Too Much Sylvia is one of the beach’s favorite performers and you can always tell that they are having fun on stage, whether it is singing songs from the 70’s or more contemporary works. Rick Lee, Steve Long and Eddy Howie are on vocals and Don Leonard is on drums. We spoke with Rick Lee for this interview.
GSH: “Who is Sylvia?”
RL: “Sylvia is a girl we each had the pleasure of knowing in the 80’s when we were in different bands. As we look back, she was obviously a groupie. (Disclaimer: we did NOT realize that at the time!) When we all got together to form and rehearse the new band, we were reminiscing about the 80’s, the beach and the bands we had played in. During our conversations we quickly realized that we all knew Sylvia. Our wives and girlfriends are not impressed.”
GSH: “Who is Mama Sylvia?”
RL: “Should we divulge this? I am the Mama, the leader, babysitter, ego-deflator, booking agent, occasional truck driver, director of social media, not-a-very-good roadie and lastly, keyboardist of the band.”
GSH: “Did you ever think that the band would be successful?”
RL: “Yes, without trying to sound cocky, yes. We have a good group of musicians and singers that have great personalities and love to entertain. After experiences with our previous bands, our common goal was to play the fun songs that we all enjoy hearing and dancing to. We thought it would work. ”
GSH: “Can you share one of your favorite stories from being on the road?”
RL: “Of course not. Although, receiving quite a few speeding tickets in Darlington, it is beginning to seem normal.”
GSH: “What is your favorite thing to do in your time off?”
RL: “The guys are all sports fanatics; we love the Carolina Panthers and even have season tickets (so we don’t book Sundays from September through January!), college basketball, and personally, I love the NY Yankees. We also attend quite a few other concerts and enjoy seeing many of our friends in the other bands, playing the festivals and bars around the beach.”
GSH: “Why did you decide to wear dresses?”
RL: “Well, for those of you who are not familiar with Too Much Sylvia, we do not wear dresses for the whole show!!! But in 1991, when we started, we had to do something different from the other bands, to attract attention. We decided to revive the old “show band” approach from the 60’s and 70’s, and it stuck with us. Quite often today, we will mix in a few of the 5 minute, dressup’s such as, the Supremes, ZZ Topp, Boy George or The Jersey Boys at a normal bar or festival type show. But now, we only play the entire show when we do theaters or if it’s requested for a special event. Oh, by the way, new evening gowns this spring, isn’t that nice?”
GSH: “Where is your favorite place to perform on the Grand Strand?”
RL: “There are so many, I’d hate to pick out just one. We love to play the North Myrtle Beach Parks & Rec shows in Ocean Drive, Sun Fun and various events for the city of Myrtle Beach plus The Broadway @ The Beach Concert Series. Of course the more confined space and intimate settings @ Fat Harold’s, HOTO’s, 2001, The Marlin, Boom Boom’s, Creek Ratz and finally, Bubba’s Love Shack is small but just rocks on a hot summer night. Oh, we get to play at Duck’s sometimes during The Cammy’s or SOS.”
GSH: “What is your favorite thing to do on the Grand Strand?”
RL: “We love to go out to different bars and hear all the bands. We have a lot of friends in the area, so hang out, basically like the tourists.”
GSH: “What advice do you have for budding musicians?”
RL: “Have fun doing what you are doing. Respect your fans and all the folks that you work with. Play your music with passion. Write songs! We all live for the few hours, we’re on stage, playing and singing, love it or leave it!”
GSH: “What do you want the readers to know about you?”
RL: “We’ve been blessed to be able to continue to do what we love to do. Our last CD in 2010, Red Sunglasses, was very well received, so now, we’re recording tracks for a new release (our 3rd) coming out in the spring, on Green Dot Discs, with 9 or 10 originals and a few remakes. It will include our Jersey Boys and Bee Gees tribute. Our management and bookings are handled through Green Dot Music in Charlotte NC.
To see more of Too Much Sylvia, visit them on Facebook. Green Dot Music provides booking, management and support services to career artists. They specialize in booking regional and national artists for festivals, special events, wedding receptions, private parties and clubs. Visit Green Dot Music on Facebook.