Two of the most iconic voices in rock that defined a generation are coming to the Basie Center this Thursday when Felix Cavaliere's Rascals and surviving Monkee Dolenz perform their many hits.

The Rascals had 18 Top 40 Hits, five Top 10 Hits, three No. 1 Mega Hits — "Groovin'," "Good Lovin'," "Beautiful Morning," "How Can I Be Sure," and "People Got To Be Free."

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I asked Cavaliere, a guest on my new Jersey 101.5 show, how can they possibly cram so many great songs into one great show?

"We know what the people like to hear so we do as much as we can of it."

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What was it like competing in the sixties arena with such great bands as the Beatles and Stones?

"Yeah but they're English. We got an advantage: we're American," says Cavaliere. "You ask any of those guys where they got their music from, right here in the U S of A."

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You were part of Ringo's All-Star Band. How did the Beatles feel about the Rascals?

"Interesting because we had quite a few connections throughout our career. Our manager ( Sid Bernstein) brought them to Ed Sullivan and he was the one who brought them to the United States. Bernstein also brought them to Shea."

"I got to know Ringo from the tour, I got to know George the best though because we had similar philosophies."

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Felix told a great story about a funny thing that happened during The Beatles' first press conference

"Our manager had stacked the press audience with Rascals questions and john didn't like that too much. I was a little embarrassed but we were kind of able to make that up."

What's your favorite Rascals song?

"Right now I've got to say 'People Got To Be Free' has taken the top of the list because of all that's going on now in our world that's just disgusting. I think it's important that that message get across. It's heartfelt and it was meant then as it was meant now."

2019 Credit Leon Volskis
2019 Credit Leon Volskis

Any chance of the original Rascals getting back together?

"You know, man, health-wise I don't think that's going to be possible. I'm sorry to say. We're hitting those high numbers [Cavaliere is 79] and it's not that easy. We tried Gene Cornish and myself in 2019 but Gene had kind of a heart attack on stage so that stopped that one. So there's the health issues but thank God I'm able to continue and go out there and rock 'n' roll."

For tickets to see Felix Cavaliere's Rascals and Mickey Dolenz click here.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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