SELINSGROVE — A concert that was a long time coming, partly due to COVID-19, is being dubbed “As Close as it Gets,” for a reason. Now going ahead as planned, it’s drawing a crowd from across the country.
Dirty Looks, with Jack Pyers (of Selinsgrove), Gene Barnett and Paul Lidel, will join Dangerous Toys lead singer Jason McMaster for this one-time show at the Selinsgrove Speedway at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18.
“I call this the ‘As Close as its Gets’ show because their lead singer died about nine years ago,” said Travis Fisher, owner of Fisher Promotions, in Northumberland. “Getting three of four remaining Dirty Looks guys is just that … as close as it gets.”
In the 1980s, Dirty Looks consisted of lead singer Henrik Ostergaard with Pyers on bass, Barnett on drums and Lidel playing guitar.
“That was the original line up of Dirty Looks,” Fisher said. “They knew Jason McMaster, lead singer of Dangerous Toys. He even got up on stage back in the day, in the late 80s, and would sing with Dirty Looks. Dirty Looks broke up, and Paul went with Jason to be the guitarist of Dangerous Toys.”
“I am a huge fan of Dirty Looks,” McMaster said. He recounted the time he and his Dangerous Toys bandmates first heard “Oh, Ruby” on the radio. “We freaked out, me and my bandmates. We got giddy. Every time you hear a song that speaks your language, you fall in love with it. We never forgot that moment.”
The two bands ended up using the same producer, Max Norman, who produced, among many other records, Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.” The band members inevitably met up one day.
“October 11, 1989, was the opening day of our first tour, and in the dressing room hallway Paul Lidel and Jack Pyers are standing there looking at me face-to-face,” McMaster recalled. “I’m like, oh my God, so amazed. We’ve been friends ever since. We write the same kind of rock-n-roll songs.”
“They call Jason the Number One fan of Dirty Looks to this day,” Fisher said. “And Henrik was a fan of Jason. He made the comment that if anything ever happened to him, he would want Jason to replace him.”
Sadly, Henrik Ostergaard died, at the age of 47, on Jan. 27, 2011.
Fisher has been working for about six years to make this reunion show happen.
“This is one of those shows I can’t believe is finally here,” he said. “People really need to know this is a one-time thing. If you are iffy about coming, you better make it a sure thing.”
Along with the other band members, McMaster is looking forward to this show and said they’ve been wanting for quite some time to honor Ostergaard with a reunion.
“Every one of them is about to burst,” Fisher said. “They’re so excited.”
“I’m graciously and humbly very happy and excited to stand in for Henrik Ostergaard, rest in peace,” he said. “I was a huge fan of his. Henrik would invite me up onstage to play with him. Paul said he never saw Henrik invite anyone else. So that means something.”
Fisher is also grateful to the Selinsgrove Speedway for offering to use their venue for the concert, which is part of the Speedway’s celebration of their 75th anniversary. The timing couldn’t have been better, he said, and he’s happy about the ability for audience members to spread out.
“There is so much room on the infield of the track,” he said. “People can bring their own blankets and lawn chairs and just sit down and enjoy the show. They’re good to go.”
Dirty Looks’ reunion show has drawn interest from fans across the country, Fisher said, listing states as far as Washington, Nevada, Texas, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and New York. The show welcomes guests of all ages. Special guests Kinsey and Leadfoot will open the entertainment.
“I’m excited to relive these songs for fans, you know, with a fan holding the microphone,” McMasters said with a laugh. “I’m losing my cool the whole time I’m up there just because I get to be onstage with Dirty Looks. It’s a riot.
“I just feel extremely blessed and lucky to be able to honor Henrik Ostergaard in this way.”
Tickets may be purchased at the Surplus Outlet, in Northumberland, Berwick and Montgomery; Carpetman, in Milton; Selinsgrove Ford or by contacting www.brownpapertickets.com or Fisher Promotions at 570-847-1946.
Cindy O. Herman lives in Snyder County. Email comments to her at CindyOHerman@gmail.com