Like a vintage '58 Chevy guardedly parked in a garage, the Shirelles encountered a brief roughness at the start of their three-day engagement at Club Images last night. It took two throw-away songs before the three original members of one of the classic '60s girl groups shifted into gear. From there, it was a smooth, exhilarating drive down to the rock 'n' roll archives.
Like the best dreams of yesteryear, each song evoked images of lost companions and celebrations of innocence and romance. The year 1958 began with "I Met Him on a Sunday," the group's first hit; 1959 was "Dedicated to the One I Love;" 1960 was "Tonight's the Night," a year later, the Shirelles were asking "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow." There were also remembrances of a "Soldier Boy."
Hearing these tunes was like cruising and bringing in one's favorite oldies station. Beverly, Micky and Doris sang them loud and clear and if their energies defy 21 years of singing the same songs, it's partly because our ears fall under the influence of our memory. Last night, the Shirelles didn't sing two of their songs from 1961, but these are a fitting and somewhat ironic epitaph - "A Thing of the Past," and "What a Sweet Thing it Was."