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Rare Earth Happy To Be Non-Hippies On Hippiefest

of the Oakland Press

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Rare Earth is happy to be part of this year’s Hippiefest tour package. But the most successful white group in Motown Records’ history isn’t quite sure about that title.

“I never felt like a hippie — I felt weird, but not a hippie,” says reeds player and Rare Earth co-founder Gil Bridges. “We were not flower children. We were in that time, in that era, but we were too busy just making the music and playing the music to get into the lovefest and all that stuff.

“I just believe that the baby boomers, we grew up in an age of music that will never be again but will be the best age of music that you can have — I’m speaking from the ’50s with Carl Perkins and (Elvis) Presley all the way through the ’60s with the Beatles into the great groups of the ’60s and ’70s. Music was just phenomenal throughout all those years.”

And, the 69-year-old West Bloomfield Township resident adds with a laugh, “I don’t understand it today.”

But Rare Earth’s music — especially hits such as “I Just Want to Celebrate” and “Hey Big Brother” — are still heard today. Most recently, Nick Jonas & the Administration covered “...Celebrate” in live shows, and Bridges says the durability of the music does not surprise him, though he does say that “if somebody told me back in the early ’70s that I’d still be doing this in 2010, I would’ve said ‘You’re out of your mind!’ ”

“You have a feeling about songs when they’re done,” Bridges explains. “You really can know whether they’re good or not and whether they have a chance. If they have the right promotion and enough effort put behind the song, and it’s genuinely a good song, it should make it.”

Rare Earth performs as part of Hippiefest 2010 at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. WAR, Jack Bruce, Mitch Ryder and Badfinger featuring Joey Molland are also on the bill. Tickets are $32.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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