local 1980s band
Aura reunites for one concert
musician Rusty Bladen
is organizing the event
(August 2008) The 1980s pop culture in the
United States was a time when big hair was teased to the
tallest heights possible and kept there with Aqua Net hairspray. MTV,
an all-music cable television station, hit the airwaves to the delight
of millions of teenagers, and spandex pants were a must-have wardrobe
item. Computers were only for geeks and break dancing replaced
gang fights in music videos.
1986 photo of Aura pictures
from left: John Canfield, Warren
Schacklette, Rusty Bladen,
Todd Brindel and Mark Bear.
During that time in Madison, Ind., one local musical band
of young men called Aura, complete with big hair and spandex,
became a hit favorite on the regional music scene. The popular band
attracted fans throughout the area with their lively performances of
Top 40 rock and roll. The band broke up in 1987 after almost a decade
of success and much to the dismay of loyal fans.
Now that band has decided to reunite after 22 years for one show. At
8 p.m. on Aug. 2 at the Madison Moose Lodge, fans will get the chance
to reminisce with Aura and listen to their favorite tunes of the 1980s.
All ages are welcome for the performance. Tickets will cost $7 at the
door; children 12 and under are free. Prior to the concert, a slide
show of old pictures and concert footage will be presented. The band
will take the stage at 9 p.m. and play until midnight.
Its not just a band reunion; its a fan reunion,
said former band member Rusty Bladen, who became the only professional
musician in the group.
Its a chance to see old friends and reflect on some great
times when they were younger and maybe just a bit wilder. Its
also a chance for the younger generation to see what they missed when
their parents were rocking out in the 1980s.
Bladen, 48, was one of the founding members of the band. He has since
gone on to a career in music that has spanned several decades. Bladen
has cultivated an extremely loyal Midwestern fan base for his band and
his solo performances.
He plays 150 shows a year, both solo and with his band, Rusty Bladen
and the Designated Drivers. He has become one of the top independent
selling artists in the state of Indiana and has released five CDs of
Bladen was instrumental in organizing the reunion and is excited about
it. Its going to be a lot of fun for all of us, he
said. I think people will really enjoy themselves.
Mark Bear, 44, was the bands original drummer and left it in 1985.
We should have a good show to put on; weve been rehearsing
for several months now and are ready to have some fun.
Bear, co-owner of Bears Furniture on the Madison hilltop, met
the rest of Aura band members during high school. He played the drums
seriously for several years but then said he put his sticks away for
awhile to raise a family. Several years ago, he joined a local punk
rock group, Shock Treatment, and enjoys playing with them.
Its great to get with friends and help out doing benefit
concerts for people with needs, he said.
Other band members who will join the reunion include Derin Lowry, who
currently resides in Los Angeles and works as a school teacher, and
area residents Todd Brindel and Warren Schacklette. Former members of
Aura also include John Canfield, Tim Kelly, Dave Wells, Berry Burleson,
Bobby T. Sampson, Bill Dossey and Jim Stewart. Many of those musicians
will also join in the reunion concert.
We want everybody to come on out because we have a special surprise
in store during the reunion, said Bladen. He would not elaborate
on what the surprise is, but said it is big.
For more information about the Aura Reunion
Concert, visit www.rustybladen.com.
A portion of the proceeds from the concert will go to benefit the Jefferson
County chapter of the United Way.
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