The crowd spills outside South Miami's Casa Larios restaurant. The parking valet is overwhelmed with Mercedes, BMWs, and a Porsche or two. The outdoor eating area is buzzing. Inside, it's three-deep at the bar, and getting a table is impossible -- the dance floor can't contain the crowd. Couples dance between tables and later in the evening, on chairs.
Its a pretty wild scene, especially considering most in the crowd are over fifty, many are in their sixties, and one wouldn't have to look to far to find a great-grandmother or grandfather.
In the house are jamming rock band 'People You Know.' Most members are veterans of Miami's 60's-70's rock scene, when they played in bands that enjoyed major popularity. In those days, local bands like Coke, Babe, and The Antiques produced excellent musicians that went on to form groups like the Miami Sound Machine and staf bands like Malo. They produced records, played everything from high school proms to, in the case of Carlos and Victor Angulo, opening slots for The Rolling stones.
The crowd is full of doctors and lawyers, and a former U.S. Ambassador has been spotted. There are architects, powerful politicos, and plenty of the once-kids-now-adults who were fans four decades ago. The band is no exception: there is a sign company executive, a lawyer, an executive in a Fortune 500 company, and an engineer/architect all pounding out the hits from back in the day.
Lead singer David Bruce is the youngster of the group, and he claims he's not as young as he seems. "Playing with these guys is like being with rock 'n roll royalty," he says.
Carlos Angulo fondly remembers the tour with the Stones. He had just gotten married, and was on his honeymoon: "It was an experience we will never forget."
Gabby Sanchez, a rock 'n roll kid back in the 70's, laughs when asked about the old popular saying back in the day, "Never trust anyone over the age of 30." Sanchez looks around from behind his drum set, studies the band and crowd, and proclaims, "I guess we can't trust anyone over 65!"
The band breaks into Del Shannon's "Runaway" and segues with the Stones' "Brown Sugar,' then comes right back with "Good Lovin'." The usually sedate Casa Larios throbs with the music; there is a dance floor frenzy. Bartenders can't keep up with the orders, waiters struggle to get plates to the table. This is a crowd not short on cash, and serious about reliving an important part of their youth.
"What was it like when they said let's get together again?" Victor Angulo smiles. "I left music for ten years. Little by little i started getting back into it and I am really enjoying it."
P.Y.K., as fans and group members call the band, play a couple of times a month: outdoor events like First Friday in Coral Gables, Art on the Mile, and every month or so at Larios. They generate a buzz about the band promoting their events on Facebook and Twitter. And whenever they play, there's a built-in following of at least a couple hundred hardcore fans.
"We are more popular than ever," says Sanchez from behind his desk in a well-appointed Kendall law office.
Indeed, that seems to be the case, as these guys can still "bring it" forty years later and draw the crowds to prove it.
Hank Tester will have more from People You Know during the 11 p.m. news hour Sunday night.