By in Music

The Band that Has Soul with a Capital S

I am SO excited to have tickets to see my favorite band of all time tonight! Only 17 more hours! It will be the second time I have been to one of their concerts. The last time was on August 10th, 1995--my 40th birthday.

If you do not realize the band I am talking about from the title, it is none other than Tower of Power (TOP).

TOP is an R&B band that originated in Oakland, California that I have been listening to since the late 1960s, though the 1970s were when I became a solid fan, when Lenny Williams was the lead singer from 1973-1974.

With their tight horn section and vocals, and their original, unmistakable funky "urban soul" sound, three of the originals are still with the band:

  1. Founder and leader, Emilio Castillo, was teenager when the band came on the scene. As a composer, sax player, and singer, he has kept this band together for more four and a half decades.
  2. Co-founder, Stephen "Doc" Kupka, is also an amazing songwriter and an even more incredible baritone saxophone player. "The Funky Doctor" still has his chops today at the age of 69.
  3. The drummer, David Garibaldi, ranks right up there with other fine drummers such as Steve Gadd, Gene Krupa, Ed Shaughnnesy, and Buddy Rich.

Another original is bassist, Rocco Prestia, who underwent a kidney transplant in December. He may be back on tour and, if he is, it will be plus.

Through the years, many of the band members have come and gone, including "Iron" Mike Bogart. He was with the band from 2000 to 2009. I knew him when he was in the Navy Music Program in Guam. He is probably the best trumpet player I have ever known. It would have been nice to see him and hear him play again.

Nearly 20 years after I saw TOP perform the first time, I am excited to see this band again. They definitely have " Soul With a Capital S" (click link to hear their sound).

And this is one fan that will be in the groove tonight.

© 2015 Coral Levang

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Image Credit » by Unsplash

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agvulpes wrote on June 6, 2015, 8:15 AM

Wow you rate this band really high! Gene Krupa - Buddy Rich these guys were the best! I must check out the band called TOP :)

CoralLevang wrote on June 6, 2015, 9:27 AM

@agvulpes I left you a message on your page, but just in case, here is a link to a live version of the song from a 2010 concert: https :// www . youtube . com / watch ? v = 0vytmfFhqok

Here is another live version from 2006 where Mike was playing trumpet:

Last Edited: June 6, 2015, 9:30 AM

msiduri wrote on June 6, 2015, 9:49 AM

&CarolLevang Enjoy. Nothing like seeing a band live that you've followed for a long time!

cmoneyspinner wrote on June 6, 2015, 10:06 AM

LOL. Capital S. Capital O. Capital U. Capital L. Groove a little bit extra for me. :)

CoralLevang wrote on June 6, 2015, 10:25 AM

msiduri Thanks! I am looking forward to it. (Coral)

CoralLevang wrote on June 6, 2015, 10:26 AM

cmoneyspinner I'll even dig a little on James Brown for you...still. emoticon :winking:

seren3 wrote on June 6, 2015, 5:41 PM

CoralLevang I'm off to youtube to check this band out!

CoralLevang wrote on June 6, 2015, 5:53 PM

I have always loved them. And glad to see them tonight. :)

BarbRad wrote on June 7, 2015, 2:15 AM

I'm glad you have this opportunity to enjoy yourself. Have a wonderful time. Wish I could go with you.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on June 7, 2015, 3:11 AM

I bet that was a night you never wanted to end. I followed your link but then chose a different "Live" video to watch instead, more fun when you can see the band working. As you know Coral my husband was a pro trumpet player, and he would have loved to have worked with this band for sure. I bet you are still buzzing today emoticon :winking:

CoralLevang wrote on June 7, 2015, 12:47 PM

Yes, live is always best! Or videos of live performances. I have some pictures from last night that did not turn out well, but going to upload anyway.

CoralLevang wrote on June 7, 2015, 12:48 PM

It was so much fun, Barb. You should check out there webpage for their tour dates. Maybe they are playing near you.

FourWalls wrote on June 7, 2015, 9:38 PM

Tower of Power was used as the "backing band" for a lot of recordings in the 70's. It's great to see that they're still out there and getting the music done. How about a concert review??? emoticon :smile:

jiangliu1949 wrote on June 9, 2015, 5:29 AM

CoralLevang You know this band inside out . The band has versatile members and advances with times ,so it is still popular .