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Hard to Handle
Wall Street


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It had been over 24 years. Not since 08/06/99 had WITE LITE played the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill. And what a difference 24 years makes. Playing for Brian and Molly's rehearsal dinner, the band with special guest (and now adopted keyboard player) Gary Kearns, the band brought a fresh set list, outstanding playing and a superb mix by Daulton from Ironman sound that resulted in probably the strongest performance of the band's legendary career.


It had everything. Duck Walks (how did Chuck do that??) during Johnny B. Goode.  New songs like Windy, Wichita Lineman, Evil Ways, Tell Me Why, Dancing in the Moonlight and Rosalita (led by Zach Manchisi who left it all out on the table not realizing this is a 6+ minute song). Brian Manchisi opened on ukulele with Dance Tonight and all band members were in top form earning a group MVP. Gary took lead vocals on Dancing in the Moonlight and Johnny B. Goode prompting comments from the crowd as to "where did you get this guy". He played  1/2 of the East Street Band parts in Rosalita. This band does not need 15 people to do Springsteen!!!.


Finnegan was outstanding as Master of Ceremonies and on rhythm guitar though never did seem to get the handle of the T-Shirt giveaway process. Bill Greene played drums like it was still 1999 and other than condensing a Ramones song  (Who needs the Hey Ho Lets Go part) was fantastic. Tom's vocal and bass playing were stellar (even Frankie Mann commented) and the 2nd set had everyone on the dance floor culminating with Abbey Road and the Beastie Boys encore.


The band even had two originals in the set list and to this writer, there was no better feeling than seeing the audience singing back the lyrics to Wall Street. No wonder why McCartney still tours at 80. What a rush!!


Congratulations Molly and Brian and the band is waiting to see whose next on the rehearsal dinner tour!.


WITE LITE returned to St. Louis to have the distinct privilege of playing a rehearsal dinner celebration for Laura Townsend and Joe Kerkhoven.  Like many weddings in 2021, this one was rescheduled from 2020 due to COVID but this story is much deeper than that. For more on that, read Laura's beautiful essay as seem in Marie Claire magazine. Click here to read it.

After some touching words by Joe's parents (Kelly and Joe), the band took the stage at Urban Chestnut to perform a short set that included Sam Cooke's "Bring it on Home" along with many WITE LITE standards. Then, Walter Parks took the stage and performed with Kim Pelote a 5 song set that included With a Little Help from My Friends and Can't Take My Eyes Off of You. Walter made us all go back and appreciate the song structure of that one.

Jeanne Townsend then said some lovely things about the band and with Kevin Finnegan providing Emcee duties recognizing our Veterans and questionably Peter Tork, Davey Jones and the still living Mickey Dolenz, the band did its "One Hit Wonders" and "Rock Block" . All band members were in great form and took collective MVP honors. Nate Townsend then joined the band for Apolitical Blues on guitar to the delight of the band and the attendees. And to close out the show, WITE LITE performed one of Tom's favorites (Abbey Road) tastefully introduced by Kevin for our beloved keyboard player. Tom's presence could be felt in the room and it was a fitting closing to a beautiful night.

Special thanks to Brian at Nightshade DJ for doing a great job on sound as breweries do not make for the easiest musical venues!

All the best Laura and Joe, thank you Kelly and Joe for the lovely words (and scotch) and thank you Jeanne. Wishing you both endless happiness.


Laura and Joe
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Brian and Molly Rehearsal Dinner
Michelle and Michael 05/08/21













Celebrating the Wedding of Michelle to Michael Kennedy, WITE LITE returned to the live stage for the first time in 2 years. For the 60+ people in attendance, the answer to the trivia question “ Who was the first band you say after the COVID pandemic?”, will be quite simply WITE LITE.

With a superb mix from Ray and a great sound system from Lightworks and Skip (Thanks guys). WITE LITE did two sets and premiered new songs “The Gambler” (sung by Patrick O’Neill), I Don’t want to Spoil the Party (It didn’t), Sgt Pepper Reprise (It almost did)  No Matter What and Give Her Away (I will tomorrow :)

The set also included the standard rock block with Brian Manchisi assisting Frank and Zach with backup vocals a first! Zach was also in great form with Fire, Heartbreak Hotel and Roadhouse Blues whipping the crowd up. 

All band members were in good form and despite Bill Greene blowing the count in to I Feel Good (5 not 6), he took MVP honors for thoroughbred drumming and the Give It Away encore that even had the mother of the bride dancing. 

It was a wonderful open to an incredible weekend in Marco Island. Michael and Michelle are blessed to have such great family and friends. Congratulations to you both!!


Tom Townsend was a father, husband, friend, mentor, marketer and philanthropist among many other things. I met Tom over 30 years ago when he flew in from London to come to Clayton Studios and lay down piano tracks for our first professional recording session over 30 years ago. Since then, he has played with WITE LITE many times and has been a source of inspiration musically and in life in founding Pianos for People and most recently in his dealings with the tragic shooting that occurred in 2017 and the subsequent illness that took him from us far too soon. One of Tom's favorite songs to play with us was the Abbey Road ending and together with Jim Messina, we were honored to perform it on this evening - an evening that featured many other musicians and friends to pay tribute to a life well lived. Our hearts go out to Jeanne and the Townsend family and even the Mayor recognized Tom's importance in the St. Louis community by proclaiming March 7 , 2020 "Tom Townsend Day".

Rest in peace friend.