Local musical duo Rich Wyman and Lisa Needham set to perform 30th anniversary concerts at the Boneyard
Concerts show appreciation to Park City
Rich Wyman and Lisa Needham, Park City’s husband-and-wife musical duo, have a collection of tunes they consider their “pandemic repertoire.”
“Wrote a lot of songs about being in COVID-19 lockdown,” Wyman said. “A lot of the songs talk about what’s going on in the world, and there is one song, ‘Dancing With You,’ that we wrote because Lisa and I have danced together a lot at home during this time.”
Park City will get a chance to hear these new songs when the duo perform at 6:30 p.m. on July 16 and 17 on the roof of the Boneyard Saloon and Wine Dive, 1251 Kearns Blvd.
The couple chose the Boneyard because they have a long-running history with the venue.
Wyman performed there for his 50th birthday in 2014, before it was even finished, he said.
“They were still drywalling the Wine Dive,” he said.
The following year, Wyman talked owner Jesse Shelter into presenting live music on the roof.
“It’s a great place to see the best sunsets around, and hear a band,” Wyman said. “And now it’s become an annual thing for us.”
The concerts, which will also feature drummer Eric Munoz, will celebrate Wyman and Needham’s 30th anniversary as Park City residents, something neither thought would be possible when they moved to town from New York in 1991.
“We really thought the first five years here were more of a transitional thing, and then we look around and realize we’ve been in the same house for 25 years,” Needham said.
When Needham first moved to town, she was involved in the film industry.
“I had studied theater and acting, and some of my first jobs in town were as a stand-in for film,” she said. “But that wasn’t the direction I wanted to go, so I got out and tried to pursue some theater.”
One of those theatrical endeavors was producing, directing and starring in a one-woman show.
“I did the one-woman show so I didn’t have to do somebody else’s ideas, directions or words,” she said. “I had stuff to say and I wanted to say it.”
Needham also created Park City Divas, an annual production that showcased locally based professional and semi-professional women singers, such as Wendy Fisher, Jeanne Rettos, Mary Beth Maziars and the late Kris Seligman.
“We would do a show each year, and add a new diva to the lineup,” Needham said. “It took a lot of work, and we haven’t done one in quite a few years.”
In addition to performing arts, Needham decided to open a yoga studio, which she just sold a couple of years ago.
“I had done yoga before I got out here, and I always wanted a yoga studio,” she said. “That opportunity popped up 20 years ago, but I let it go to focus on the music Richard and I are doing.”
In the meanwhile, Needham continues to sell essential oils.
Wyman, who has worked with such artists as Van Halen, and has embarked on his own solo world tours, also embedded himself into the community as a local resident and activist.
He is known for his work with the advocacy groups Coalition of Resident Renters and Citizens Alliance for Responsible Growth.
“Initially my first involvement in Park City was about affordable housing back in 1993,” Wyman said. “I went to a city council meeting and told them about the affordable housing issues around town.”
When Wyman didn’t get the response he was looking for, he wrote a letter to the editor of the Park Record and called for renters to organize.
“When that letter published, my phone started ringing off the hook,” he said. “Before I knew it, I had started a group, which was engaging and exciting, because as a musician at night I had my days free.”
Wyman also got involved with the first Park City Leadership Class, a program that trains local residents to become community leaders.
“I love that people are passionate about this town,” he said. “I love how they try to be involved to make it a better place to live, because Park City is a small enough town where you can actually get things done when you get a group of people together. Sometimes you can succeed and sometimes you don’t, but you can always get involved.”
In 2018, Wyman and Needham decided to perform music permanently as the duo Park88. The name is symbolic to Park City and the 88 keys on a piano.
“Richard has always invited me up on stage to sing with him for the past 30-plus years, but after we became empty nesters, we decided to figure out what it was like to go out and sing together as a duo,” Needham said.
The couple released their full-length debut album, “The Fearlessness,” that same year and embarked on a tour opening for the Grammy-winning Gypsy Kings.
“The tour was a huge boost of confidence, because it was the first time for me going out on tour as a singer, and not as a theatrical performer,” Needham said.
The tour put Park88 on the musical map, and while the duo has garnered a large following, Wyman and Needham are looking for ways to change the band’s name.
“Unfortunately, the number 88 has been linked with white supremacy,” said Wyman, who is of Jewish descent. “The 8th letter of the alphabet is H, and many while supremacists have 88 tattoos, which symbolize ‘Heil Hitler.’ So we are trying to find a way to change our name, and not make it confusing for our fans.”
In the meanwhile, Wyman will continue to perform with Needham, and his dueling pianos offshoot project, Killer Keyz.
“I’m getting ready to go on my first Killer Keyz tour since March 2020,” he said. “But we both knew we had to play for our friends and fans in Park City. The show at the Boneyard is the only one we really do in Park City, and it’s important for us to do a weekend of shows in the place we live.”
When: 6:30 p.m. July 16 and 17
Where: The Boneyard, 1251 Kearns Blvd.
To put the battle, which went on for more than 40 years, into perspective, Rademan said people should understand how unique Crested Butte was at the time.
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