We all had favorite bands or musical groups growing up. If you ever got a chance to meet those stars, it would no doubt be a thrill. But what if you got to know them and even work with them? It's a dream one pro musician is living right now. A dream that got its start, right in Watertown.
On a blustery Saturday night last week, at the iconic Landmark Theater in Syracuse, an iconic rock band of the 60s was just warming up.
After decades out of the music scene, "The Rascals" are on a reunion tour. Hanging in the background, providing the bottom of the groove, is Watertown native Mark Prentice.
"I pinch myself everyday, It's hard to believe this is going on," said Prentice about his role as bassist in "The Rascals."
Mark's story is quintessentially, poetically, a dream come true. As a young boy, he always had a love for music and started playing young.
On February 17, 1967, an uneventful day for most, little did young Mark know, his life would change forever. It was the day that set him on his path to becoming a pro musician. On that day, one of the biggest bands of the time travelled to Watertown to play a concert.
Back then, they were known as "The Young Rascals," and they had set the nation on fire the year before with a little tune called "Good "Lovin.'" 13-year-old Mark Prentice went to check the band out and that's when something clicked.
"That was the night I decided I wanted to make this my living, in the way you can when you're 13-years-old."
He was a kid possessed by a vision, a vision many have had. But Mark played and played some more. By the time he was in high school, he was gigging around the North Country five nights a week.
At 22, he moved out west.. And that's when his music career started falling into place. He's been featured on major record label albums, he became a Grammy-winning producer, and has worked with some of the brightest stars in music. Mark is considered one of the elites in the Nashville scene.
"I've had a charmed life, I really do think that came from this massive passion and fascination for it. It really hit me as a young guy" said Mark simply, commenting on his accomplishments.
It's a life that became a little more charmed once he was asked to join The Rascals on tour. The band that lit Mark's fire, back when he was 13-years-old. This bassist will tell you, he's still amazed, everyday, that his life turned out like this.
"This is the icing on the cake. This was never supposed to happen, but here I am."
The Rascals reunion tour is called "Once Upon a Dream." It's a fitting title, particularly for one guy, who made his dream come true with passion and persistence.
Friday, February 12, 2016, Watertown, NY