Peake explained. “When we showed up we weren’t wearing suits and ties, an irreverent bunch joking around in the studio. But then we played perfectly, and people said ‘those guys are going to wreck the business.’” Instead they made history.

 THE WRECKING CREW! Sunday, November 13, 2022 at 3 pm on the Debbie Reynolds Mainstage at the El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in the NOHO Arts District, North Hollywood, CA. 

 For tickets and information call 818-508-4200 or online at www.elportaltheatre.com.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.