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Puckett! 

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 Do you remember when it wasn't creepy for pop stars to sing longingly about underage girls? Me neither.  

But if you do, and you're feeling nostalgic, then maybe you should take your Coup de Ville up to Cher-ae-Heights Casino in Trinidad this Saturday and go see Gary Puckett and Union Gap. They're "one of the most successful groups of the ‘60s," at least according to their website, and they're in the middle of a cross-country tour. The band is hitting plenty of casinos, so Puckett's golden pipes should be good and warm by the time he hits Humboldt.

The band started back in the late 1960s, right in the middle of that whole Beatles-Hendrix-Grateful Dead thing, but their music wasn't aimed at all those hippy bullshitters. Nope, they were an uptown bunch with classy tunes, in the tradition of Sinatra and other suited singers.  

They quickly had a run of chart-topping numbers. Looking back, it's easy to understand their success. They had more horns and strings than a buffalo herd in a yarn factory, and Puckett's crooning often made Neil Diamond weep bitter jealous tears.

Plus, they had thought-provoking lyrics. Some of them still just make you stop and shake your head. Like these, from the band's 1968 hit, "Young Girl":

"Beneath your perfume and your makeup, you're just a baby in disguise," Puckett sings, sweet as the kiss of a virgin. "And though you know it's wrong to be alone with me, that come-on look is in your eye." (Chorus) "Young girl, get out of my mind, my love for you is way out of line."

Damn that's catchy. And it makes sense, too, because, you know, 18 is kinda over-the-hill. Uhhhhh.... At least he was trying to resist, right?

Anyway, if you were either already old or already stodgy in the 1960s, then this could be just your style. Bust out your best sequined dress, dust off your biggest lapels, shine up your wingiest wingtips, and get yourself to the casino for a good, wholesome, old-fashioned time.

Buy tickets, $49(!), at cheraeheightscasino.com.

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Zach St. George

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