A 50 + Year Story
The Invictas started in 1960, just before The Rolling Stones began. They started as a street band, listening outside a neighbor’s window while another neighborhood band practiced. The sound of rock ‘n roll got their blood boiling. The original members were neighbors, Dave Hickey - drums, Bruce Hickey - guitar, Herb Gross- guitar and vocals. When the band first started, they were called the Furys.
In 1961, Herb attended RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY.) He expanded the band to include Jim Kohler - bass, Mark Blumenfeld - lead guitar, Dave Hickey - drums, and Herb on guitar and vocals. The band renamed themselves The Invictas. The band’s name was inspired by the Buick car known as Invicta. In Latin, the word Invicta means invincible.
The band became well-known playing at Tiny’s Bengel Inn, a bar near Rochester, NY. Hundreds of people would wait in line to hear them rock. The Invictas released a hit record known as “The Hump". The Hump reached #1 on the charts in several major US cities. Their popularity exploded and the band found themselves playing with big name groups like The Beach Boys, Jay and The Americans, The Shirelles, Gary Lewis and The Playboys, The Young Rascals, Otis Reding, and others. The band went on to record several singles, an album and numerous CDs.
In 2005 the band decided to reunite “One More Time". It became the title of one of the band’s new songs. The media has referred to The Invictas as America’s oldest - most successful garage band. Three of the four original band members are on stage including Dave Hickey, Jim Kohler and Herb. Since 1980, Dave Profeta the band’s lead guitarist also known as the CMO (Chief Music Operator) has played. He has played critical part of helping the band get back together musically. Dave is now the longest playing lead guitarist of The Invictas. Sam Gruttadauria a nationally known keyboard artist and Dick Callari a top of the line guitarist have also joined the band.
Today, the band is on a mission to have as much fun as possible. After al, the original members know this can never happen again. While most bands play to make money, The Invictas are on a journey to play at unique events, meet people and rock the largest crowds possible. Yes, band members are paid, but the band’s passion is to rock thousands of people and have fun.