Gary Sohmers, known as the “King of Pop Culture,” is a musician, appraiser, and producer with an impressive history. Sohmers has produced over 1,000 concerts, over 300 consumer shows, and is also well-known for his appearances in the PBS classic Antique Roadshow. One of Gary Sohmers’ most recent projects is a musical entitled Beasties: A Sci-Fi Rock Opera. This otherworldly theatrical production tells a unique, uplifting story featuring favorite relatable storylines about saving the world and falling in love. The opening song from act one is titled Good Old Friend and is a vibrant, compelling, and addictive introduction to the show.
A classic rock feel and a spacey execution, Good Old Friend is a warm and welcome invitation into the complex world of Beasties. With an anthemic ’80s feel, we’re treated to driving percussion, catchy guitar riffs, and just the right amount of organ filling things out in the background. Sohmer’s extensive musical tenure is on clear display in this track with its cohesive, intentional composition that features layers upon layers of sound – but never feels overcrowded.
The show’s main plot – a story about a rock band that, after years of touring, finally ends up with a hit record – is eluded to in this track quite quickly. Our main character is decrying his situation from the song’s very first moments, no doubt speaking on what it feels like to be a starving artist with big dreams and little to show for it:
“Is this just an endless stream another day get up and dream
In decision, in despair, a romantic’s life is just not fair,
But why must this happen day in and day out
Why must my Hope always end up in doubt
Is my fate just to be some unknown shroud
I’m not sure”
The voice of Dave Bickler is an excellent vessel for this hard hitting message. Bickler brings an authentic, retro tone to a melody that already leans decidedly in that direction, really selling the familiar classic flavor that this track so readily embodies. And everything comes to a head at the track’s final minute and apex, where a screaming electric guitar solo and a set of show stopping vocal runs from Bickler bring us to a satisfying conclusion.
Good Old Friend sets a high bar for the rest of Beasties: A Sci-Fi Rock Opera. High-energy, a superb cast of musicians, and some seriously compelling songwriting from this opening number serve as the perfect teaser-style introduction for the rest of the show – it’s nearly impossible to listen to this song and not want to hear what else this talented group, with Gary Sohmers at the helm, is capable of. Stream this energetic number for yourself below.
BELOW: Listen to Good Old Friend and connect with his website and social media platforms. Please support Gary Sohmers by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
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