The Velcros return to Norwich stage

NORWICH – Nearly three decades after touring with legendary rockers Van Halen, the core members of The Velcros will return to the stage for what’s become an annual reunion show, to be held this year at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Blarney Stone Pub, 26 South Broad St.

Featuring guitarist Jimmy Frech, drummer Ron Thompson and bassist Gary LaVancher – and joined by the “West Coast Slide Guitar Wizard” himself, Jeff Mosby – the band was initially conceived as a rockabilly group. As the opening act for Van Halen’s sold-out 1984 tour, however, the band took a turn toward a more hard-edged, blues-rock approach, adding a more aggresive tone to its live shows. In the mid-80s, The Velcros performed between 200 and 250 dates per year, including club and concert shows with some of the decade’s biggest acts, including The Stray Cats, The Band, The Blasters and the New Riders of the Purple Sage. In 1988, however, the group called it quits after years of excessive touring and the lack of a major label deal. Approximately two decades would pass before Frech, Thompson and LaVancher would return to the stage. Since 2009, the group has reunited every year, always making sure to swing through Chenango County for an unforgettable night of rock-n-roll with friends and fans both old and new.

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