Pardi Gras: that old time rock and roll

For four decades – featuring music from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s to today – Robert Broyles, a resident of the 109, has taken the stage and entertained the Fort Worth community.

For the past nine years Broyles, along with five of his best friends, has performed at many weddings, parties and other events as a band called Pardi Gras. The band’s motto is: “Pardi Gras. Six musicians, with one simple philosophy: Have a blast. And everyone else will, too.”

Broyles’ musical career began his freshman year at TCU when some active members in his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, asked a few pledges to hop on stage at a local club and hit them with their best shot. The group of anxious freshman was not prepared to perform, but by the end of the night the manger of Spencer’s Corner had booked the pledges for New Year’s Eve. Phil Alpha and the Mystics quickly became a frat party favorite performing hits from the ‘50s on and off campus.

It was during Broyles fifth year at TCU that a new band was formed. King Cobra included a few members from Phil Alpha and the Mystics, but had a ‘60s beat. King Cobra continued to play at corporate and charity events into the ‘80s and ‘90s.

The hustle and bustle of the business world and raising families put band life on the back burner for a while, but now band members believe they are similar to other things in life that get better with age. In 2003, Greg Regian, a good friend of Broyles and a member of another Fort Worth band, Sons of the Beaches, asked a few of his buddies from both bands to put together an impromptu group to play at a “one time” event in Aledo. By the midnight hour, it was obvious that the party had turned out to be a hit, and so was the band.

“We accidently played together, and wow it was really fun,” Broyles said laughingly. “And the rest is history.” Now that the children of the band members are older, Broyles spends his weekends playing the bass guitar and even doing some vocals in the cover band with great friends.

Another resident of the 109, Curtis Butts, plays guitar in Pardi Gras. He joins Broyles on bass guitar, Regian on keyboards, Jim Eagle on guitar, Bob Lukeman on drums and Rene Ozuna on saxophone as members of Pardi Gras. A new member of the group, Stacia McNeil-Graves, is the lead singer.

Pardi Gras has pardi-ed in the 109 area with the Pascal High School Alumni Association and at many events and weddings at Colonial Country Club. The band even had the pleasure of helping Broyles’ give his oldest daughter, Katherine, the best of his love, by performing at her wedding reception in 2010.

Outside the 109, Pardi Gras has performed at many high profile Fort Worth venues and events such as Casa Manana, The Jewel Charity Ball, Concert in the Gardens, The Van Cliburn Foundation, Cook Fort Worth Medical Center, The Junior League of Fort Worth, Texas Christian University Alumni Association, The Fort Worth Club, The Petroleum Club, The Junior Woman’s Club, Billy Bob’s Texas and more.

Now Pardi Gras members and their groupies – their wives– are looking forward to performing in the Bahamas in May at a destination wedding, which describes a wedding scheduled at locations all over the world.

“At our age we are having more fun than we’ve ever had,” Broyles said. Six best friends – who recruited a new singer for the band - are enjoying their 50s and 60s now more than they ever imagined possible.

For information about how to Pardi, go to www.pardigrasband.com

Photos

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Robert Broyles’ musical career began his freshman year at TCU when some active members in his fraternity. Broyles is pictured center. (Photo Courtesy of Pardi Gras website.)