It's only fitting then that he became the first person to hold in his hands a key to the
Hargis was recognized along with the rest of the rock-country band he belongs to, Exile, by the city in a special ceremony Saturday at
"Marlon (said in a recent interview that) he'd never received a key to the city, never received a lot of the acknowledgments some of the other members of Exile have received from their hometowns," said emcee John Alexander at the event. "Well, ladies and gentlemen, tonight, we're going to take care of that."
Exile capped off a day spent in perfect weather at the lush, green park facilities, with additional performances by guest artists
"I told the mayor, 'We've got one of our own and we've never reached out to him to tell him what a great job he did.' The mayor said, 'Well, we're really waiting to see if he proved himself,'" Wilson joked. "You know what? I think he has."
Exile formed in 1963, originally known as The Exiles, with many members from
"I remember growing up, my father ran the armory, and Exile would play over at the armory -- probably the worst venue you'd ever play in your life," quipped Wilson, as a nostalgic voice from the crowd could be heard to say "one of the best" in response. "We lived on
In addition to the key to the city,
"We're excited to be able to give this scholarship (in honor of) a legend ... in this community," she said. "I found out right before that he was an alum of SCC as well, so that makes it even more special."
Girdler also announced that the concert would be the first of a series to be held at SomerSport in months and years to come at the new venue.
Hargis spoke briefly and thanked a number of possible who helped him get where he is today, including former Exile manager
He also thanked his older brother Ivan ("He was very much responsible for getting me into the music"), friends from a fellow rock band from the old days, the Savages, and in particular thanked Wilson and
"I hope we've always represented
Following the event, Hargis told the
"I was actually -- I don't know if I'd use the word 'touched,' maybe so -- pleasant surprised by how much effort had gone into (the event Saturday) and the trouble people went to," said Hargis.
"And everyone's attitude," he added. "Forget all that stuff (in the magazine interview) about it taking a while. It doesn't matter in the long run."
Hargis said he was happy to see old friends and get to play with the band in
"We work together almost every week ... We're together not as much as in the old days, but together as much as we want to be," he said, noting that much of the band's time is devoted to family life now. "We don't want to be away from home weeks at a time. We tour two or three days on a weekend, maybe a weekday, and then be home during the week."
In fact, Hargis' daughter Cressa is having his first grandchild, a boy, very soon and was unable to make it to the
Hargis said on Monday that he already has his plaques from the recognition up on the wall at his
"The mayor's office did a great job," said Hargis. "I want to thank everybody for their role in it. It was great."
Said Girdler at the concert, "(Hargis) went through the '60s and '70s, both national and international, and did a great job. He's a survivor. ... If he had the technology they have today, and the marketing and those things, he'd probably, rather than being in
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