Flamin’ Dick celebrates the golden years of rock-n-roll

By on June 24, 2015

The July 3 concert with oldies band Flamin’ Dick and the Hotrods has been a Lititz tradition since 1999 —this year will be their 17th show in Lititz Springs Park.

The group is a ‘50s and ‘60s party band, playing a variety of music from the years of 1955 to 1968 —the golden years of rock-n-roll. Their classic renditions have the soulful sound and feel of the original artists: Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eddie Cochran, Bill Haley, Elvis, The Righteous Brothers, Gene Vincent, Dion, and more.

This year, the band is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

In addition to front man “Flamin’ Dick” Weatherholtz, the band includes guitarist Keith “Spike” Rentschler, bass player Glenn Paul “G.P.” Balthaser, John “Squeek” Zaneski on sax and keyboards, drummer Jack “Flash” Keller, and vocalist Lee Auchenbach.

There have been quite a few guesses and jokes as to how Dick came up with the name, Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods. Here’s the real story, as told by Dick himself:

“It all started with a 1960 Cadillac custom two-door hardtop. My friend, Tom ‘Slick,’and I were in my garage painting flames over the hood and front fenders on the Caddy. After working through the night masking off the area to be painted, then actually painting the area and then unmasking the car, it was about 7:30 a.m.

“We stepped back from the Caddy and Tom said, ‘Alright! Flamin’ Dick!’ And I said, ‘Hey, Man…. That would be a great name. I’m going to use that name, Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods, with my next oldies rock-n-roll band.’ About one year later it happened. In 1986, I started forming the group.

“And here we are, now a few years older, a few pounds heavier, and still digging rock-n-roll, hot rod cars and guitars.”

Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods will perform at the Lititz Springs Park bandshell immediately following the July 3 Lions Club Independence Day Parade. The show begins at approximately 8:30 p.m. Shown (left to right) are “Flamin’” Dick Weatherholtz and John “Squeek” Zaneski. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods will perform at the Lititz Springs Park bandshell immediately following the July 3 Lions Club Independence Day Parade. The show begins at approximately 8:30 p.m. Shown (left to right) are “Flamin’” Dick Weatherholtz and John “Squeek” Zaneski. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

The free Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods concert in Lititz Springs Park on July 3 begins immediately following the Independence Day parade, at approximately 8:30 p.m.

“I’d like to thank the Lititz Lions, Clair Brothers and Channel 11 for supporting us all these years,” Weatherholtz added.

The band has a busy summer concert schedule. If you can’t catch them in Lititz, check out their website, flamindickandthehotrods.homestead.com, to find out where they’ll be next.

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