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Top top-ten San Diegan

Gary Puckett comes home with the Happy Together tour

“Everyone wants to look for the dark side,” says Puckett. “The guy in the song is upstanding...he’s telling [the young girl] to go away.”
“Everyone wants to look for the dark side,” says Puckett. “The guy in the song is upstanding...he’s telling [the young girl] to go away.”

“Even today I’ll meet a 15-, 16-year-old girl who will tell me, ‘You wrote that song for me.’ That puts a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart.”

Former San Diegan Gary Puckett is talking about his 1968 song “Young Girl,” one of five top-ten hits he had with the Union Gap.

Video:

"Young Girl"

...by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap

...by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap

But for every teenage girl who felt “Young Girl” was about her, there was another person skeeved out by lyrics like “Young girl/ Get out of my mind/ My love for you/ Is way out of line.”

“Everyone wants to look for the dark side,” says Puckett. “The guy in the song is upstanding. He fell in love with a girl who was too young and he’s telling her to go away.”

Puckett moved to San Diego with his family in the early 1960s from Yakima, Washington, to go to SDSU. From a Top 40 perspective, Puckett is perhaps the most successful act to come from this area. Between 1967 and 1969, Puckett had five Top 10 hits, including “Lady Willpower,” “Over You,” and “This Girl Is a Woman Now.”

Puckett decided to name the group the Union Gap after a town near Seattle.

“People thought the name was strange,” he laughs. “I thought the Rolling Stones had a weird name until I heard their music.”

Puckett made the Union connection easier to understand by dressing the band in Civil War–era costumes. “Some people would come up and say, ‘You Paul Revere?’ and I’d say, ‘You got your history wrong.’”

The Union Gap was discovered by producer Jerry Fuller while playing at a now-defunct Clairemont club called the Quad House.

Past Event

Happy Together Tour 2016

  • Wednesday, July 20, 2016, 6:30 p.m.
  • Humphreys by the Bay, 2241 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego
  • $59

“I knew you had to go to Los Angeles to make it, but San Diego was closer than, say, Denver.” Puckett says, “And I went up there with a tape and photos of us in the outfits. Jerry came down the next weekend to hear, liked what he heard, and he signed us.”

Puckett lived in San Diego for 30 years but is now based near Tampa. He will be returning to town July 20 with the Happy Together tour, an oldies revue that includes the Turtles, the Cowsills, former Paul Revere singer Mark Lindsay, and the Spencer Davis Group.

“My family still lives [in San Diego]. I’ll definitely be asking the other performers if they can let me have their guest passes,” he says. “If I get the chance, I may drive past all the places we played that no longer exist.”

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“Everyone wants to look for the dark side,” says Puckett. “The guy in the song is upstanding...he’s telling [the young girl] to go away.”
“Everyone wants to look for the dark side,” says Puckett. “The guy in the song is upstanding...he’s telling [the young girl] to go away.”

“Even today I’ll meet a 15-, 16-year-old girl who will tell me, ‘You wrote that song for me.’ That puts a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart.”

Former San Diegan Gary Puckett is talking about his 1968 song “Young Girl,” one of five top-ten hits he had with the Union Gap.

Video:

"Young Girl"

...by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap

...by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap

But for every teenage girl who felt “Young Girl” was about her, there was another person skeeved out by lyrics like “Young girl/ Get out of my mind/ My love for you/ Is way out of line.”

“Everyone wants to look for the dark side,” says Puckett. “The guy in the song is upstanding. He fell in love with a girl who was too young and he’s telling her to go away.”

Puckett moved to San Diego with his family in the early 1960s from Yakima, Washington, to go to SDSU. From a Top 40 perspective, Puckett is perhaps the most successful act to come from this area. Between 1967 and 1969, Puckett had five Top 10 hits, including “Lady Willpower,” “Over You,” and “This Girl Is a Woman Now.”

Puckett decided to name the group the Union Gap after a town near Seattle.

“People thought the name was strange,” he laughs. “I thought the Rolling Stones had a weird name until I heard their music.”

Puckett made the Union connection easier to understand by dressing the band in Civil War–era costumes. “Some people would come up and say, ‘You Paul Revere?’ and I’d say, ‘You got your history wrong.’”

The Union Gap was discovered by producer Jerry Fuller while playing at a now-defunct Clairemont club called the Quad House.

Past Event

Happy Together Tour 2016

  • Wednesday, July 20, 2016, 6:30 p.m.
  • Humphreys by the Bay, 2241 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego
  • $59

“I knew you had to go to Los Angeles to make it, but San Diego was closer than, say, Denver.” Puckett says, “And I went up there with a tape and photos of us in the outfits. Jerry came down the next weekend to hear, liked what he heard, and he signed us.”

Puckett lived in San Diego for 30 years but is now based near Tampa. He will be returning to town July 20 with the Happy Together tour, an oldies revue that includes the Turtles, the Cowsills, former Paul Revere singer Mark Lindsay, and the Spencer Davis Group.

“My family still lives [in San Diego]. I’ll definitely be asking the other performers if they can let me have their guest passes,” he says. “If I get the chance, I may drive past all the places we played that no longer exist.”

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Where's the Partridge Family? ;-)

July 14, 2016

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