gary wein has to be the worst writer in the history of asbury 
park...he trashes days awake, and he assumes what bruce's thought are 
on why he didnt show on saturday night...where did this guy come from 
anyway? he should be run out of town!!!

(ASBURY PARK, DECEMBER 9, 2006) -- They were the pioneers. The first 
musicians to play rock and roll live in clubs, dance halls and 
shopping malls around the Jersey Shore area. It was through their 
blending of rock, blues, R&B, doo-wop and soul that the sound, which 
would become known as The Sounds Of Asbury Park (S.O.A.P.), was 
created. On December 9th, many of the creators returned to Asbury 
Park for a very special performance at the Stone Pony. It was a 
fitting tribute to a lot of artists whose place in history was 
somewhat overshadowed and overlooked due to the success of Bruce 
Springsteen.

The tribute began at noon when a monument listing the names of 35 
artists and people who played major roles in creating the Asbury Park 
sound was dedicated. There is space on the plaque for a few more 
names and people are already debating about who might be added. The 
plaque is to be replaced anyway since it contains a misspelling of 
Southside Johnny Lyon's name! Unfortunately the error was noticed 
after the plaque had been created. 

A crowd of people and media from around the country came to the 
monument's dedication and got the chance to hear and meet several of 
the artists at the monument unveiling. While the monument will 
forever stand on the boardwalk next to Convention Hall, the show 
promised to be a once in a lifetime event and it certainly delivered.

The evening began with a blues set by Billy Ryan to warm things up as 
the crowd began to gather. From there it was full speed ahead with an 
all-star lineup of musicians crammed on stage doing their takes on 
classic hits from the 50, 60s and 70s. The lineup contained such 
artists as Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez (the original drummer for the E 
Street Band), Garry Tallent (bass player for the E Street Band), 
Popeye (original Asbury Juke), Billy Ryan, Nicky Addeo, Doc Holiday, 
Lisa Lowell, Norman Seldin, and Patsy Siciliano. Special guests 
included artists like Craig Krampf (Drummer for Journey & writer of 
Steve Perry's hit "Oh Sherri" and Kim Carnes "Bette Davis Eyes") and 
Caron Patrice. Behind the artists where the Stone Pony logo resides 
was a photograph of Johnny Shaw, the founder of the Jaywalkers who 
passed away earlier this year. The night was largely dedicated to him 
as most of the musicians were not only friends with Shaw, but former 
bandmates as well.

With the cast on stage, the creators launched into "Feeling Alright." 
Seasoned professionals, the band was tight, singing was dead on, and 
the musicians all appeared to be having fun on stage. This was like a 
rock and roll high school reunion of folks who grew up together in 
bands and on the same stages but hadn't been together for decades. 
You could just tell it was going to be a magical night at the Stone 
Pony.

One of the highlights of the night came when David Sancious (one of 
the creators) made a special appearance on keyboards 
during "Expressway To Your Heart". As they got ready for the song, 
Doc Holiday said, "It's in the key of C David, that's all I have to 
tell you and you're good to go!" Doc was right. Sancious' keyboard 
came alive during a solo in the song and it was very cool to see Eric 
Safka (the keyboardist for Days Awake) watching the master from just 
outside the stage with a huge grin on his face. Now that's what the 
night was all about!

Other highlights from the all-star lineup included Nicky Addeo 
showcasing his wonderful voice during "Gloria", Lisa Lowell tackling 
Aretha Franklin on "Rescue Me", a blistering version of Chuck 
Berry's "Johnny B. Good" led by Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez on lead vocals, 
and "Listen To The Music" by the Doobie Brothers with Doc Holiday on 
lead vocals.

A very special tribute to the artists that could not be at the show 
from the west side of town ("the soul side" as they put it) took 
place during a take on Georgie Fame's "Sitting In The Park." As names 
of several artists were read Nicky Addeo changed the lyrics and 
softly sang "Sitting in Asbury Park, waiting for you."

Later in the evening Steel Mill Retro led by Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez 
played a set of songs Bruce Springsteen wrote in the late 1960s. This 
was the period of time when Springsteen was writing music in the hard 
rock / Led Zeppelin / guitar-based frame. The band also included Bill 
Kacerek on keyboards, Bernie Brausewetter on guitar, and Ed Piersanti 
on bass.

"People always say Bruce doesn't do instrumentals," said Lopez. "But 
it's not true." The band then kicked off their set with "Sherlock Go 
Holme" - an instrumental that featured solos by Brusewetter and 
Kacerek to provide the tone of the set.

After the instrumental, Steel Mill played "Cowboys Of The Sea" which 
was one of the treats of the evening for me as I had known about the 
song but never heard it before. It's always fun for me to hear a 
Springsteen song for the first time. Cowboys reminded me of the 
lyrics found on the story based songs Bruce wrote for his demo given 
to Columbia Records. As an additional treat, the song contained an 
ending featuring Lopez on flute! Steel Mill followed with "The Judge" 
and "The Wind and the Rain" - one of Springsteen's lost classics that 
Steel Mill thankfully has brought back to the Shore.

Following Steel Mill was Lance Larson backed by the guys from Days 
Awake. Lance made his official debut with this band the night before 
at the Wonder Bar and blew the crowd away. Kicking off with the 
Warren Zevon classic "Lawyers, Guns & Money" Lance showed why he was 
one of the most entertaining front men in Shorehistory. The highlight 
of the set was Lance's own "Angel With Broken Wings" which sounded 
beautiful behind the talented guys from Days Awake who held their own 
during a night full of world-class musicians. Another Lance 
original "Song For The Soldiers" followed before the group finished 
with the classics "Magic Carpet Ride" by Steppenwolf and the 
Animals' "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place."

Before his last song, Lance thanked everyone for coming to Asbury 
Park and mentioned the redevelopment. He urged people to remember 
to "keep music and art in Asbury Park because without it it's not 
Asbury Park." The band ran out of time before getting into "With A 
Little Help From My Friends" which was going to be their closing 
number, but it was a great set nevertheless.

Lance truly seems to be having the time of his life with these guys 
(and gal) backing him. Rumors are swirling about an upcoming big news 
announcement that could involve both artists working together in the 
future!

As talented as the Days Awake band members (Eric Safka on keyboard, 
Sarah Tomcek on drums, Jeremy Korpas on guitar, Dom Lacquaniti on 
rhythm guitar, andJay Cagna on bass) it was disappointing to me to 
see them follow a night full of artists who have been performing for 
decades in front of millions of people yet they were the only ones 
who needed roadies on stage. If players like Garry Tallent didn't 
need a roadie, Days Awake shouldn't have as well. This was a night to 
honor the musicians that created the music scene that Days Awake is 
part of - egos should have been checked at the door and the staff 
should have taken the night off. 

The all-star lineup returned after Lance's set for a couple more 
songs before closing with a beautiful version of Dobie Gray's "Drift 
Away." As the song neared its close, a creator's name was announced 
and that artist would leave the stage while the rest sang the magical 
chorus:

"Oh, give me the beat, boys, and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away"

In the end it was just Doc Holliday and Nicky Addeo left on stage 
before Doc took his leave. Nicky did another bar or two and then 
said "good night" and left as well.

It was definitely a good night. In fact, it was just about everything 
you could ask for - except, I guess, for the fans of Bruce 
Springsteen who paid anywhere up to $1500 for a ticket and expected 
him to play! There were a few people grumbling as the lights came up, 
but for the true music fans this was a night to always remember. I 
think Bruce Springsteen knows that this night was about all of the 
artists from the Jersey Shore music scene that he was part of but if 
he had played the news reports the next day would have made the story 
about Bruce. He understands about giving others their due and tonight 
that was what the show was all about. Doc Holiday did an incredible 
job putting everything together. Long-time fans of the Jersey Shore 
got to see artists they hadn't seen in years while younger fans got a 
rock and roll history lesson. The show, which had been sold out for 
months, was perhaps the hottest ticket of the year and showed why 
Asbury Park is known throughout the world for music.

The monument is located on the boardwalk next to Convention Hall. The 
creators listed on the plaque include: Johnny Shaw, Billy Ryan, Bruce 
Springsteen, Garry Tallent, Steve Van Zandt, Mickey 
Holiday, "Stormin'" Norman Seldin, Vini "Maddog" Lopez, Fast 
Eddie "Doc Holiday" Wohanka, Billy "CherryBomb" Lucia, Clarence 
Clemons, Nicky Addeo, Donnie Lowell, Jim "Jack Valentine" Cattanach, 
Ken "Popeye" Pentifallo, Jay Pilling, John "Cos" Consoli, Gary "A" 
Arntz, Larry "The Great" Gadsby, Steve "Mole" Wells, Ray Dahrouge, 
Johnny "A" Arntz, David Sancious, Margaret Potter, Tom Potter, Sonny 
Kenn, Tom Wuorio, Rick DeSarno, Southside Johnny Lyon, Leon Trent, 
Buzzy Lubinsky, Danny Federici, Bill Chinnock., Patsy Siciliano, Sam 
Siciliano.

The concert was a benefit for "The Mercy Center" and "Interfaith 
Neighbors" - two charities located in Asbury Park. In addition to the 
S.O.A.P. concert raising thousands of dollars (total unknown at press 
time), the Backstreets BTX group raised $4400 at a special pre-party 
for the show and presented the check at the end of the night.





 
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