Themes: Music and Costumes for Special Events
In order to meet the demand for live entertainment at conventions and corporate celebrations, the group needed to diversify. Beginning in the early 1990s, there was big demand for “themed” events. With these themed events, costuming for the guests, staff, and entertainment needed to match the theme and time period. The band felt that the traditional titled bowling shirts was too closely tied to the doo-wop style groups. On the other hand, the British invasion and Motown groups had really cool suits or jackets. As a result, “Cactus Jack and the Cadillacs” decided on what became their signature zebra striped tuxedos for most gigs.
Florida, like California, is famous for its beaches. With the popularity of Jimmy Buffet and Bob Marley, and the state’s close proximity to the Carribean, event planners were booking “beach parties”: baggies, bikinis, flowered shirts, and more. Some even constructed beachs in ballrooms. The band put together a repertoire featuring a combination of California Beach Music (a la Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Dick Dale) , some Jimmy Buffett covers, a bit of Reggae, and a bit of their high-energy Rock-N-Roll. Adding in a typical Beach Boys look, they created “Banzai Bob and the Beach Patrol”. There was also a growing interest in the “Woodstock” phenomena. Event planners started promoting “Hippie Parties”, featuring long hair, tie dyed clothes, mini skirts with go-go boots, biker leathers and more. (One client went so far as to provide a fire pit for a bra burning ceremony. ) Anyhow, in the spirit of “Woodstock”, the guys put together the “Hair, Peace, and Love” theme; featuring covers from the “Woodstock” bands and some 60s-70s psychedelic rock.