From Asbury Park to Ardmore: Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes

Though my favorite hobby is taking off to Asbury Park at a moment's notice to catch a show at the Stone Pony or Asbury Lanes or the Wonder Bar, I've always felt like something of a poser when it comes to the Jersey Shore Music Scene.   Why? Because I'm a relative newcomer to the scene.  Because I have never actually lived in Jersey or even summered on the Shore.  And, most of all, because I've never seen Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.

Until a few weeks ago, that is.

Southside and the Jukes played the Ardmore Music Hall, a quirky little venue just fifteen minutes from our house, and this time we were there, in the front row.  

Everything about the show was fun and so familiar to anyone who loves the Asbury Scene, probably because Southside IS the scene.  He was one of the handful who helped invent it. 

Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny (photo courtesy of Billy Smith and BruceBase)
To anyone who loves the Jersey Shore sound, seeing Southside and the Jukes is like a homecoming.

There are the horns.

And the setlist, which included familiar songs like Just Walk Away Renee, All the Way Home, The Fever, I Don't Want to Go Home, and Trapped Again.

There's the sense of community--the hardcore fans who follow Southside from venue to venue, but who are more than welcoming to a couple of newcomers.

And then there's the audience participation.  The show ended with Sam Cooke's "Having a Party," and I even got to sing a verse with Southside.  I only wish I had some photographic evidence of that.  

But since I don't, here's a live version from 1978.


Popular Posts