Rob Hyman is returning to his hometown of Meriden for a special Meriden’s Music Men concert on Saturday.
Hyman, a member of The Hooters, will be joined by Gary Burr, Paul Ossola, Gary Henry and Mark Mirando, also Meriden natives, at the Four Points Sheraton.
Hyman is also known for writing the hit song “Time after Time” for Cyndi Lauper, Burr is a successful country music writer and Ossola was part of the Saturday Night Live band, while Henry and Mirando both have successful careers.
The Record-Journal invited Hyman to appear on its “On the Record: Music” podcast this past week to talk about the upcoming show, growing up in Meriden and his career.
Q: Have you guys ever played together before?
A: This is a debut, a world premiere. In fact, the only person that I have really had much experience playing with is Gary Henry, he was literally in my first band way back when, I think in Junior High maybe called ‘The Trolls’ and then the other guys were on the perimeter of that.”
Q: How did this come together? Was this your idea or did someone reach out to you?
A: Gary Henry got the ball rolling at least as far as I am concerned. I know he and Gary Burr have done some shows together, Mark (Mirando) I believe is a friend of Gary’s, so there is that connection, Paul (Ossola) was in Gary’s class I believe at Maloney, they were a year ahead of me. He was a popular bass player in a bunch of bands. I am sure we have jammed at some point, there were a lot of bands that came and went back then. I don’t think we specifically had a group together with Paul. Gary Henry has been working with some of those guys and I guess had this idea to bring some Meriden all-stars together, for lack of a better term, it’s an interesting concept. They have done some shows before where they have asked me to play and I was just unable to do it and then this evolved into more of a Meriden type special event and that’s what it is.”
Q: Do you have anything planned for when you come back to Meriden?
A: My mom is still up there, she’s actually in Wallingford — hello Mickey! If she hears this, she’s 94 and she’s doing great, very proud of her and also my younger brother David, who’s a dentist in town...he’s the best. He’s a great guy. It’s kind of a fun for me to get back and go home again and I plan on seeing my brother and my mom (Wednesday). I get up here when I can to do some visits and we’re all very close, so that’s a nice thing.”
Q: How did growing up in Meriden lead you into your career?
A: ...it had a very direct inspiration. We were in high school in the mid to late 60’s and into the 70’s with the music scene that was happening. So many kids saw the Beatles, the (Rolling) Stones, listening to Jimi Hendrix, just searching for anything on the very limited radio schedule at the time. You look back and it’s kind of funny that I remember waiting until maybe midnight to hear some FM type Rock music. We were obsessed. I had a number of bands in junior high and high school. I had always been playing piano, and testing things out by ear. I had always had an interest in that, but when the rock scene hit, especially the British rock...I was a sucker for that like everyone else. Just ‘hey this is what I want to do’ and it stayed with me. I came down to Philadelphia, went to school and put it on the back burner for a little bit, but it couldn’t be contained and I think for all the other guys in our little group and so many others that we grew up with it was just an obsession and a passion and it truly started in Meriden. We played parties, CYO dances and dances at the local YMCA, did some local clubs. Wherever we could play we did, we loved it like everybody else, the players and the fans. It was a great scene.
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