Answer throws back to classic rock

Van Mosley, lead singer and bass guitar player in classic rock band “The Answer,” closes the Claremont Summer Concert series on Labor Day in Memorial Park with “YMCA,” made popular by the Village People in 1978. Claremont had cut its budget for the summer concerts, but the Kiwanis Club stepped up with fundraisers to sponsor the event. / photo by Amanda Duvall

Erum Jaffrey
Assistant Arts Editor

Families, friends and local residents gathered for a free concert on Labor Day at Claremont Memorial Park, concluding the Summer Concerts in the Park series.

Featuring the classic rock band The Answer, about 1,000 people crowded the park, bringing their chairs and blankets to prepare for the performance at 7 p.m.

“We’ve been here since 3 p.m. and usually only come during the summer concerts when good bands are playing,” Alice Aguilar, a Pomona resident, said.

Consisting of Van Mosley on lead vocals and bass guitar, Dave Slater on lead guitar and keyboard, Jim Searing on guitar, keyboards and sound, and Kevin Brown on drums, The Answer has been performing since 1964.

The band showcased their patriotic pride through their American flag themed shirts and red, white and blue instruments.

“We are huge fans of The Answer and have seen them two or three times in concert before,” Aguilar said.

The Concerts in the Park, sponsored by the City of Claremont and the Claremont Kiwanis Club, is a series of free concerts that began on July 7 and ended on Sept. 1.

They feature artists of diverse genres, ranging from blues and jazz to reggae and country.

“I appreciate the fact that they have different styles of music every week because it gives people exposure to a different kind of music that they may have not heard before,” Aguilar said.

On stage, The Answer provided an exhilarating experience for the crowd by performing classics such as “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney, “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins, Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” and Village People’s “YMCA.”

The band encouraged the audience to jump high on their feet along to their performance of “Jump” by Van Halen.

Video and FX lighting accompanied the band, along with SkyFlatable air dancers, glow necklaces, bubbles and an array of inflatable objects, creating a free-spirited atmosphere for all.

“The great thing about a concert like this is that all ages can have fun, and that there’s almost a sense of camaraderie and happiness that brings us all together with the music,” Cheryl Ford, a Claremont resident, said.

Concert goers had the chance to curb their appetite with a variety of concessions provided by the Kiwanis Club, including burgers, hot dogs, nachos and drinks, whose proceeds fund the performers.

The Claremont Kiwanis club is part of Kiwanis International, a worldwide organization of volunteers that dedicates its time to community service projects.

“Kiwanis did a really great job with the food,” Francine Moreno, a La Verne resident, said.

“All the volunteers are so committed,” she said.

Two people won $100 each, along with two electric guitars in a dance competition searching for the best dancers to Billy Idol’s “Dancing with Myself.”

All ages were welcome to the event, creating a family-friendly atmosphere.

“I came here with my parents and two brothers,” Chad Wilder, an Alta Loma resident, said.

“This is my first time listening to The Answer, and I actually know a lot of the songs they’re tributing.”

“The best part about this is that it brings a sense of unity to the surrounding community and gives all age ranges a way to relate to each other,” Wilder said.

Erum Jaffrey can be reached at

Amanda Duvall

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