Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes

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Leader: liam7777
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Created on: 6 Jul 2009
For better or worse, Southside Johnny has always been linked to Bruce Springsteen. Better, because his big break was likely in no small part due to the attention that Springsteen brought to the sound of the "Jersey Shore" back in the '70's. Worse, because for years his success was linked to Springsteen, who along with Little Steven, wrote many songs for the first few albums. After their writing contributions were no longer prominent, Southside's success slowed. Radio became less friendly and the big record companies either cut back on acts or went out of business. Over 30 years after his first release "I Don't Want to Go Home" Southside and the Jukes are still touring and putting out great albums. Below is the liner note written by Bruce Springsteen from the first album which still resonates strongly today, in that the "Jersey Shore sound" still lives in Southside's music:

"There was this place called the Upstage Club, open 8 P.M. to 5 A.M. on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park. There were a lotta musicians there 'cause the bands that came down from North Jersey and New York to play in the Top 40 clubs along the shore would usually end up there after their regular gig, along with a lotta different guys from the local areas. Everybody went there 'cause it was open later than the regular clubs and because between 1 and 5 in the morning you could play pretty much whatever you wanted, and if you were good enough, you could choose the guys you wanted to play with. The Upstage was run by this beat type guy named Tom Potter who plastered the walls with black light and pin-ups and showed '50s smokers to the kids in between the bands....It was a great place. He'd slip you five or ten bucks to sit in, and you could work it so you'd never have to go home, 'cause by the time you got out of there it was dawn and you could just flop on the beach all day, or you could run home before it got too light, nail the blankets over the windows of your room, and just sleep straight through till the night. There were these guys....Mad Dog Lopez, Big Danny, Fast Eddie Larachi, his brother Little John, Margaret & The Distractions (house band), Black Tiny, White Tiny, Miami Steve, and assorted E Streeters, plus the heaviest drummer of them all, in terms of both poundage and sheer sonic impact, Biiiiig Baaaaaad Bobby Williams, badass king of hearts, so tough he'd go the limit for you every time, all night. You will never see most of these names on another record besides this one, but nonetheless, they're names that should be spoken in reverence at least once, not 'cause they were great musicians (truth is, some of them couldn't play nothin' at all), but because they were each in their own way a living spirit of what, to me, rock 'n' roll is all about. It was music as survival, and they lived it down in their souls, night after night. These guys were their own heroes, and they never forgot. Southside Johnny....One of the weirdest guys I ever saw. He used to dress just like my old man. He was definitely comin' in from the outside. First time I saw him he was playin' bass behind one of the early legends in Asbury, a guy named Sonny Kenn. Johnny was terrible. This was a person that could not play the bass. But he could sing and play harp and he knew a lot about the blues. Once I talked to him, I realized he wasn't as weird as he looked...he was weirder, and his general conversation consisted of insulting everyone within 50 feet. But he was the only white kid on the Jersey shore that you could stand to hear sing straight R&B five sets a night. I brought up a lot of the past in these notes, and I hope Johnny don't mind, but I think it's time to bring it up before it's lost forever, because I know pretty soon it'll all be gone. So it's time to speak the names of the lost soldiers, 'cause the music on this album -- Johnny's music -- is something that grew out of those friendships and the long summer nights when there was no particular place to go and nothing to do...except play. All night long, Bruce Springsteen "

Southside's newest album is a cover of Tom Waits songs see his website for details:

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  • rockmyplimsoul

    The live cover of Little Steven's "Men Without Women" album is really great, all 10 song plus 3 Jukes tunes. Oh how I wish I was there for the show last year!

    3 Aug 2012 Reply
  • liam7777

    The new ablum is out and it rocks:

    4 Jun 2010 Reply
  • liam7777

    I agree. He's still touring and making new albums. I'm looking forward to one he's working on now that he says is more rock oriented.

    19 Jul 2009 Reply
  • frode1974

    Good to finally see a group dedicated to Southside Johnny & the Jukes. Underrated band who deserves a larger audience...

    15 Jul 2009 Reply