Interview with 1960s baroque 'n' roll band, The Left Banke

By Kristen Maldonado
Take a trip back to the 60s with The Left Banke!

The Left Banke is a band from the 1960s known for their “baroque” rock sound and “classical string arrangements,” as well as their bittersweet hits, “Walk Away Renee” and “Pretty Ballerina.” The band made a comeback to the music scene, performing at B.B. Kings Blue Club & Grill in New York City on April 29 with opening act Alan Merrill.’s Kristen Maldonado talked with original founding member of The Left Banke, Tom Finn, about their comeback and upcoming album. The Left Banke is making a comeback to music! What has it been like so far?

Tom Finn of The Left Banke: It’s a lot of hard work. The type of music were doing is Left Banke music and it’s highly orchestral. So we’ve been working with violins and orchestra members and our show [at B.B. Kings] is going to have at least 10 people on stage. What has everyone in the band been up to since The Left Banke disbanded?

Tom Finn: I can’t speak for everybody else -- I’ve been a DJ and I do live events and I played at the White House for the Clintons and I did Whitney Houston’s wedding. And a lot of very famous people I’ve worked for over the last 30 years. What made you want to take a break from that and join up with the guys again?

Tom Finn: I’ve been doing the DJ thing for a long time and being that the Left Banke is becoming so popular in legend and we have so many new fans, I figured why not give this a shot? I still do DJ work, just not at the same level I’ve been doing it over the last 30 years. What was the reason behind the comeback for The Left Banke?

Tom Finn: Since the 60s, our legend has grown to such an extent that we felt that we have hundreds of thousands of new fans that we didn’t have back then – younger people. So we figured that why don’t we just work on the show and give people something to see that they’ve never seen before. Do you think you will come out with any new music soon as well?

Tom Finn: Yes, we will. We’ll be doing a new album. We should be finished in about a year. Can you give us any inside scoop on the album?

Tom Finn: I wrote about four or five new songs and we’ll also be taking songs from the guy who was in our band, Michael Brown, who wrote “Walk Away Renee” and “Pretty Ballerina” and he’ll be giving some songs too. What would you say is your favorite song that you guys have written?

Tom Finn: “Walk Away Renee.” I think it’s a song that is different from any other song because it’s about a person who can’t have the woman that he loves and he basically saying that’s okay, you’re not to blame, that’s the way things are. It’s not, “Oh, how could you leave me?” or “How could you do this to me? I can’t live without you.” Nothing like that. It’s sort of like just walk away, Renee. You won’t see me follow you back home. My life is not the same, but you’re not to blame. So it’s a song of letting go. It’s a song that is different, especially for young people. I mean, I’ve never heard a song like that before. What do you guys have planned next after your show at B.B. Kings?

Tom Finn: Right after that we’re going to go on the road and we’re going to do a tour. And then later on in October we’re going to be playing with some famous groups from the 60s. Like one of them is the Zombies. We’ll be playing some shows with them. And then it’s basically, we’re going to be doing the album and doing some touring.

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