With all due props to Count Basie, he’s the “other” Kid from Red Bank, even if he’s long since earned a senior discount at IHOP.
To aficionados of the Shore music scene, Stormin’ Norman Seldin is still the same ginger-haired, piano-pounding prodigy (at age 13, the youngest person to become a member of the American Federation of Musicians) who’d staked out a career as a singer, bandleader, promoter and record label owner by his teens — and who, through his old combo the Joyful Noyze, introduced audiences to a bigger-than-life talent by the name of Clarence Clemons.
E Street Band members Garry Tallent, Max Weinberg and Clarence Clemons (with Billy Ryan on guitar) sit in with piano man Norman Seldin, during a circa 1979 jam at the old Lock, Stock and Barrel. The Fair Haven Road site is now home to Nauvoo Grill Club, where Seldin celebrates a personal milestone Saturday night. (Photo courtesy of Norman Seldin. Click to enlarge)
Next Wednesday heralds the 70th birthday of Stormin’ Norman Seldin, a figure whose impact on what would come to be known as the Sound of Asbury Park can’t be overstated. It’s a milestone that will be marked Saturday night with a return to the scene of some of his most triumphant sets.
The scene in question is Nauvoo Grill Club at 121 Fair Haven Road in Fair Haven — an address that longtime locals knew as the site of the watering spot known as Lock, Stock and Barrel back in the 1970s and ’80s. It was at “the old Lock Stock” where around 1979 Seldin enjoyed a nearly three-month interlude of standing-room-only crowds, during which time his backing band was augmented by the presence of Clemons (who had reunited with his former bandleader during a casual sit-in session at Sea Bright’s Melody Corner), bassman Garry Tallent and drummer Max Weinberg — all three E Street Band members taking a break from a busy road itinerary with their Boss of record, Bruce Springsteen.
Recorded evidence of that collaboration surfaced several years back, when Seldin — who works with his wife, Jamey, at her Seldin’s Trinkets & Jewelry store in Red Bank — issued the double-CD Asbury Park Then and Now, a timeline-spanning retrospective that also gave a long-overdue airing to circa-1970 Joyful Noyze tracks with Clemons and company, as well as offerings by local-favorite doo-wop and garage-rock outfits from back in the day.
Anything’s possible during Saturday’s no-cover session at Nauvoo, with the music getting underway at 7 p.m.