Carpe Weekend: Get ‘Real Gone’ on July 6
By Jason Freeman firstname.lastname@example.org July 3, 2012 1:52PM
The Real Gone performs in June at the Dock at Montrose Beach in Chicago. | Photo courtesy of Jim Makeitso
Book the band at:
Listen to the band at: reverbnation.com/
Watch “The Fugitive” music video at: youtu.be/tdC6ByQD45g
“Like” the band at:
Buy CDs at: any the Real Gone gig
Updated: August 6, 2012 6:09AM
Go out for a night of live music, and the band inevitably digs up a cover and plods through it without capturing the emotion the original artist poured into it.
But for New Lenox-based band the Real Gone — which has a set list that boasts a healthy diet of songs by surf rock legends like the Ventures and Dick Dale — going through the motions just isn’t part of the vernacular.
“We set out to try to sound as close as we could to the original players of the genre in tone and approach to the music,” drummer Bret Figura said.
“It’s easy to take the ‘punk’ out of surf rock these days, but you have to remember this was rebellious music when it first arrived on the scene in the ’50s, so we set out to play it with that vigor.”
The boys in the band — which includes bassist Jeffrey Michael Bella, saxophonist Airan Wright, guitarist Phil Lazzari and guitarist and vocalist Ray Ramirez — will take their spirited brand of surf rock to the stage at 7 p.m. July 6 at Front Street Cantina, 319 Front St., Lemont.
In addition to churning out surf rock classics, the Real Gone also plays contemporary hits with a surf spin.
“The Ventures mostly took popular hits of the day and hashed them out in the surf rock instrumental style,” Figura said.
“We’re doing that with songs by Muse, Smashing Pumpkins, Peter Bjorn and John, Gnarls Barkley and more.”
Figura said the instrumental leanings of the Real Gone give the band a leg up on vocally oriented bands.
“We’re different from other bands because we work in all settings,” he said.
“We can be background music in a restaurant like Trader Vic’s or a main attraction on stage for major festivals like Taste of Randolph Street or Naperville’s Ribfest.”
But that’s not to say the Real Gone doesn’t warm up its collective vocals chords now and again.
“We’ve added some vocals, rockabilly and other pre-Beatles rock to our set, but the bulk of our 50-plus song list still are instrumentals,” he said.
Even folks who aren’t into surf rock will get it once they hear it, Figura said.
“The surf genre is ingrained in our collective musical consciousness due to all sorts of pop culture references and uses,” he said.
Figura said the members of the Real Gone truly have fun on stage, and it shows during the show.
“I enjoy the fun nature of the music,” he said. “There’s no pressure with this kind of music because it’s so straightforward.
“It’s typically three minutes of great guitar or saxophone melody played with a good deal of velocity.”
The band formed in 2008, and Figura said there are no signs of it going away anytime soon.
“We thought we’d just be doing suburban gigs due to the genre, so we are happy that there is wide interest, and we’re happy to take it wherever it leads,” he said.
“I certainly see myself playing until I can’t lift a stick.”
What’s in a name?
“I headed up the name search,” Bret Figura the drummer of the Real Gone said.
“I was looking for ’50s and early ’60s slang. After running a bunch of phrases by the rest of the group, we all agreed we liked ‘real gone.’
“Then, I really wanted to have a name with ‘the’ leading it like so many of the bands of the time — the Ventures, the Shadows — so it was just a matter of slapping ‘the’ in front of ‘real gone,’ and there you have it.
“Real Gone means unstable, or outstanding/excellent, or madly in love.”