From 1996 to 1998, the flashback column was a regular weekly feature in the East Coast Rocker written by Jersey Shore musician/songwriter/producer/columnist, Hal B. Selzer. The success of the flashback column can be attributed to Hal’s own illustrious musical career during which time he has played with many of New Jersey’s top acts including:
Crystal Ship, Adrian Dodz, Silent Witness, Tenfold, Sticky Fingers, Bobby Bandiera Band, DogVoices, Jarrett Dean/Talk Town, Luxx, Friction, Jimmy & The Parrots, Matt O’Ree, Lisa Bouchelle and Gary U.S. Bonds.
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In the early 80s, there was a band that dominated the club scene like no other. In the heyday of the Jersey circuit, their record of prominence over all the other bands on the scene was unchallenged. The band was called Crystal Ship, and their show, called “Renaissance Of The Doors”, packed clubs and theatres up and down the East Coast.
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Back in 1980, a band was forming that would end up in the charts in Europe in 1996. The band was called The Message, and not only did it have a modern day revival, but the group played a major role in the formation of one of New Jersey’s biggest contributions to rock and roll history.
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If you listened to WSOU in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, you are probably familiar with the music of Faith Healer. Besides being in heavy rotation on New Jersey’s premier heavy metal outlet, they also achieved the feat of becoming the second most requested band on a Belgian radio station.
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One of the first big bands on the Jersey Club scene was Fate, which toured the circuit in the early days of the scene’s development. Back in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, they were one of the big draws in the state.
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“We were playing a gig at a college in New York, for a black crowd. They were chanting ‘We don’t want your music,’ and they set up a stereo in front of the band, while we were still playing! Because of that we went home and rehearsed some James Brown stuff, and some really funky stuff, and found it went over really good at the shore. Nobody else was doing it, and pretty soon we started having lines around the block.”
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FLA… not only an abbreviation for Florida, but one of the Jersey circuit bands in the ‘80s that played all the top clubs. The band was formed by one of the circuit agents on the early ‘80s, Artie Fletcher. On a trip to Florida, he discovered Laura, who was not only a great vocalist, but played a mean guitar. So he brought her to New Jersey, and soon FLA was born.
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In the early ‘80s, you couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing the Top 5 hit “Sweetheart”, or the Top 20 songs “You’re My Girl” and “Without You.” Most people don’t realize they came from New Jersey based singer/songwriter Frankie Previtt, with his band Frankie & The Knockouts.
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One of the famous names from the heyday of the Jersey club scene is Kinderhook Creek. The band had a nine-year run of success, not only playing all the major area clubs, but opening up for many of the top acts of the day at venues such as the Capitol Theater in Passaic ad the Palladium in New York City.
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Along with Twisted Sister, one of the best-known “glam” type bands on the circuit in the early ‘80s was Monroe. While almost all of the bands from that period have faded into memory, Monroe has managed to keep going and is making their return to the Jersey stage with an appearance at Mother’s in Wayne, this coming Saturday, Jan. 4th.
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