Several years back, local musician Pat McCormick was watching a show on PBS called Pioneers of Television. What struck him wasn’t the programs themselves, but the theme songs. He knew every song, but hadn’t heard them in a while. “They’re like lost hits,” he says.
The thought occurred to him: What if I played rock versions of these songs? As a longtime musician who’s played with Montrose, among other bands, the idea seemed potentially great, but also potentially risky.
“It was a crapshoot initially. It was an aspect of combining two lifelong passions: my love for the guitar, and my love for classic television,” McCormick says.
Ultimately, he felt that it worked. Theme songs from the ’50s and ’60s were often heavily orchestrated, and written by the best songwriters of their day. Beefed up with driving rock beats and electric guitars, the music had a prog-meets-’70s-theatrical-rock vibe. It was perfect for McCormick.
He spent the next several years perfecting a set of themes, and collaborated with a friend to create videos. The project, which debuted last year, features him on guitar, with several TV screens behind him playing surreal old TV imagery, along with the backing tracks to the song, which McCormick recorded himself. “It’s ear candy and eye candy,” he says.
At this coming show, only his third, he’ll be playing the first set solo, backed by TVs. But for the second set, he’ll be playing the rocked-out classic TV theme songs with a full band.
“We’ll have something fun to watch—a real band,” McCormick says.
INFO: 7 p.m. Sunday, May 28. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 335-2800.