Book GREG TOPPER

Please e-mail GREG TOPPER for a Promo Kit and information

on booking him for your next event.

 

GREG TOPPER is a self-contained performance group, supplying their own musicians, musical instruments and sound systems. For concerts and night clubs, over 650 GREG TOPPER Fan Club mailing labels can be provided, along with established media contacts for maximum event promotion.

The GREG TOPPER Show is available in the following formats: Solo (with recorded music), Duo, Trio, Quartet & Quintet.

Whether your entertainment needs are for a one-night show, private party, street dance, black-tie gala ball, or down ‘n’ dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll night club dancing, TOPPER can tailor the show for the event! Available for:

  • Concerts

  • TV Shows

  • Promotional Events

  • Night Clubs

  • Corporate Events

  • Charity Events

  • Weddings

  • Parties

GREG TOPPER & THE UPSETTERS specializes in the following:

  • Classic 50’s, 60’s & 70’s Oldies

  • Jerry Lee Lewis

  • Chuck Berry

  • Fats Domino

  • Little Richard

  • Elvis Presley

  • Roy Orbison

  • Beatles

  • Neil Diamond

  • Bob Seger

  • Buddy Holly

  • Rick Nelson

  • Everly Brothers

  • Drifters

  • Neil Sedaka

  • Platters

  • Ray Charles

  • Johnny Cash

  • Willie Nelson

  • Eagles

  • Bobby Darin

  • Creedence Clearwater Revival

  • Four Tops

  • Eddie Cochran

Please e-mail GREG TOPPER for a Promo Kit and information

on booking him for your next event.

All of the guests at this back yard, catered wedding reception were on the dance floor before the night was over. Make your next event the talk of the town!


He's been O.C.'s piano man for 50 years

Greg Topper today. Fifty years playing OC clubs and still going. He's celebrating with a free concert this weekend in Costa Mesa.

By FRANK MICKADEIT COLUMNIST / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

There are talented musicians and there are successful businessmen, and it's rare you find them in the same package. But piano player Greg Topper has managed to put together a 50-year OC-based career.

He joined his first band, a surf group called The Crescents, in 1961. It played its first gig at the Tamasha Club in Anaheim. The band lasted six months. Since then, although he worked in politics for awhile, he more or less has made it as a working musician. Clubs he's played over the years include the Red Onion, the Crazy Horse, The Sheraton Newporter, The Village Inn and, now, the Pierce Street Annex in Costa Mesa.

Article Tab: Greg Topper performing at the Red Onion in 1975. Topper will celebrate 50 years in the OC music business with a free concert this weekend.

Greg Topper performing at the Red Onion in 1975. Topper will celebrate 50 years in the OC music business with a free concert this weekend.

Now, to celebrate his 50th anniversary, he's holding a free concert at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Pierce Street Annex, 330 E. 17th St. First-come, first-served. I asked him some questions about his career.

Q. Who is the most-talented OC musician you've ever worked with who never got his/her due?

A. A dear departed friend from Washington State named Marc Sorger; sax player and great singer. He could have been a huge star. Conversely, one dear friend from my band, Bob Carlisle, who played guitar did actually make it really big with a No. 1 Billboard hit called "Butterfly Kisses."

Q. What's the weirdest venue you ever worked in O. C.?

A. Duane's Pirate Cavern in Anaheim. The joint had chicken wire fencing around the bandstand so we didn't get hit by the bikers throwing beer bottles.

Q. Strangest moment at a gig?

A. During my six-year run at The Sheraton Anaheim, I would routinely throw a shot of 151 Tequila on top of my grand piano and have them turn off all the house and stage lights and go into "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis. It was really quite dramatic. So tiring of that in and of itself, I started drizzling a bit of it on my crotch, then lighting that and the tequila on the piano. Now the song was really "Great Balls of Fire"! The last time I ever did it was when I threw a little too much tequila on my crotch and I myself started to go up in flames. In trying to pat the fire out, it only spread it to the rest of my torso. My drummer jumped over his drums and rolled me around the carpeted stage and put me out. Oh well, it made the front page of the Register the next day!

Q. The song you've probably been asked to play more than any other?

A. "Brown-Eyed Girl."

Q. The song you won't play, or you hate to have to play?

A. "Mustang Sally." Loved the song back in '68, but just overplayed it over the years and began to dread it when it was requested. So I completely did a radically different arrangement than the Wilson Pickett hit.

Q. Song you never get tired of playing?

A. Dusty Springfield's "I Only Want To Be With You" or (my friend) Jackie DeShannon's "Walk In The Room."

Contact: 714-796-4994 or fmickadeit@ocregister.com

 


September 3, 2004

South O.C., here's your shot of oldies


AFTER DARK
b
koltnow@ocregister.com

Forty-three years ago, John F. Kennedy was president, Westerns ruled the TV frontier and astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became the first American in space.

Forty-three years ago, Roger Maris of the New York Yankees hit 61 home runs, Harper Lee won a Pulitzer Prize for writing "To Kill a Mockingbird," and "West Side Story" was named Best Picture by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Forty-three years ago, Greg Topper was playing Top 40 music. It's hard to believe that the venerable Orange County rocker ever played anything but rock 'n' roll oldies, but there actually was a time when the music he played was hot off the current charts.

In fact, 43 years ago, Topper was part of a surf band called the Crescents that played regularly at an Anaheim nightclub called the Tamasha. The band performed songs that one could hear on any popular rock 'n' roll radio station. In those days, there were no "oldies" stations.

Later, Topper would pound his piano at the La Palma Drive-In, the Gold Brick Inn in La Mirada, the Brook in Anaheim, the Sheraton in Newport Beach and Anaheim, the Red Onion and Isadore's in Newport Beach, the Airporter in Irvine, Medley's in Fountain Valley and many others.

For the most part, his act never changed. But sometime in the late 1970s, he said, he came to the realization that he was an oldies performer. "I love the music of Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry," he explained. "That was the music I listened to when I was young, and that was the music I wanted to play."

He did add some music from the '60s and '70s, but that was as far as he would go. If it wasn't a hit in those decades, Topper wasn't interested. "I had to add those extra decades because the definition of oldies changes according to how old you are," he said. "My audience is diverse enough that the term 'oldies' covers three decades."

Topper still packs in a diverse audience each Saturday night at the Village Inn on Balboa Island, but that's not the reason for this column.

Starting tonight, Topper and his band will travel to the wilds of south county, which is in desperate need of an oldies fix. For four consecutive Fridays, Topper will take over the lounge at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott in Dana Point. There is no cover charge and, yes, there is a dance floor. Let me repeat that: There is a dance floor.

I can't tell you how many people call me each week to complain about the lack of dance places for the over-40 crowd, particularly after the demise of the View Lounge at the Marriott in Fashion Island. People are still in shock over that loss.

Well, get over it. Stop mourning the loss of The View and drive to Dana Point tonight to show your support for the music you claim to love so much. If you don't go, you have only yourself to blame.

The music starts at 8 and concludes at 11:30. This is south county, after all.

If you've never caught Topper's act, and it's hard to believe that anyone in Orange County has missed it after 43 years, you're in for a treat.

Oh, he's slowed down a bit since the crazy early days when he ended his spirited rendition of "Great Balls of Fire" by tossing rum across his red piano and then setting it ablaze. Fire marshals put an end to that practice, although they need not have bothered.

I was present the night the performer accidentally splashed his pants with some of the rum and set himself on fire. He wasn't injured, but he got the scare of his life. The audience thought it was part of the act. That's how wild his reputation was in the '80s.

He may not jump around and set himself on fire anymore, but his music is still smoking. He surrounds himself with terrific musicians, and he is obsessed with the concept of a danceable beat.

Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa, 25135 Park Lantern, Dana Point; (949) 661- 5000. A bar menu is available. Self and valet parking. Fridays through Sept. 24.

Village Inn, 127 Marine Ave., Balboa Island; (949) 675- 8300. Good luck finding a parking space. Saturdays.

Partial quote from the AFTER DARK article of Friday, October 1, 2004 

... There is a vast population in Orange County whose dancing needs are not being met.

The Starting Gate is a hit. The Foxfire in Anaheim Hills is a hit. And the Marriott in Dana Point has become the newest hit in town since it brought in veteran rock 'n' roller Greg Topper on Friday nights.

In fact, Topper's four scheduled performances in September were so overwhelmingly successful that the hotel's management has extended his engagement to every Friday in October.

But where are the county's other hotels and nightclubs? Why don't they get in the game and cater to this crowd?

The over-40 crowd not only wants a place to dance, but they've got the money to spend. And that old argument that only the younger crowd goes out during the week – while the older folks don't emerge until the weekend – no longer holds water. Nobody is going out during the week ...


Greg Topper Performs at the American Legion Post 291

 

Last Friday, Oct 14th, Gregg Topper, a long time favorite rock and roll singer from O.C. appeared at the Post for the first time. The evening was filled with the dynamic sounds, his band energized the packed hall into dancing and reminiscing down memory lane, as everyone listened to the legendary tunes of the 50’s 60’s and 70’s rock and roll.  We even had some “local groupies” present looking for autographs. If you missed this event, Topper will be here again on the 4th of November to perform again.  Come early for dinner and assure yourself a seat. 

Every Friday night a live band performs from 7:00PM to 11:00PM.  It is a tremendous time of dancing and fun, plus it’s a great way to meet other members.  Dinner with an incredible menu selection starts at 5:00PM.  Rekindle the love, make it a date, and come out this Friday for an evening of entertainment.