Just when I thought I wasn't going to be able to see the sold-out "Hitmen" show at Prairie's Edge casino, I got a call from them asking if I would intro the band on-stage! "Yes! How often do I get to rub shoulders with some heavy "hitters" in rock and roll history?!
The Hitmen bill themselves as the "original stars of mega-hit acts like The 4 Seasons, The Shondells, The Critters and more. It turned out to be a very fun show, many hit songs, and a fun bunch of guys! L-R:
* LARRY GATES (Carole King, Janis Ian, Rick Derringer, plus commercials for Nestle, Kodak, Toys "R" Us and others),
* DON CICCONE (The 4 Seasons (lead vocal on "Who Loves You" and co-lead on "Oh What A Night"), The Critters, Tommy James and the Shondells),
* GERRY POLCI (The 4 Seasons (co-lead on "Oh What a Night"), Barry Manilow)
* (Me, TIM BURNS...humbled)
* JIMMY RYAN (The Critters, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Elton John, Rod Stewart and played on soundtracks from "Sleepless in Seattle," "Postcards From the Edge," "Working Girl," and others)
* RUSS VELASQUEZ (Carole King, Sting, The Ramones, LL Cool J, Luther Vandross, Chicago and others. Emmy nominated for his work on Seasame Street)
* LEE SHAPIRO (The 4 Seasons, Barry Manilow, Paul Schaffer, and is the inventor of "Rock N Roll Elmo!")
Our interview with Lee Shapiro a couple days before the show:
We received a notice that Willmar's Mathias Peterson, a student at the University of Minnesota, was recently selected for the 2012 International Collegiate Agricultural Leadership (I-CAL) Program. Peterson was required to complete an application and answer essay questions regarding his understanding and thoughts on international trade and marketing. He will travel to Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore May 19–June 1 to study international grain marketing and trade and global agriculture.
Peterson is one of twelve premier agriculture students from across the country who will participate. Students attending universities in 23 states applied for the program.
During his time overseas, Peterson will visit many different agricultural operations, including grain inspecting facilities, fruit/vegetable production farms, livestock operations, and open air grain, meat and animal markets. The tours are designed to help the students- all who plan to pursue careers in the industry of agriculture- understand current international trade and cultural issues and gain awareness of how international markets for agricultural products operate.