Little Kings at Mama Kin


Today in 1996 found the Little Kings playing their only Boston gig ever. The Little Kings were a combination supergroup/superstar comeback. Living legend Dion DiMucci teamed up with Scott Kempner and Frank Funaro from the Del-Lords, and Mike Mesaros from the Smithereens.  

Dion, was, is, and always will be one of the coolest and most important artists in rock. He was an originator and an emancipator. But instead of working the oldies circuit and resting on his laurels, a right he most certainly had earned, Dion’s vision with the Little Kings was to do it again, from square one, as a new band.
While the concept was noble, the downfall of being a new band is that you sometimes get the shoddy treatment a new band suffers. This show, sadly, found the band treated quite poorly by Mama Kin. The set time got moved twice, the sound guy was rude and dismissive, and they were told not to bother with the second night of the booking before they’d even played the first night! I remember Frank exclaiming, “Why did they invite us if they didn’t want us?”

This was a warm-up gig for the live recording that took place at the Mercury Lounge in NYC on April 26, and the set list is virtually identical to the live cd, with the huge difference of there being no encore at Mama Kin, which deprived us of getting to hear the legend sing “Stay With Me.”
Sadly, the live cd had a stealth release, with virtually no promotion, and the whole enterprise petered out shortly thereafter. It’s a shame, since the DiMucci/Kempner originals were excellent, and the band was top-notch at presenting the tunes in the best possible light. Another worthy project killed by benign neglect.

The set:

1. Serious
2. You Move Me

3. King of Hearts

4. Born To Cry

5. Heartbreak Hill

6. Drip Drop
7. Heartbeat of Time
8. Stolen Kisses

9. Daddy Was a Jockey
10. JoJo’s Crazy

11. The Wanderer
12. No No No

— Salvi C.

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Filed under Frank Funaro, Live, The Cincotta Archives, Top Ten

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