If there was ever an event custom-made for House Spouse folks, it is Hippie Fest. Since 1984, Flo and Eddie of the Turtles have been entertaining audiences with a unique combination of talent from the 60’s and 70’s. The show is unique in that it uses one band to back up musical celebrities who perform their greatest hits in quick succession – one performer after another. This year’s lineup includes Chuck Negron (lead singer from Three Dog Night), Mark Lindsey (lead singer from Paul Revere and the Raiders), The Cowsills, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, and the Spencer Davis Group, all tied together with the sounds of the Turtles. Funny thing is that – they are able to pull it off. And each year, new artists tour with Flo and Eddie, making each year’s tour different from years past.
While the actual show is officially called the Happy Together Tour, the show’s venue is usually surrounded with a local festival, generally called Hippie Fest, in the hours before the show. In Daytona Beach, the Happy Together Tour happens at the city’s Peabody Auditorium, on the beachside near Main Street and next to the much larger Ocean Center. The Hippie Fest is held outside the Auditorium, where local bands, food trailers and 60’s and 70’s vendors sell period jewelry, arts and crafts and tie-dye clothing. There is also a car show featuring period cars.
Attendees (with and without show tickets) flock to Hippie Fest in droves, dressed in period-correct tie-dye, jeans, headbands and rose-colored glasses of all descriptions. Browsing the vendors, listening to the fine live music in the street while “meeting and greeting,” and enjoying the warm early-summer weather is a great prelude to the show. Even the occasional dog wanders through with the required red bandana.
The car show portion at one end of the festival featured The King – Elvis Himself – in the back seat of a Pontiac convertible, singing his greatest hits for the crowd. Among the convertibles and a Road Runner was the requisite 1966 VW Bug and a couple of VW Micro-busses.
There is no doubt that Flo and Eddie have created a House Spouse Life phenomenon with their great show formula, as evidenced by their success for the past thirty-two years – and the crowds keep coming. With fifty shows between today and mid-September, the folks with the Happy Together Tour will be busy. Check their website for complete details, dates and locations on upcoming shows.
When House Spouse Life wandered the streets in Daytona before the show today, there was no shortage of House Spouse Lifers – and we tried to photograph as many as we could to make them a part of this blog. Enjoy!
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