With absolute precision, C’mon Caroline steered into the Jukes’ set perfectly, helped by the fact that all the Jukes were on stage anyway!

There were lots of much-deserved congratulatory hugs and embraces for Bobby from his fellow band members as he sidestepped his way towards his new place on stage for the remainder of the night. But before he had actually traversed the few necessary paces, Southside Johnny was already reciting the first line of I Only Want To Be With You, which turned out to be the first of two sensational openers.

At this point, I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to the people who were standing near me when my ears tuned into this because it was the FIRST time I had heard a full-band version of this Dusty Springfield classic. At Least We Got Shoes is one of my all-time favourite Jukes’ albums and it was just so great to hear this song. Of course when I recognized the drum intro to On The Beach, which came next, I was beginning to have serious doubts about my own level of stamina lasting the course of the show! This is another favourite of mine and it ALWAYS reminds me of “Jukestock“.

Without a doubt, this show had GREAT everything… musicians; road crew; set-list; venue; sound; weather – a crucial element for an outdoor show; banter; audience; band members’ children; bubbles flying across the stage; fireworks; merchandise; a clothes peg…yes, that’s right, this show had great EVERYTHING, even a clothes peg!

Said object actually began the evening assisting Bobby to keep some lyric sheets clipped together on a music stand. Somehow it got left behind. It then became an impromptu weather vane on Southside Johnny’s microphone cable. After that, it somehow ended up on Bobby’s right ear lobe. Then it ended up on Mark Pender’s left ear lobe. It was then rejected by LaBamba, claimed by Chris Anderson who seemed to consider doing a “Janet Jackson” before changing his mind… just wonderful, the entertainment value of two small pieces of wood held together by a spring!

So yes, back to the show…

I think what gave this show the edge in terms of audience appreciation, was the surprise element. Like when the Asbury Park firework display began… I mean it wasn’t as if the Jukes were providing the soundtrack or anything so in that respect you kinda have to go with the ka-boooom which is exactly what the band did… even taking a couple of minutes out to watch the colorful and spectacular proceedings. Then Johnny called LaBamba down to sing the Star Spangled Banner and it just added to the whole emotional and cultural essence of what July 4th is all about for the American people.

In addition to all of the above, I could spout forth about the content of the show until I run out of megabytes on my computer but instead, I’ll list below some more of the things that made this a very special 4th July, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes experience for me. Incidentally, stopping off at the Windmill in Long Branch for a hot-dog on the way home was the perfect end to an Independence Day weekend as well as a wonderful trip.

– The All The Way Home rhetoric that featured members of the Yankees and the Mets

– Jeff’s accordion solo

– Mark Pender’s fantastic version of Midnight Hour

Rosa – acoustic version with Southside and Bobby

– Intro to All Night Long

– Ray Charles medley

– Chris’ trumpet solo in The Fever

– The moment when Johnny quietly led all the Jukes off the stage leaving Bobby, seemingly oblivious to the fact that he had been abandoned

– All the saxophone solos from Joey and Ed

– Vassileia Kazee’s superb vocals on We’re Havin’ A  Party

– Guest appearance by Norman Nardini

Band:

Southside Johnny – vocals, harp, banter

Bobby Bandiera – lead guitar, vocals, clothes peg

Steve “Muddy” Shews – bass, vocals

Joe Bellia – drums

Jeff Kazee – keyboards, accordion

Joey Stann – tenor saxophone

Ed Manion – baritone saxophone

Chris Anderson – trumpet, clothes peg

Mark “The Love Man” Pender – trumpet, clothes peg

Richie “LaBamba” Rosenberg – trombone

Special Guest: Norman Nardini – guitar

Set List:

  • I Only Want To Be With You
  • On The Beach
  • Baby, Don’t Lie
  • Love On The Wrong Side Of Town
  • This Time Baby’s Gone For Good
  • All The Way Home
  • Next To You
  • I Played The Fool
  • The Star Spangled Banner
  • You Don’t Know Like I Know
  • Midnight Hour
  • She’s Still In Love
  • This Time It’s For Real
  • Mellow Yellow
  • If 6 Was 9
  • Sinful
  • Rosa
  • Talk To Me
  • Broke Down Piece Of Man
  • All Night Long
  • Let’s Go Get Stoned
  • I Got A Woman
  • Hit The Road Jack
  • The Fever
  • Passion Street
  • I Don’t Want To Go Home
  • Havin’ A Party
  • Shake Down Baby
  • Return To Sender
  • Jailhouse Rock
  • Train Keep A Rollin’

4th July 2004 Part 1: Bobby Bandiera Is My Father There? Record Release Party.

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