1950s Rockers! In the News Again!

     RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CN) – A concert promoter claims a “fierce competitor” threatened to pull three aging heartthrobs from a concert tour – including Fabian and Bobby Rydell – if they sang at a local high school or signed autographs for fans. Lar Enterprises sued Dick Fox and Fox Entertainment Co. for tortious interference in Suffolk County Court.




     Lar and co-plaintiff Robert Albanese say Fox told Fabian Forte it would pull him from the lineup of its “Golden Boys” tour if he performed at a Lar-backed concert at a local high school.
     Lar claims Fox forced Bobby Rydell to skip a heavily promoted autograph signing at a Lar-promoted concert.
     And Lar says Fox threatened to bar Peter Noone – former leader of Herman’s Hermits – from performing at Fox’s Long Island venue, Westbury Music Fair.
     Rydell was the only singer of the three whose career was being managed by Fox, Lar claims.
     In Rydell’s case, Lar says it negotiated with Fox to secure Rydell’s appearance.
     Lar says it negotiated the performances of Fabian and Noone directly with their managers, who are not parties to the complaint.
     Lar Enterprises claims Dick Fox is trying to push Lar out of the picture and grab the retro concert market for itself. It demands damages for tortious interference with contract.
     Lar is represented by Michael Borrelli and Alexander Coleman with Borrelli & Associates of Carle Place, N.Y.
     Rydell became famous for his role as Hugo Peabody in the film version of “Bye, Bye Birdie,” in which his girlfriend Kim MacAfee, played by Ann-Margret in the role that made her famous, falls for 1950s rocker Conway Birdie, who has broken the nation’s heart by responding, like a good American, to the Army’s draft notice.
     The thrilling epic, in which Ann-Margret’s on-screen dad, played by Paul Lynde, unsuccessfully threatens to commit suicide by putting his head in an electric oven, culminates with Hugo/Rydell punching out Conrad Birdie on stage.
     Rydell’s assault was perfectly understandable, because Conrad Birdie, played by Jesse Pearson, was about to sing “One Last Kiss” to Ann-Margret, and then – if you can imagine this on wide screen – kiss her right in front of everybody and all.
     “Bye Bye Birdie” also featured the hit song, “A Lot of Livin’ to Do,” and the regrettable, but also hit song, “Put on a Happy Face.”
     We’re not sure why Fabian or Peter Noone were famous. Fabian has been touring with Rydell and Frankie Avalon, as the Golden Boys.
     (Additional research on this report was provided by Courthouse News editor Robert Kahn. Just the last part.)

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