Backstage at the Egyptian: An Interview with Carl Giammarese, Founding Member, The Buckinghams

Interview conducted by Brandon Pugh- Egyptian Theatre Intern.

Since 1982, original Buckingham Carl Giammarese has been the lead singer and guitarist, after spending 17 years behind a variation of guitars including a Fender Stratocaster, occasionally contributing backing vocals to songs that were atop the national music charts from 1965–1970. How the transition took place is a 40-year musical journey that has involved working with some of the most talented rock musicians, some lessons from those versed in the world of rock, rhythm and blues, and remembering the collective body of fans who make or break a career for any musician, to whom much respect and gratitude are due.

Buckinghams_WebBannerBrandon: Is there anything special about performing in a historic theatre?

Carl: I always enjoy looking at the old photos posted on the green room wall. These old theatres have such a rich history that usually makes you feel awed and humbled. Also so many of them have great acoustics and can be beautiful when restored.

Brandon: What is one thing exciting about the holidays?

Carl: People are in a great mood; everyone seems to come together more. Enjoy sharing the holidays with family and friends. Like one line in a Christmas song I wrote: “Christmas time is here again, a time for family and friends.” Another is “We hope and pray there’ll be peace in the world; we pray to the Lord he will hear.” That’s from “Christmas 12 Months A Year.”

Brandon: When were The Buckinghams established?

Carl: We began in Chicago in 1965, performing at dances and teen clubs.

Brandon: How often do The Buckinghams host performances?

Carl: We tour nationally and play 50–70 concerts a year on average, whether performing arts centers, theatres, festivals and themed tours (like the Happy Together Tour), cruises, private events, charity fundraisers, and we also tour with other classic rock bands. We are also now performing with symphony orchestras in Pops Concerts.

Brandon: How has performing impacted your life?

Carl: Great question, one that could fill an entire chapter to answer. Basically, it is extremely fulfilling to see an audience respond to your music. It is a very uplifting and a positive feeling to know your music has meant so much to so many people. Performing has made me more outgoing and confident. I was very shy as a kid. Also, it has given me the opportunity to meet so many great and interesting people, especially our tremendous fans.

Brandon: Do you feel there are benefits to attending theatrical performances and events?

Carl:Absolutely–we all learn from them and absorb the music and performances that can enrich our lives. It can motivate us all in a positive way.

Brandon: If you could possess one talent you don’t already have, what would it be and why? 

Carl: I wish I were a better communicator. I would also like to hit a high C, ha.

Check out the website of The Buckinghams, here.

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