THE "GREAT PRETENDERS" FAREWELL SHOWS
A Special Set of Shows
held on Friday & Saturday, 18 & 19 November 2011
as a Fundraiser for The Brendan Grant Foundation
...The Great Pretenders DVD is now available; click
here for details....
MA --- Yes, one last time, the legendary Great Pretenders have
shown us they still have "it", dazzling us with their amazing talents at a weekend set of reunion benefit shows on
18 & 19 November 2011. Anyone who spent time in New England during the
1970's is likely familiar with the unique entertainment skills of the
Great Pretenders and their classic brand of entertainment.
The weekend event was a marvelous success, with nothing but smiles from all
in attendance. The time and energy put into the preparations by the performers
and organizers was genuinely significant, and all this hard work really
paid-off. The shows repeated each evening and started with a heart-
rendering solo by Lyndsay Freeman. Silent and live auctions were held with
authentic sports memorabilia from the New England Sports Museum involving
authentic autographed items from all of Boston's major league sports.
A full length DVD of
the event is available and provides detailed documentation of the event.
The venue was the banquet hall at the
Granite Links golf club in
Quincy, MA, with its breathtaking vista of the metro Boston area. The
program started at 8:00 pm on each night, and included two sets each
evening. The facility
was perfect and Neal Fay, the emcee, once
again displayed his gifted talents
as an auctioneer. Lyndsay Freeman’s solo was stunning and beyond
breathtaking, and many felt
that this was the most touching part of the evening.
The event was a success on all levels: generating smiles and having “fun”
among the approximate 400 attendees each evening. The event also
publicized the good work of the Foundation and helped raise additional funds
for their good work, including three scholarships provided annually to
graduating high school seniors.
The Great Pretenders proved once again that they are indeed timeless.
The group was born when five close friends from Belmont decided
to lip-sync some oldies tunes for some friends at a New Years Eve Party
ushering in 1972. What started as a one time party gag eventually
into one of the most popular nightclub acts in New England from 1973-1983.
The Great Pretenders started their professional careers in the fall of 1972
at Studley's, a pub located just outside of Harvard Square. Word of their
entertainment value quickly spread, and within weeks, there were long lines
of fans eager to witness the zany group. Their local success propelled them
to larger venues and broader audiences. The Great Pretenders began working
on Cape Cod in the summer of 1973, and their faithful fans kept them there
every summer for the next 10 years, at such nightspots as The Chuck Wagon,
Jason's, Brothers 4, and the Mill Hill Club.
The group continued performing in Boston, where they were a feature act at
Lucifer's, but also played gigs north and west of the metropolitan area in
Gloucester, Leominster, Amherst, and Peabody, among others. They also
headlined at clubs in Miami, and Montreal. As the group's popularity
increased, they shared the stage with James Brown, BB King, the Drifters,
and Del Shannon.
In addition to their night club performances, The Great Pretenders performed
on numerous local TV shows and presented countless concerts at area
colleges. The original five members of the group - Bob DiGiovanni, Rick
Ford, Billy Freeman, Rick Freeman, and Robert "Horace" Greeley - are all
graduates of Belmont High School. The connection with their home town has
led them to partner with The Brendan Grant Foundation.
All proceeds from these two shows go to support the worthy causes of The Brendan Grant
Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation dedicated to
enhancing youth development and parent/child relationships. The Foundation
honors the memory of Brendan Grant, an accomplished 19-year-old Belmont
baseball player who was fatally injured in an outfield collision during a
Senior Babe Ruth game in June 2001. The Foundation carries out its mission
through clinics/mentoring programs, field/facility enhancements, and
scholarships given annually to two graduating high school seniors.
This was the third concert performed by The Great Pretenders for The Brendan
Grant Foundation, and it has been a wonderful partnership. In May 2008
the group held their
35th anniversary reunion show
in Newton MA, and the
show was held in March of 2002 in Boston MA. DVD Copies of the
November 2011 shows can be purchased for $19.95 (including shipping &
handling) from Boston InFocus Video & Photo. For ordering details, please
From the standpoint of the performers and organizers, we honestly don’t see
how anything could have been improved. Thanks to all who made this historic
set of shows a marvelous success!
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