Gary DeCarlo: “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” at The Town Hall in NYC Saturday, February 8th!


The voice will be familiar to you even if Gary DeCarlo’s name isn’t. Yet. He’s working on some fascinating new projects which I’ll post about in the next few weeks, but right now, he’s gearing up to entertain every audience member in the historic Town Hall in New York City. As part of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ arrival in America, NYC:Fab50 is putting on an all-star benefit concert, and Gary DeCarlo plans to have everyone up on their feet and dancing along to the hit single he sang lead vocal on: “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye!”

The show will start at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Town Hall in New York City. 100% of ticket proceeds will be donated to The Food Bank of New Jersey, and also The Comprehensive Autism Medical Assessment and Treatment Center of New Jersey.  

For more information about the concert and tickets, please visit:


Me: How did you get involved in the upcoming event in New York City?

DeCarlo: I’ve known Charles for a few years now, and I like Charles and we get along well. What happened was he got in touch with me and asked me if I would like to, I believe it was a show in Stamford, a Beatle Expo. The reason that I did that show was because “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” knocked The Beatles out of number one. They had “Something” and “Come Together,” a two-sided hit. Believe me, to this day I still can’t figure out how we did that. (laughing) But we did, and he asked me and I said yes, and that started our relationship. Since then I’ve done things for him. We’ve become friends.

Me:  I’ve talked with people doing these concerts, and I’ve started calling it a high school reunion for musicians.

DeCarlo: Yeah, I’ve done a lot of those. (laughing)

Me: In terms of the Town Hall event in New York City, what about it made you realize that you wanted to be a part of it?


DeCarlo: Charles asked me and I thought about it and I said “Yes!” because it’s a huge event. It’s a “happening.” It’s hard to believe that 50 years have gone by because it just doesn’t seem that long to me. I wanted to be a part of it to pay tribute to The Beatles. They deserve it. They’ve had a lot of hit songs and they’ve done things have had an impact on people’s lives for all of those years.


Me: You also owe them for knocking them out of the top spot (laughing).


DeCarlo: I can’t say that there because I don’t want to get hit by a tomato (laughing)!


Me: Yeah, definitely not the crowd to mention that to (laughing).


DeCarlo: Yeah, that’s what I mean! When I say that they’d get the hook and drag me off stage (laughing)!


Me: What are you most looking forward to at the event, aside from your own performance, obviously?


DeCarlo: It’s going to be exciting for me to meet a lot of people who I didn’t get a chance to meet. I like meeting people and as I said, I’m a talker, so I’m not embarrassed to go up to somebody and say, “Hey.” I just did a show in Ohio for Sonny Geraci and I did a show in Tennessee, and I met some people, and it’s really great. We still have friendships going. We e-mail, we text each other, so it’s great. I really enjoy doing that. 

Me: I first saw you last year at The Monkees Convention in New Jersey, and you go from Ron Dante singing “Sugar Sugar” to…it’s really one of those pump up songs, “Na Na,” and you hear it constantly at sports events and things like that, but you can’t hear it without tapping your feet and being in a good mood. It puts you in that place.

DeCarlo: Thank you. That’s basically what I had in mind when I was singing it.

Me: It certainly comes across. You just can’t find somebody in a bad mood listening to that song.  Is it something that you’ve come to terms with?  I mean, when you have a hit song, especially when you have a hit song that is so pervasive, everyone knows the song. Is that a blessing or a curse?

DeCarlo: In my case it was both. The thing is, I’m proud of it. I’m happy. It’s going into its 45th year and it’s still going. The only downside for me is the fact that I didn’t get to go on the road with it because of problems with the record company and management, and a lot of people out there don’t know that it’s me. People are becoming aware of the fact that it’s me because I did the PBS show a few years back [“My Music: ‘60s Pop, Rock, and Soul”] . They saw me and they heard me sing it, and they realized I was the voice on the record.  Other than that, believe me, I’m very happy about the fact that it’s still going.

Me: Why do you think “Na Na” is still going strong 45 years later?

DeCarlo: Every time I do the song or a show, I always have people who come up to me, even in interviews, that will relate a really happy situation that they were going through at the time it was out. It’s always a good story, and it’s always fun. I had one guy who told me that he had broken up with his girlfriend, but he said he still loved the song and it was still happy to him. Basically, when you think about it, it’s a sad song because I’m telling the girl to get rid of him and come back to me, but it still projects a happy feeling.

Me: That’s why it’s so interesting: you have these lyrics that are clashing with the happy music in the background. (laughing)

DeCarlo: Absolutely.

Come see Gary DeCarlo, and many other great and iconic musicians, at the “America Salutes The Beatles” concert on Saturday, February 8th! Also, be sure to read up on all FOUR of the NYC:Fab 50 events happening in NYC starting Thursday, February 6th, and ending Sunday, February 9th:


~ by Jennifer Dodge on February 6, 2014.

2 Responses to “Gary DeCarlo: “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” at The Town Hall in NYC Saturday, February 8th!”

  1. do you know who sang the background music na na na
    thank you

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