Keller Citizen

June 10, 2014

Northeast Tarrant rock band reunites after 27 years

Chaza Retta will perform at Bronson Rock June 13.

Facebook is a powerful medium.

Just ask James Michael McLester and his friends.

A while back someone posted a flyer of the rock group Chaza Retta. It was from 1987, the last time the band performed together.

It led to a reunion this Friday at Bronson Rock.

"It was from a show we performed at the Footloose Teen Club near Keller," said McLester. "We all began to ask the question what if Chaza Retta reunited after 27 years for one night only?"

That thinking resulted in a meeting between McLester and fellow original band members Eric Younkin Jr., Peter Nepomuceno (who goes by Nepo), and John Phillips. All four live in Keller or around the north Ft. Worth area, said McLester, so a meeting wasn't difficult to arrange.

"It's not that we hated each other. We just did our separate things," he said. "We still have the same chemistry."

McLester said the guys worked up about 30 songs for Friday's show, which will have them taking the inside stage around 9 p.m.

The quartet, who originally got together while attending Richland High School, have each branched off into successful ventures of their own since the group disbanded. Younkin is a photographer, Nepo is still in the music business and teaches in Keller, Phillips has a landscaping business, and McLester has a Christian band Supernova Remnant.

"We're fortunate that all four band members have become very successful in their respective fields, including music," said McLester, who also has a book entitled "Wannabee Rock Star Who Finally Found The Rock."

"Yeah, I know Wannabee is misspelled, but that's so you'll remember it, just like a laundry mat named Kwik Wash," he said. "And just like people are going to remember this performance."

As a side note to the performance, those in attendance can also find out how to purchase McLester's book, proceeds from which will help him in his battle with kidney dialysis. He's been undergoing treatment three times a week for 11 years, he said.

"It's not about me," he said. "We don't want the audience to think this is a fundraiser, but there is a need if someone wants to help.

"Mainly, we're asking people to come have fun at the concert."

As for the future following Friday, McLester said it's a wait-and-see situation.

"We know this is going to happen, and there's a lot of talk about what else, but we all have other things going on," he said. "Right now, we're just super excited about Friday."

If so, it will most likely be on Facebook, which McLester said will be great.

"When you're really a good person and you use it for positive things, it's a good thing," he said. "Look how it worked for us."

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