When Glen Burtnik brings his “Summer of Love” tour to Moraine Valley Community College on Saturday, he’s bringing a party.
“It’s essentially a musical revue with a bunch of talent, and it’s really a celebration of the music of that era and that counterculture movement,” he said from his home in New Jersey.
Burtnik, 62, whose musical background is as diverse as the music of the late ’60s — he’s written for country legend Randy Travis and punk queen Patti Smyth — said the show started as a way to just enjoy the music that he loves.
“I fell in love with that music (of the ’60s). I’ve done a lot of other stuff since. In the ’80s, I had big hair and I was a metal guy on MTV,” he laughed, “but it’s so easy and so attractive to me to come back to this music from my boyhood that I fell in love with. So I kind of started the ‘Summer of Love’ show just as a personal journey. I think we’ve been doing it for eight years now.” In the background, his wife — Christina Shafer-Burtnik — confirmed the number.
According to the tour’s website, the show “experience recreates the songs, and the psychedelically flavored spirit, of the Woodstock Generation.” Utilizing “12 or more” musicians, Burtnik and company will run through music “from the period of time generally between the 1967 release of The Beatles revolutionary album Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and the famous Woodstock Music and Art Festival in 1969.”
When questioned about the number, 12 or more, Burtnik laughed again.
“There are a number of artists involved. A cavalcade of singers and musicians who’ve opted to come. I’m really, like, this hippie guy a little bit. I really did come up through that whole culture, and I have a lot of musician friends, so I’m like, ‘Hey, do you wanna come along? Come on.’ So there can be a million people on stage from time to time. The smallest it’ll ever be is 12.”
In addition to a rotation of musicians, Glen Burtnik’s “Summer of Love” features a psychedelic light show. Marc Rubenstein’s “Pig Light Show” — of Fillmore East fame during the 1960s — provides a unique experience by live-projecting swirling patterns and images behind the performers that are inspired by and timed to the music.
When asked about the staying power of the formative rock music he recreates, Burtnik offered, “I think the ’60s were a perfect storm, and it was a perfect time for this music that just won’t go away. People making the music for the youth culture in the 1960’s were pioneers, I think, and it was very, very exciting at the time. People were breaking rules and reinventing the wheel. I’m 62 years old, so I’ve been on the planet a long time, and things change…the world of music is not what it was 50 years ago, during the Summer of Love, but this music still has an audience, because it has a connection.”
Angela Denk is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.
Summer of Love
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Moraine Valley Community College, 10900 S. 88th Ave, Palos Hills
Tickets: go to summerofloveconcert.com