Neighborhood resident Vince Vance stands tall before you. With his red hair heavily sprayed to stand about a foot on top of his head, he looks even taller. Then he looks you in the eye and swears Bill Clinton invited him to the White House.
No way, you might think.
“Way,” he declares.
Vince Vance is the leader of one of Dallas’ premiere show bands. Since the early ’70s, Vance and the Valiants have been the backbone in the background for some of the hottest parties thrown.
Not only around here. Around the world.
He, the Valiants and the Valianettes, party of eight, made their White House debut last month when the Presidential First Couple hosted the 184th Annual Easter Egg Roll.
“It was cool,” Vance says.
So how did this out-of-the-ordinary looking and thinking man make his way to Washington?
“A former band member used to date Roger Clinton, and we play a lot in Arkansas,” Vance says. “Plus, we’re the number one rock band in America, man.”
To say this divorced father of two sons, who has been rocking professionally for 25 years, is energetic is an understatement.
Having recently played with Clint Black at the Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl celebration in Atlanta, one of 200 concerts they’ll perform this year, Vance says the Washington appearance was a nice departure.
“We primarily did a children’t show,” he says, referring to the Easter Roll audience of 500 ranging from infants to 13. The Valiants began their set on the Ellipse of the White House lawn with “At the Hop.”
“Get it? Hop…Easter Bunny,” Vance says. “We had kids up on stage with us doing the Bunny Hop. They loved it.”
Vance got his start in a French Quarter bar called Your Father’s Mustache. The Bourbon Street bar, which no longer exists, allowed him to experiment with his music, he says. With a fellow band member, he came to Dallas in 1971.
This past Christmas, the Valiants owned the number one holiday video in the nation with Vance’s original “All I Want for Christmas is You.” The country-flavored video aired on TNN, VH-1 and MTV. The recording, he says, reached radio’s top 40 charts.
He co-wrote the song with band member Troy Powers. Other Valiant band members include Dave Smathers on drums, Lance Vance (No Relation) Stephenson on bass, and Brian “Kidd” Kelly on guitar.
“Let’s not forget the vivacious Valianettes,” Vance says of his three backup singing dancers. They include “redheaded Venus Valianette, blondes Violet Valianette and Victoria Valianette.”
“Do you know how many girls I had to audition to find three singers with the right name?”