All over the world, wherever the popular American TV show “21 Jumpstreet” is playing, people are hearing New Jersey’s own Boystown. Boystown was one of the top original bands on the scene in the late ’80s, and they spawned several songs that are still played in various places around the globe.
The group was led by Dave Polemeni on guitar and vocals, and he was joined by Nelson Williams on drums, Joey Sykes on bass, Bobby Guy on keyboards, and John Tito on guitar. Together, they played a wide array of shows, from New Jersey to Los Angeles to England. They made appearances opening for the likes of New Kids On The Block, John Entwhistle, Kansas, and the Romantics.
After having a song appear on an unsigned band compilation, Boystown got picked up by an EMI distributed label in the UK. One of the songs that made it into the Top 100 in Britain, and the band spent two months there on a headline tour of the clubs. “I still get royalty checks,” laughs Dave. “It still gets played we did a lot of radio interviews when we were there.”
When the band returned from the UK, they split up. “We had a whole mountain of small successes,” explains Dave. “But the labels kept saying we weren’t heavy like Guns N’ Roses, which was the American market at the time. We were a little too soft. Rather than have a bunch of bullshit music just to get a record deal, we went our separate ways.”
Dave, however, was able to land a publishing deal with Paramount Music, which led to several of the songs appearing in shows such as “21 Jumpstreet”. This has given him a great deal of exposure, and since that time he has had a number of songs in movies. Brilliant Disguise, starring Corbin Bemsen, contained one of his songs, and then Kingdom Of The Blind, which appeared on Cinemax last month, included four, including the title track. An upcoming movie, an Orion Pictures erotic thriller entitled Corporate Ladder, will also have a title song penned by Dave.
The other members of Boystown have also had some continued success. Joey was in the popular Long Island band, Paradise Alley, and now has a group named Coward, that is working on a deal. Bobby has become a successful remix engineer, and works extensively on dance mixes. John has become a technical advisor for Marshall Amplifiers. Nelson, however, seems to have vanished. “The lunatic,” laughs Dave. “The last I heard he was a motorcycle instructor.”
Now the head of his own publishing company, Mosaic Music, Dave is looking forward to a promising future as not only a writer, but a publisher of other people’s music also. In fact, he recently placed a song by long time New Jersey club favorite Ray Anderson in a movie. While he looks ahead, Dave has good memories of his days with Boystown. “Even though the wind was out of our sails,” says Dave, “we were grateful for the little things that happened.”
Copyright © Hal B. Selzer/The Aquarian/East Coast Rocker and transcribed with permission.