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Classic Rock Rolls Through Okinawa

By: Elena Sinnemaki

Date Posted: 2000-04-14

Okinawa was proud to welcome the classic voices of Mickey Thomas, Bobby Kimball, Larry Hoppen, Jimi Jamison, and Mike Reno on Wednesday, April 5th when they gave a free concert to the community at the Keystone Theater on Kadena AB. Collectively, they are known as the Voices of Classic Rock (VCR) and together they perform the songs that made their individual bands famous in the 70’s and 80’s. Mickey Thomas of Starship, Bobby Kimball of Toto, Larry Hoppen of Orleans, Jimi Jamison of Survivor, and Mike Reno of Loverboy travel the world together performing such hits as Sara, We Built This City, Eye of the Tiger, High on You, Still the One, the theme from Baywatch, Africa, Search is Over and many more! The songs they play hold a bit of nostalgia for anyone who grew up during the height of their careers.

Larry Hoppen of Orleans told Japan Update, “In the beginning, the fame was great… the attention, the money, the women, the parties – all of it was great at the time. When I look back, I think, ‘I should have saved the money, slowed down with the women, and skipped the drugs.’” Larry was 25 when Orleans hit it big and is enjoying the laidback feel of performing now compared to back then. “The worst part about fame is having more money than you know what to do with,” he said with a sigh. The original drummer of Orleans died of a drug overdose, which caused Larry to rethink the road he was about to take with his newfound fame. He feels he has found the balance in his life that he needs, with his twin daughters and with the opportunities he has had to perform with the Voices of Classic Rock.

Although suffering from jetlag, they were very excited about performing for a military audience. When asked if they enjoyed playing for military audiences, Jimi Jamison replied, “I love playing for the military. They’re all the way out here doing their time in the service for the US and I totally respect and admire that.” Okinawa will kick off their tour of U.S. Military Installations. Next they will head to NAF Atsugi, followed by Missawa AB, and finally to Osan AB in Korea. All of these shows will be free to the public.

These Voices of Classic Rock hope to be performing all over the globe for a while to come. Although they still play with their original bands, they all agree that the experience of coming together in this new forum has been a fantastic experience. Survivor has announced the reunion of all of its’ original band members, and have plans to tour with Styx and REO Speedwagon in May. As for VCR, they will continue to tour the US, Asia, and Europe.

They do have a web site where you can check in on their tours, shows, and plans for the future. You can visit it at www.rockforever.com.

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