The Fabulous Mid-Life Crisis

The popular cover band is scheduled to bring the good times (and huge crowds) to Summer's Fifth Night in Utica Square on June 7.


For more than 20 years, The Fabulous Mid-Life Crisis has brought families together in the name of good music and good times with their mix of ’60s and ’70s rock, soul and pop. Think The Beatles, Bob Seger, the Isley Brothers’ “Shout.”

Guitarist Hayden Burlingame has had a solo career and played for more than 35 years with various bands, but only joined MLC almost 10 years ago. 

“They were arguably the most popular band in town. They got all the gigs,” Burlingame remembers of Mid-Life Crisis back in the day. “Now, I see that we bring a lot of joy. Most of our audience members have families, so they’re not going out to bars and clubs. So, we’re their band to go out and see. 

“I can’t overstate how great it is to bring people together through music and see them dance.”

The current lineup includes Jim Stunkard (bassist), Steve Parkhurst (keyboard), John Dougherty (lead guitar), Carl Raynes (lead singer), Charley Stewart (drummer), Marc Boyce (vocals), Scott McGhee(percussion) and Burlingame. All are either retired or have their own careers in business, medicine and corporate America.

“First, we were called FOG, or, Five Old Guys,” Stunkard says, adding that they’ve also performed under the name The Divers. “Then we switched to Mid-Life Crisis, even though there are probably 200 mid-life crisis bands in the country.” 

The “fabulous” moniker was added at the suggestion of Steve Lee, a founding band member, to distinguish them from the crowd.

Thirty to 40 groupies attend each show. Called the Mid-Life Crisis Dancers, they have their own shirts, hats and even chairs. The group encourages others to get up and dance, though the crowd would do it on its own, thanks in part to the band’s frontman. 

“Carl has an extraordinary ability to bring an audience figuratively onto the stage with us,” Stunkard says. “He brings their energy, enthusiasm and joy up there.”

Annually, Mid-Life Crisis’ largest show is at Utica Square for the Summer’s Fifth Night event, where it plays to a crowd of 5,000.

“People know who we are, they know our brand, and so we try to always deliver what they expect,” Burlingame says. “That means a lot of the same songs, but the audience is such an active participant in what we do that no show is ever the same.”

Catch The Fabulous Mid-Life Crisis on June 7 for Summer's Fifth Night at Utica Square.

Meet four other local cover bands in this article from May 2016.


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