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Four-fifths of KIX reunite to rock in Hagerstown

September 09, 2004|by KATE COLEMAN

They had a lot of hair.

"That was the '80s," said Jimmy Chalfant, drummer with the former band KIX.

It's the 21st century, and although there's less hair, four members of KIX will reunite for a performance Saturday, Sept. 11, in Hagerstown. Gates will open at 4 p.m. at North American Rod and Gun Club off Jefferson Boulevard.

Chalfant - whose nickname "Chocolate" was the result of New York lawyers misspelling his name on the contract the rock band had with Atlantic Records - will be there.

So will lead singer Steve Whiteman, who joined KIX in 1978. The two regularly play together as Funny Money, the band Whiteman started after KIX dissolved in 1996.


The rock band had hits with "Don't Close Your Eyes," "The Itch" and "Midnite Dynamite."

The pair will be joined by two other members of KIX, guitarist Ronnie Younkins of Frederick, Md., and guitarist Brian Forsythe, who'll be traveling from Los Angeles for the reunion. Original KIX member Donnie Purnell will not perform with his former bandmates.

Forsythe has been in California since 1993. He'll be back for four upcoming gigs at clubs in Springfield, Va., Harrisburg, Pa., and Baltimore.

Forsythe wasn't in town in 2003 when Younkins, Whiteman and Chalfant got together to play some KIX music when Funny Money opened a show at The Maryland Theatre for morning-show radio personality Doug "Greaseman" Tract.

Unlike the spring gig, this KIX reunion is not a surprise.

The four will have time for just one all-together-in-one-place rehearsal before the weekend shows, but the players have planned on the phone, and Forsythe has been rehearsing with live KIX recordings.

"We all know the music," Chalfant said.

Whiteman said playing with his former bandmates is as comfortable as an old pair of bedroom slippers.

"We really appreciate people coming out to hear us play," Forsythe said.

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