A local cover band with a Cambridge connection earned a prestigious award this week in the Madison music scene.
The Gomers were inducted into the Madison Area Music Association (MAMA) Hall of Fame as a local cover band. MAMA held its annual awards ceremony Sunday, June 9 at the Overture Center in Madison.
One member of The Gomers Andy Wallman said the Hall of Fame was new to the MAMA awards this year.
“I think that (The award) really says more about the people that came out and had so much fun with us for so many years,” Wallman said. “I think that Hall of Fame award is really theirs, not ours.”
The band has strong local ties to Cambridge and surrounding areas. Wallman himself is a Cambridge residentand Midwest Fire Fest volunteer. He said Four members of the Gomers were raised in Watertown, and have a long history of playing shows in Cambridge — from the London Bridges Art Fair in the early 2000s to the South Street Block Party and Midwest Fire Fest.“I’ve dragged those guys to town a number of times,” Wallman said. “We love being a part of this arts scene.”
The Gomers have a local show coming up, a “1950s and 60s Dance Party” at the Cambridge Arts Council Summer Concert Series on July 12, at 6:30 p.m. in Veterans Park.
The Gomers formed in 1985. Wallman said the band’s early days were spent writing original music. Then, the group transitioned into covers.“It was a special band of brothers,” Wallman said. “We were friends who had the great privilege to get paid and play music and get free beer.”
“You get paid and have fun and make people smile,” he added.
The group is well-known for their residency at the High Noon Saloon for “Rockstar Gomeroke” — live-band karaoke for fans to perform alongside them. Wallman said they are one of the biggest karaoke bands with over 2,000 covers in their catalog.
According to the group’s website, two Madison Mayors declared Feb. 1 “Gomer’s Day.”
The Gomers are still playing quarterly at the High Noon Saloon, as well as monthly at Harmony Bar on Madison’s East Side. Wallman said the group is now calling themselves “Gomers and Friends” because they now feature both original Gomers members, and talented friends joining their shows.“We’ve been having fun, still kicking, doing creative and interesting things that people really like,” Wallman said.
The group has earned six MAMA awards previously. Wallman said he’s grateful for the organization, because of its devotion to hard-working musicians and supporting music education.“We love the MAMAs. We’ve been really supportive of their mission,” Wallman said. “They’re putting instruments in the hands of kids...we’ve always been really proud of that.”
“What a privilege (for) this music fan, getting to be in the front row of the best band around,” Wallman continued. “I’m a lucky Gomer.”