By Roy Nakano
Did you know that Monrovia is a center for much of the San Gabriel Valley’s musical community? There’s the Centre Stage theater group on Olive Avenue. There’s also the Taylor Performing Arts Center at Monrovia High School.
In Old Town Monrovia, we lament the disappearance of Resister Records, but still have a great collection of vinyl LPs at Family Affair Music. And on the subject of vinyl, did you know the Southland’s preeminent experts on turntable calibration are in Monrovia? That would be Brooks Berdan Ltd, located on the southwest corner of Olive and Myrtle.
There’s plenty of live music in Old Town Monrovia. In addition to the city’s concerts at Library Park and Station Square, many of the businesses on and off of Myrtle Avenue provide live music, including the Dollmaker’s Kattywompus, Joe Ferrante Music Academy, and several of the restaurants that line Old Town.
And then there’s the Lance and Gary Show, musicians who have become a part of the Old Town Monrovia scene. “We’ve played together for 15 years, says Lance Cosgrove. “Gary and I met back in 2002, in a large production show called Monterey 67 – a tribute show to the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.”
Gary Putman was a founding member of the Southern California band Dread Zeppelin, who had toured the world for over two decades. Says Lance, “They are the only band to actually be endorsed by the real band Led Zeppelin for their creative recreations of Zeppelin music. Gary is also well known in the LA scene for his seven-string guitar skills. He’s also a master of the Beat Buddy drum system.”
Lance’s background is in studio engineering and record producing. He’s written music for both television and film. He’s written for Kodak, Disney, ESPN, Guthy Renker, Tony Robbins, and Kathy Smith. Lance wrote and produced the theme song for the United Nations Earth Day, sung by a then – 11 year old Jennifer Love Hewitt called “Please Save Us the World”.
“Lance Cosgrove is [also] an accomplished videographer, and has donated his time and expertise on several occasions to promote Old Town,” says Monrovia Weekly’s Pam Fitzpatrick. YouTube carries many of Lance’s community videos as well as performances of the show.
For years, the Lance and Gary Show has been entertaining Monrovians on Myrtle with their blend of laid back LA classic rock and easy – going humor on Wednesday and Saturday evenings. Devoted listeners come in wheelchairs, bring their dogs, and sit in chairs at Merengue Bakery, on benches at Paradis, and across the street near Kattywompus.
Earlier this year, the group’s contract with the city of Monrovia came to an end. The Monrovia Old Town Advisory Board (MOTAB) is trying to decide whether to continue the Wednesday and Saturday program, and whether the Lance and Gary Show will be a part of it.
One of the group’s fans, Dolores Calvo, helped present MOTAB with a petition of 150 signatures last month, urging it to bring the Wednesday and Saturday program back, along with the Lance and Gary Show. “My friend Jan Bryson typed up the petition and went to that meeting. I’m hoping Monrovians who want to share their thoughts on this can attend the next MOTAB meeting,” said Dolores. The next meeting of MOTAB will be at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14th, at City Hall Council.
In the meantime, the Kattywompus people have been inviting Lance and Gary to continue their Wednesday and Saturday performances in front of their store in the interim. “The Lance and Gary Show makes us smile and enjoy life,” says Delores. “Thank you, Lance and Gary, for making us smile with your music and humor.”