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Relive the Music rocks back to its Okanagan roots

It took a bar burning down for the band to be formed

It took a bar burning down in Penticton to create Relive the Music.

Steve Marshall owned Daddy Cools Pub in Haida Gwaii in the late 1980s (he still does). Back then bars had live bands six days a week.

There was one touring band called Cream Soda that played many times in Daddy Cools throughout the years. The band leader Larry came and told Steve he should hire this Filipino band that showed up early in Prince George where his band was playing to perform the following week. He told Steve how great they were. Steve didn’t follow up. Six months later Cream Soda came back and Larry asked Steve if he hired “that band.” Steve said, “what band?” Larry got mad and immediately phoned the agent for the Hall of Fame Band and put the phone in Steve’s face.

Steve looked at his calendar in the office and noted there was only one week open for months. Just so happens that was the only week open for the Hall of Fame Band. The reason being? You guessed it, the bar they were supposed to play at in Penticton during that same week burned down so they were available. Steve hired them.

In a nutshell, the Hall of Fame Band came and played numerous times and eventually Steve and the leader of the band Luisa Mendez fell in love and the rest is history.

Wait, a couple of interesting things happened. Steve and Luisa’s cover band flew to Dubai to perform for three months in the ’90s. Luisa sang two Tina Turner songs and lots of the audience who were from Britain where Turner first moved to so they know a lot about the star. They kept telling her she looked like Tina Turner. Luisa thought they were crazy.

One day while shopping in a mall in Dubai, (Luisa loves shopping) Steve saw a Tina Turnerish looking wig. Asked Luisa to put it on, she did. Then she started singing the two Tina songs with the wig on for fun. The place went crazy.

Once back to Canada Steve wanted her to keep doing it. She didn’t want to but now Luisa has been a World Champion, appeared on Oprah twice and on the Ellen Show. Steve brags he was finally right for once.

Their children were raised around music and their parents touring in the Luisa Marshall as Tina Turner shows. Luisa’s mother was an opera singer. Kimi the older daughter became a guitar player/songwriter and Zenia the youngest became a singer, song writer, Ariana Grande tribute artist and TV actress.

Steve always wanted to create the Relive the Music of the ’50s & ’60s with the idea of a big voiceover guy telling trivia before each song. The audience can yell out what they think the song is then it starts and the party begins. But he kept putting it off for over 20 years.

Finally, early 2018 Steve made a bet with himself that if the Port Theatre in Nanaimo was available on a certain date he would create the show. It was available, yikes. Steve doubled down and said if he could get two more theaters back to back he would do it. They were available, so he made up a poster and booked the theaters. His family thought he was crazy. Once tickets started selling fast the family realized they were onto something so they worked together to create the show. Following 19 standing ovations in a row and many sold-out shows, Covid shut them down.

Now more than two years later they are back at it with version three: new members, new songs, many more costumes and lots of fun times.

Relive the Music comes to the Okanagan to play Penticton’s Cleland Theatre Nov. 4, Sagebruch Theatre in Kamloops Nov. 5, Kelowna Community Theatre Nov. 6, Vernon Performing Arts Centre Nov. 7 and Oliver’s Venables Theatre Nov. 8.

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Relive the Music tours the Okanagan this month, stopping in Vernon Nov. 7. (Contributed)

Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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