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NJ's The HIt Men Release First Original Single and Music Video 'You Can't Fight Love'

By: Sep. 29, 2017
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After decades of helping deliver dozens of hits with the likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart, and Carly Simon, THE HIT MEN - the music industry's "youngest senior citizens" - have finally taken several large steps toward stardom on their own terms, with original music that bears no other names but theirs.

"You Can't Fight Love," the HIT MEN's first original single and music video, are set for release Oct. 20. The song will be featured on THE HIT MEN's upcoming album, DON'T STOP, slated to follow Nov. 2. No other group of sidemen from rock's golden era - not even the revered Wrecking Crew - can make such a bold claim.

What the Wrecking Crew meant to the pop music revolution of the '60s, THE HIT MEN have meant to the some of the most indelible hits of the '70s and beyond. It's only now that the evolution of THE HIT MEN'S story - fueled, in part, by their countless first-hand experiences as eyewitnesses to rock history - has become a revelation.

From transistor radios, vinyl, 8-track tapes and cassettes to the Sony Walkman, CD's, digital downloads and the Apple iPod, the members of THE HIT MEN ? Lee Shapiro (keyboardist/founder), Jimmy Ryan (lead guitarist/vocalist/founding member), Russ Velazquez (vocalist/keyboardist/percussionist), Steve Murphy (drummer/vocalist) and Jeff Ganz (bassist/vocalist) ? have seen and heard it all.

And they tell all about it, with lighthearted affection, in their new YouTube video series, "Stories from the Road":

Jeff Ganz delivers a classic tale about his first rehearsal with Chuck Berry and how the recently departed rock 'n' roll pioneer prepped his back-up band for that night's show in Buffalo with just 19 words.

Jimmy Ryan tells of two insanely memorable days at George Martin's AIR Studios in London, involving Paul McCartney, while recording with Carly Simon for her 1972 No Secrets album.

Russ Velazquez recounts his meeting with David Bowie at the St. James Theatre in NYC.

Jimmy Ryan offers a poignant tribute to Jim Croce, originally Ryan's college bud at Villanova, on what would've been Croce's 74th birthday.

Lee Shapiro shares a comical tale of a show at Radio City Music Hall as one of Frankie Valli's legendary Four Seasons.

THE HIT MEN will be interspersing these stories - and many more - when they hit the road on a fall tour to support DON'T STOP that travels the East and West Coasts, with stretches in the Midwest, South and Southwest. Along the way, they'll be engaging audiences of all ages in light-hearted, self-deprecating fashion, as they continue to sign up new members of THE HIT MEN "faithful" wherever they've played since coming together in pristine harmony seven years and hundreds of shows ago.

"One main reason our singing and playing is so strong is that none of us ever stopped, so we didn't get rusty," says Jimmy Ryan. "Our voices have remained kind of young. We honestly don't sound like we look."

THE HIT MEN bring the hits on stage - and in the studio - with astounding vibrancy, from so many rock greats ... and legends. Aside from the aforementioned Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Carly Simon, THE HIT MEN also count Lou Reed, Foreigner, Sting, Barry Manilow, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Cheap Trick, Chicago, and yes, even LL Cool J, in their collective court. Combined, THE HIT MEN have played on some 85 albums, many of them gold and multi-platinum.

Indeed, the HIT MEN are hardly steeped in the past. But thanks to their illustrious pasts, they sure know good songs when they hear 'em, and are especially attracted to well-written songs with great melody and hooks. No wonder the members share a fondness for contemporary stars like Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, John Legend and Jason Mraz.

As the Associated Press recently noted, "Nostalgia Fades but the 'Hit Men' Play On."

"We're the youngest senior citizens there are," proclaims fellow HIT MEN founder Lee Shapiro. And truth be told, with ages ranging from 52 to 70, most of the HIT MEN are not yet officially seniors.

They might be "old dogs" but, says Shapiro, "All of us are still living our dream."

THE HIT MEN prove you absolutely can teach old dogs new "tracks."


Oct. 7: The Franklin PAC, Franklin, IN
Oct. 13: The McAnnich Arts Center, Glen Ellyn, Il
Oct. 14: The Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
Oct. 15: The Shea, Wm. Patterson University, Wayne, NJ
Oct. 21: The Strand. Lakewood, NJ
Nov. 5: The Maryland Theatre, Hagerstown, MD
Nov. 11: The Harris Center, Folsom, CA
Nov. 12: The Redding Civic Auditorium. Redding, CA
Nov. 17: Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY
Dec.15: The Cerritos PAC, Cerritos, CA
Dec. 31: The Texan Theater, Greenville, TX



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