Voted the Best Entertainment in Wildwoods, this wild and crazy duo began seven years ago when Gary Campanell bumped into a waiter, Ed Fahey, at a golf club where Gary had been performing on Friday nights. On this particular night while Gary was performing on stage he could hear a variety of instruments being played in the ballroom. As he walked toward the music he discovered Eddie playing the clarinet quite beautifully and many guests were gathered around listening to the young man play. Gary turned to another member of the audience and asked “Who is this kid?” and the name “The Kid” stuck.
That very same night Eddie joined Gary on stage to play the piano. It was then that an instant friendship and long term adventure began. Eddie quit his job to go on the road with his new found friend and Gary was fired from his gig for stealing the company’s employee.
Since then Gary and Eddie do pretty much everything together from fishing and Phillies games to sharing a love of antique cars. Eddie owns a bright red 1955 Ford Thunderbird that is his one and only baby. These two companions even ended up in the hospital together in the same room, side-by-side beds, one night after a gig. This was completely unplanned and neither was aware of the other’s admittance but they certainly made the best of their hospital stay since they had each other to rely on.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Gary has been singing and honing his craft of scales and chords on the keyboard and guitar as well as practicing flute and saxophone He has always been a lead singer, prides himself in his comical personality and loves absolutely everything about entertaining. His inspirations are his brother as well as The Beatles. At 16 years old he officially began his professional journey in high school when his band “Stone Eagle” won the New Jersey Battle of the Bands and a Columbia Recording Contract.
He then toured in the 1970s all around the United States and Canada for three years with the Bob-Shoo-Bops. Gary decided to leave the group in 1977 to join his brother and fellow musician, “Bob Campanell & The Shakes.” With this band Gary performed with famous entertainers from: Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band, Southside Johnny, Meat Loaf & Bonnie Raitt.
He remembers sharing a dressing room with Chuck Berry who put gum in Gary’s guitar strings so that when he went on stage he couldn’t play. Berry stood on the sidelines laughing hysterically at what he had done, and when Gary figured out what his friend had done he joined in on the laughter. After touring with his brother’s band, Gary started his own band in the 1980s called “The Flys” and played all over the Jersey Shore.
Ed Fahey, “The Kid”, was also born and raised in New Jersey. Unfortunately, Eddie is a hemophiliac and was always very ill as a child. He was not allowed to participate in sports or play as children normally would. It was so dangerous for him to get injured that his father, who he is still best friends with to date at 86 years old, used to cut off all of the edges and every single corner of the furniture in his house just to be safe and save another trip to the hospital.
Ed found an escape from his illness through music and self-taught himself the keyboard, piano, organ, saxophone, clarinet, violin, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, and trumpet. He can’t read a single note of music, it all comes from memory.
Eddie Fahey is 30 years old, handsome, and single. Thus, he is constantly running from girls. These are Gary’s words, not his, so he must be a really be a ladies’ man. Gary, on the other hand, has recently celebrated his 11th wedding anniversary with his wife Joelle and has three wonderful children: Graycin who is 7, Gary who is 4 and Christa at 27. His oldest, Christa has inherited Gary’s musical talent and is also a singer.
Gary & The Kid is a cover band that plays a range of styles from Classic Rock to Motown, and they always put a comical edge to every song they play. Gary does impressions of Nat King Cole, Rod Stewart, Louis Armstrong and Elvis. His favorite song and act to perform is Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. The Kid impersonates Edith Bunker, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Durante and Frank Sinatra.
Every night is different, a new crowd, they never plan a set ahead of time and you never know what is going to happen. Their fans have said that they have “no filter” and they will jump from the stage to a pool table and then on top of the bar. They are comedians as well as musicians and wear hats and costumes galore! They rarely take breaks, and their high energy sets them apart from other local bands. They even go out in the audience with a wireless microphone and get everyone involved in the fun! They put their sequenced music through their keyboard and play on top of that music, coming out sounding like a ten-piece band!
Gary believes that “If you love what you do and you work hard at it, it becomes your life.”
Gary & The Kid host private parties, weddings and class reunions. Be sure to catch Gary & The Kid at Flip Flopz in North Wildwood for Friday Happy Hour, as well as Ocean City and Sea Isle Yacht Clubs.
For more information or for a full entertainment schedule, feel free to call Gary at (609) 909-5252.
By Michelle Riggins