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VALLEY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

August 01, 1996|JAMES E. FOWLER

SUNDAY: Attacked

Anyone who's been watching the Olympics on KNBC-TV has heard numerous mentions of Jack Mack and the Heart Attack--who will perform a free concert Sunday at Warner Park in Woodland Hills.

After the opening ceremonies, the longtime L.A. faves played nightly in Centennial Park, with KNBC news anchor Paul Moyers bantering about the band's name almost as much as Amanda Beard's or Janet Evans'.

On Friday night, the group was mentioned again, only this time in conjunction with a disaster. Jack Mack had just begun their second set on the Centennial Park stage before a crowd of thousands of people when a pipe bomb exploded, killing two and injuring 111 others. No one in the band was hurt.

Band leader John Paruolo says the bomb exploded between 200 and 300 feet from the stage. The band had no warning before the blast occurred.

"It was just this orange flash, and then I felt the concussion of it followed by a heat rush," says Paruolo. "The sound was deafening. Then I saw the crowd starting to run. It took about five seconds for it to click."

Following the explosion and seeing the injured people, Paruolo says his reaction was one of anger. "I was furious," he says. "I kept thinking, 'They did it, they did it again.' "

Paruolo compared the bombing experience to being in a severe automobile accident.

"Everyone's going to have that in the back of their minds for awhile," he says. "But you just have to get back up and do it. If only as a statement."

The band has been popular in Los Angeles for over 16 years.

Original Jack Mack members, keyboardist Paruolo, guitarist Andrew Kastner and sax men Bill Bergman and Greg Smith, first made their mark in Hollywood performing high-energy R & B classics starting in 1980.

Filling out the band these days are bassist Tony Scott, drummer Tony Braunagel, trumpeter Les Lovitt and singer Terell "TC" Moses.

* Jack Mack and the Heart Attack perform at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Warner Park, 5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills. Free. Call (818) 704-1587.

TUESDAY: Steverino

He's been a composer, a comic, a writer, a singer, a pawn and a king. He's been up, down, over and out . . .--hold it, what exactly is this guy?

If Steve Allen had lived in another time, he would have been considered a Renaissance man, not just an entertainer. And now he's performing with his big band Tuesday at the Moonlight Tango Cafe.

By his estimate, Allen has written almost 6,000 songs. The best known are "This Could Be the Start of Something Big," "Picnic," "Impossible" and "Gravy Waltz," recorded by people such as Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughan. Earlier this year, Allen told The Times' Zan Stewart, "I was born 30 years too late . . . I write the way Marvin Hamlisch does, as if it were still 1947 when the songs were mostly good. Now they're mostly crap."

He's recorded 40 albums and written 46 books but despite all his accomplishments, Allen is primarily known for his work on television. He was the first host of the "Tonight Show" from 1954-1957. Later, he had several prime time variety shows.

* Steve Allen and His Big Band at 8 and 10 p.m. Tuesday at the Moonlight Tango Cafe, 13730 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. $13 early show and $9 late show covers, plus a $9.95 minimum. Call (818) 788-2000.

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