Today in 1966, the Beach Boys played the Onondaga County War Memorial in front of 4,500 people. Their opening acts were two Syracuse bands: The Monterays and Carmen and the Vikings. This was the second time the Vikings opened for the Beach Boys, the first time was at MacArthur Stadium on September 3, 1964.
The Monterays, who still perform today, are the longest running rock band in Central New York: 54 years and counting.
In an interview with Gary James, Dave Moziak and Dave Usiatynski of the Monterays talk about opening for the Beach Boys. Here’s the full interview.
What do you guys remember about opening for The Beach Boys in 1966 at the Onondaga County War Memorial?
Dave Moziak – I remember going over to Carrier Circle and having dinner with a few of The Beach Boys.
Q – That was after the show?
Dave Moziak – Yeah. Correct.
Q – Did The Beach Boys ask you questions about The Monterays?
Dave Usiatynski – They didn’t ask us too many questions. Brian Wilson wasn’t there. Dennis Wilson came over and talked to us a little bit. Al Jardine was there with his wife. He was kind of aside with his wife.
Dave Moziak – We did get to sit at the table and talk with them a little bit.
Q – What do you remember about the actual show itself?
Dave Moziak – Dan Leonard had us start with just like a bumper of “They’re Coming To Take Me Away” and I think we were a little embarrassed about doing that. We didn’t really think it was our kind of song, but we did 30 seconds of it at the most or something. So, I remember that. It was a huge crowd at the War Memorial.
Q – Were you nervous about playing to such a large crowd?
Dave Moziak – Yeah.
Dave Usiatynski – Yes. (Laughs). It was a huge crowd.