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Molly Hatchet, believe it or not, has a mellow side; not on stage

  • Molly Hatchet is one of three bands performing tonight at Penn's Peak, in a concert starting at 8 o'clock. Also on stage are Blackfoot and Jimmy Van Zant. Tickets are just $30 at the door.
    Molly Hatchet is one of three bands performing tonight at Penn's Peak, in a concert starting at 8 o'clock. Also on stage are Blackfoot and Jimmy Van Zant. Tickets are just $30 at the door.
Published June 09. 2012 09:01AM

Tonight at Penn's Peak, you'll see the wild side of Bobby Ingram and his fellow Molly Hatchet band members as they make a stop during their "Southern Fury" tour.

Molly Hatchet is one of three Southern rock bands appearing at the venue - the other are Blackfoot and Jimmy Van Zant - in a concert starting at 8 o'clock. Ingram, the lead guitarist, said the show that Molly Hatchet puts on "is high energy big time." Anyone who has seen Molly Hatchet in the past knows that's no exaggeration.

Off stage, Ingram says he's taking better care of his health and he has returned to school where he is studying to be an entertainment lawyer.

"We live clean lives; more healthier living," Ingram said in a phone interview this week, speaking of the band in general. "We want to be around awhile."

Ingram also stressed that during the Molly Hatchet concerts, the fans come first.

This includes audience interaction, a jam session featuring all the bands, and then an autograph session.

"We get out there and play like there's no tomorrow," he said. "We love playing for the people. It's a feeding frenzy. Our reward is to see everybody's face light up and forget their troubles and remember where they saw us play."

Ingram continued, "Molly Hatchet has always been a people's band, playing people's music for the people. We're blue collar ourselves. We love Wal-mart and barbecue."

Molly Hatchet, best known for the hit "Flirtin' With Disaster," was founded in 1975 and took its name from a 17th century Salem prostitute who allegedly mutilated and decapitated her clients.

Among the band's original members was Dave Hlubeck, who still performs as a vocalist.

The group has performed at Penn's Peak in the past and Ingram says he's excited about the return.

"We can't wait to get there again," he said. "It's like a home away from home. It's always fun there. Everybody's been so great there; the staff, administration, and definitely the fans have been exceptional for the fan. They're an interactive audience."

He said he's happy to be performing with Blackfoot and Van Zant, stating, "Blackfoot is a Southern band that have been fantastic" and that he has known Van Zant for a long time.

The jam session is something new that's happening with this show, as well as Molly Hatchet doing a few songs from the "Justice" album, which was released in 2010.

Even when the concert ends, the event isn't over. "We have a big meet-and-great autograph session at the end of the show," Ingram said. "That's so special to us. And the audience gets to ask questions and interact with us."

Of his life off stage, Ingram remarked, "We live the right way. We take care of our families. We take care of ourselves. We take care of things as we get old. The rest was part of the past. It was a great time, but this is a better time."

He's attending college, studying to be an entertainment lawyer.

He admits, "I feel like Rodney Dangerfield going back to school," referring to the character the late actor played in the 1986 film entitled "Back to School."

Ingram, who started college when he was just 17 and earned an accounting degree, said after his wife died and his children grew up and left home, he decided to learn about the legal end of the entertainment profession. "We've got a great entertainment lawyer, but you are never too old to start learning and go back to school," he said.

This is especially important to him considering the band is on an international basis.

Referring to the career, he said, "I did a million things right and 100,000 things wrong with contracts along the way. I got shafted like all the bands over contracts."

He added, "Now it's time to have some kind of legal education."

Back to the local concert, Ingram said, "I think it is real important the fans in Jim Thorpe understand how much they mean to us. It's beyond words."

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