As the lead singer and saxophonist of Paul Revere and the Raiders, Mark Lindsay rose to fame in the 1960s with a string of hits that included “Kicks,” which Rolling Stone eventually named one of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
More than 50 years later, Lindsay’s still bringing musical memories back to classic rock fans by teaming up with Micky Dolenz of the Monkees for “The 50 Summers of Love Tour,” in addition to performing his own solo shows.
Lindsay will be leading his own band Sunday night at the Levitt Pavilion Pasadena, blending a mix of the Raiders’ hits including “Hungry,” “Good Thing,” and “Him or Me — What’s It Gonna Be?” with tunes from his solo career, including the hits “Arizona” and “Silver Bird.”
Lindsay first met Revere in Boise, Idaho, in 1958, when Revere’s group the Downbeats was performing in a local union hall. Although he was just 16, Lindsay had already made a splash on the local scene as a rockabilly singer and asked if he could jump onstage to sing a song — impressing the band enough to hire him soon after.
As they readied their debut album launch two years later, the group recast itself as Paul Revere and the Raiders to take advantage of the fact Revere shared the same name as the Revolutionary War hero. They also quickly drew attention for their gimmick of dressing in colonial-era military uniforms.
By 1965, the Raiders achieved stardom by adding an American R&B twist to the sound of the British Invasion bands that were dominating the music world, including the Beatles and the Dave Clark Five. Their unique look propelled the group to an appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in addition to becoming the house band for the Dick Clark show “Where the Action Is,” and even led to Lindsay and Revere co-hosting the series “Happening ‘68” and “It’s Happening.”
The Raiders also had a memorable appearance on the “Batman” series, and by 1967 were Columbia’s top-selling rock band, with three gold albums. Aside from “Kicks” (which was written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill), Lindsay was the band’s lead songwriter and creative force throughout their biggest successes.
He started spreading his wings as a solo artist in 1969 but continued to sing with the Raiders until 1975, when he stopped performing for several years to become a record label executive. Working with United Artists Records, Lindsay helped turn the Gerry Rafferty song “Baker Street” and several Kenny Rogers tunes into hits.
Over the past 15 years, he has returned to the stage in addition to a stint as a popular oldies radio deejay in Portland, Ore. As part of the “Happy Together” tour with Flo & Eddie of the Turtles, the Grass Roots, the Buckinghams and Dolenz several times since 2010, as well as his two current nationwide jaunts, he has found plenty of ways to keep getting his kicks.
Mark Lindsay will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Levitt Pavilion Pasadena, 85 E. Holly St., Pasadena. Admission is free. Visit levittpavilionpasadena.org