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What The Romantics Like About Charity Preview Gig

Of the Oakland Press

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Playing Friday's (Jan. 15) Charity Preview at the North American International Auto Show is no small deal for the members of the Romantics.

Bassist Mike Skill, for instance, recalls making an annual family pilgrimage to Cobo Hall from his east side Detroit home. "We used to go straight down Jefferson (Avenue) to the auto show if it wasn't snowing too bad," he says. "I remember going there in piles of snow and just seeing all the new cars and exhibits. It was really cool."

Frontman Wally Palmar, [cq] meanwhile, says he's happy that after previous performances by Barenaked Ladies, the Jonas Brothers and the Doobie Brothers, auto show officials have tapped a group with more local ties to play at the benefit.

"Deep down inside," Palmar says, "we felt, 'God, you guys are doing the [i]Detroit[/i] auto show. You've got a lot of talent right here in Detroit. Why don't you use it?' You can't say anything about those (other) bands, 'cause they've had a lot of big hits, too, but...I think it's a good thing they've got a Detroit group this time."

The Romantics will surely rock the Charity Preview with hits such as "What I Like About You" and "Talking In Your Sleep," but Palmar says the Romantics are also at work on new material and are eyeballing the group's first album since 2003's "61/49."

"We started back in July of last year, recording some new songs," says Palmar, who will be part of Ringo Starr's All Starr Band tour later this year. "We have a couple other shows in February coming our way; after that we have to dedicate ourselves to finishing songs and getting as much as we can done before I have to hit the road with (Starr)."

Tickets for this year's Charity Preview are $250 and are available by calling (888) 838-7500 or by visiting www.charitypreview.com.

Web Site: www.charitypreview.com

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