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Invictas brings 'The Hump' to Oldsmar Days and Nights Festival

A ’60s rock band called the Invictas had a big hit, The Hump, during their glory days in upstate New York. The lads, now in their 60s, will play Sunday at the Oldsmar Days and Nights.

Special to the Times

A ’60s rock band called the Invictas had a big hit, The Hump, during their glory days in upstate New York. The lads, now in their 60s, will play Sunday at the Oldsmar Days and Nights.

OLDSMAR — Herb Gross was drinking at a Rochester, N.Y., bar with Dave Hickey a couple of years ago when he said he had a "Blues Brothers moment.''

"We have to put the band back together,'' he told his former drummer.

So he did and the result has been the rebirth of the Invictas, sometimes called America's oldest, most successful garage rock 'n' roll band.

The group is best remembered in the upstate New York area for its song The Hump, which was recorded in 1964.

Three of the four original Invictas, including bass player Jim Kohler, all in their 60s, will sing the song at about 3:45 p.m. on Sunday at R.E. Olds Park during the 48th annual Oldsmar Days and Nights Festival.

The fourth member, Mark Blumenfeld, is busy running a pottery business in California, Gross said.

Gross, now 65 and the lead singer, proudly said the song was "banned in Boston'' because it was too suggestive but was a hit in Buffalo.

"Back in the '60s, we shocked parents,'' he said.

The Hump has a dance that goes with it, which Gross will teach on Sunday.

The Vietnam War ended the Invictas' rise to fame and the members got jobs, mostly in the printing industry. Gross started his own advertising company.

It was the promise of fun, not money, that brought the band back together for its Rock Till Ya Drop tour.

"I and the rest of the guys refuse to act our age,'' Gross said, adding he wants to inspire others to follow their dreams. "I'm the Mick Jagger of the group.''

The group will arrive to the concert in a black 1984 Cadillac hearse with a rebuilt 500 cubic inch engine, ghost flames on the side, chrome wheels, new interior, brass knuckles on the gearshift, red skull on the hood, bucket seats, back seat and bar and yellow lettering on the sides.

"This," said Jerry Custin, president and CEO of the Upper Tampa Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, "will bring a decidedly different wrinkle (to the festival) as we wrap it up."

Eileen Schulte can be reached at schulte@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4153.

Fast facts

The event

What: The 48th annual Oldsmar Days and Nights. The event features bands, an auto show, arts and crafts, food, carnival rides, wing wars and beer.

When: Friday and through Sunday. Hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Where: R.E. Olds Park, 107 Shore Drive W

Of note: A parade will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday through downtown. The Invictas will play at 3:45 p.m. Sunday.

Admission: free.

Learn the words

The song

The song The Hump goes like this:

I've got a story for you 'bout the hottest spot in town.

They do the newest dance of any place around.

Do The Hump, Do The Hump, Do The Hump

...Well come with me, push it in and push it out, put your hands behind your head, learn what it's about...

Do The Hump, Do The Hump, Do The Hump.

Invictas brings 'The Hump' to Oldsmar Days and Nights Festival 03/25/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 8:28pm]
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