FAIR HAVEN: SELDIN STORMS BACK AT 70

Shore music legend Stormin’ Norman Seldin returns to the scene of a legendary months-long stand when he observes his 70th birthday Saturday night in Fair Haven.

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.

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RUMSON: SPRINGSTEEN SELLING MANSION

springsteen rumson carriage house 051116.The carriage house at the Ridge Road entrance to Bruce Springsteen’s Rumson estate. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Rock star Bruce Springsteen is selling his little-used mansion on the hill in Rumson, redbankgreen has learned.

A notice of contract filed with the Monmouth County Clerk identifies the prospective buyers as Peter and Meghann Marturano, who other records show own a home just two doors away.

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RED BANK: VAN ZANDT LINEUP TO ROCK BASIE

van-zandt-guadagno-111416-1Steven Van Zandt and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno on stage at the Basie Monday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

basie-marquee-111416A four-night campaign of classic rock shows curated by E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt in coming months will help drive a $20 million expansion Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, officials said Monday.

But the names of the acts to be spotlighted in the series remained under wraps at a press conference held on the stage of the Vaudeville-era venue.
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LINCROFT: CLEARWATER FLOWS AGAIN

Dawg Whistle Paul Whistler Vini LopezShore music legends Paul Whistler and Vini Lopez team up as Dawg Whistle, while fellow famed musicmakers Glen Burtnik and Bob Burger (below) suit up for the Weeklings, when the 41st annual Clearwater Festival returns to the Brookdale campus this weekend.

Burtnik BurgerIt’s all about the message, when you get right down to it, one of care and respect and vision for this coastal place where we make our home. But when the Clearwater Festival returns to Lincroft for a frankly amazing 41st annual edition this weekend, attendees might be forgiven for thinking that it’s equally about the music — an attraction that’s drawn the participation of some pretty awesome figures over the years.

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RUMSON: SPRINGSTEEN TOSSING KEYS TO FOYE

SPRINGSTEEN signsBruce Springsteen signs autographs outside the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank in 2009. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[UPDATE: Monmouth County records show the deed to the property described in this article was transferred on March 2, when Foye paid the Springsteen trust $1.737 million.]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Bruce Springsteen is selling one of two neighboring homes in Rumson, and the buyer is a pro basketball player with New Jersey roots, redbankgreen has learned.

According to a contract filed with the Monmouth County Clerk, Springsteen has agreed to sell a Bellevue Avenue property he owns through a trust to Oklahoma City Thunder guard Randy Foye.

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RED BANK: PUSCIFER, DION & “EMILY”

James Maynard KeenanMaynard James Keenan (above) brings the rock theatrics \ of Puscifer’s “Money $hot” Tour to Red Bank in a Count Basie debut tonight — while Hall of Famer Dion DiMucci (below) returns for a Thursday night streetcorner serenade. 

The never-ending rock show rolls on at the Count Basie Theatre, as the nights ahead see several generations of chart-toppers and Grammy winners deliver decades-spanning retrospectives, conceptual stage shows and, at least in one case, a smidgen of “bone breaking fun” to the Red Bank stage.

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RED BANK: BASIE PLANS MASSIVE EXPANSION

Basie expansion 1 102615An architect’s rendering of the expanded Count Basie Theatre includes additions on the east and west sides of the existing structure. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

just_in1Red Bank’s Vaudeville-era Count Basie Theatre is in for a massive, $20 milion expansion that will turn it into a “creative campus” dedicated to the performing arts in coming years, officials said Monday.

Incorporating adjoining properties acquired in recent years, theater officials plan to “move toward our longtime vision of an entire city block dedicated to the performing arts,” Tom Widener, chairman of the theater’s board of trustees, said in an announcement released Monday morning.
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RED BANK: VAN ZANDTS NEW TO BASIE BOARD

van zandt2Middletown’s own local guy made good, musician-actor-producer-activist Steven Van Zandt, is pictured outside the Count Basie Theatre in a 2008 file photo. Van Zandt, his wife Maureen and five other area residents were named as the newest members of the Basie’s boards of trustees and directors. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Entertainers Maureen and Steven Van Zandt are among seven area residents who have been elected as the newest members of the boards of trustees and directors for the Count Basie Theatre. The couple, who were previously named recipients of the Basie’s inaugural Vanguard Awards, join a roster of new board members that also includes Kainos Capital partner Sarah Bradley, marketing professional Robert Chandler, Grunin Foundation director Jeremy Grunin, River Capital Group chairman Mario Monello, and Meadowbrook Industries owner-president Peter T. Roselle.

For Steven, it’s the latest manifestation of a long association with the historic venue, where he performed (back in its days as the Carlton Theatre) a now-legendary 1977 concert in which he subbed for an ailing Southside Johnny as frontman of the Asbury Jukes, the Stone Pony house band that he co-founded in the early days of that Shore circuit landmark.

The longtime Springsteen lieutenant, bandleader, songwriter, actor (The Sopranos, Lillyhammer), human rights activist, radio personality and producer — whose latest project is a well-received new album from Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love — teamed with the Boss and fellow E Streeters for a 2008 benefit show at the Basie, and joined Maureen in helping coordinate a recent performance by Rockit for Kids, the Basie’s in-house “school of rock program,” in conjunction with the 2014 Vanguard Awards ceremony.

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RUMSON: FIRED COP SUES TO GET JOB BACK

rb crash 092114Damien Brennan’s vehicle after the September 21, 2014 crash in Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02A former Rumson cop who crashed his personal vehicle into the back of a Red Bank store while enroute to his moonlight gig guarding Bruce Springsteen’s mansion has sued for reinstatement, according to a lawsuit.

Sergeant Damien Brennan, 38, of Howell, was axed from his borough job last month, even though a DWI charge against him had been dropped, according to the suit, first reported by More Monmouth Musings.

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LITTLE SILVER: SUNDAY NIGHT CONCERTS RETURN

GuadagnoMcCarthyMcCoyShore music evergreens Pat Guadagno, Dave McCarthy and Pam McCoy team up for the first show in a free August concert series in Little Silver. Taylor Tote, below, takes the outdoor stage on August 23.

TaylorWho says August is “the Sunday of months?” Many of the season’s signature delights are still in full force — and even still getting underway, as witness a Sunday evening slate of free concerts that take place at Little Silver’s Borough Field.

Sponsored by Little Silver Recreation and held behind the municipal building at 480 Prospect Avenue, the monthlong series keynotes this Sunday with a one-time appearance by a “saloon singer” supergroup of sorts, each of whose three headline attractions have been fan-favorite fixtures around the watering holes of the Shore music scene for a generation and then-some.

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RED BANK: CELEBRATING BANDIERA’S ERA

bandieraThe Hardest Working Musician in Shore Business, Bobby Bandiera writes his musical “Autobiography” in a special concert at the Count Basie on Saturday.

As commanding officer of the Jersey Shore Rock ‘N Soul Revue — and as a saloon singer supreme performing over the decades in the clubs, concert halls, tiki decks, taverns and dimly lit corners of coastal New Jersey — Bobby Bandiera has pretty much paid tribute to them all: the Beatles and the Stones; the Sun rockabillies and Motown soulmen; the AM radio one-hit-wonders and the FM rotation heavies.

So in a long, strange trip that’s taken him from smoke-choked pool halls and piano bars to the sold-out arenas of his road gig with Bon Jovi, there’s really only one career that still cries out for a proper salute: his own.

On Saturday night, Bandiera returns to Red Bank to address that glaring omission, with an “Autobiography” concert that assembles a rocking Rolodex of talented friends on the stage of one of the man’s favorite places to play, the Count Basie Theatre.

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AT BARNACLE BILL’S, VIEWS, VIBE AND VITTLES

010615 barnaclebills3A busy Tuesday night at Barnacle Bill’s, where the Tilefish Francaise swims in a pool of buttery, lemony sauce. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

010615 barnaclebills7How many years does it take for a saloon in a marina to become legendary? At the dead end of First Street in Rumson, Barnacle Bill’s has been searing burgers on an open grill and filling glasses at the bar for more than 40 years.

With high-top tables, coveted window seats overlooking our beautiful Navesink River and cozy family-sized tables in the slightly more gentrified dining room, it’s no wonder that there’s a waiting list any given night. In warmer weather, groups happily wait outside, taking in views of the river, the boats in the marina and the mansions on the bluff across the way. In frigid January, though, the waiting masses crowd around the fireplace in the bar area, children and adults making small talk with neighbors.
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LINCROFT: A BOOK SIGNING FOR PETE’S SAKE

121814 caruso2Frank Caruso signs a copy of ‘Outlaw Pete,’ which he illustrated. Below, Caruso added an on-the-spot illustration to each book he autographed. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

121814 caruso3Jerry Ferrara had heard the ballad ‘Outlaw Pete’ at a Bruce Springsteen concert, but he had “never heard of Frank Caruso” until Caruso illustrated the song’s tale in book form.

But there Ferrara was Thursday night, standing in line at Brookdale Community College’s Pen and Quill Bookstore, to meet the illustrator and have his books signed.

“If Springsteen shows up, well, that would be a bonus,” he told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: SANTA BASIE, HURRY DOWN

Tim Kirk Love BobClockwise from top left: Jinglebell fundraiser concerts featuring Tim McLoone’s Holiday Express (December 18), Brian Kirk and the Jirks (December 20), Darlene Love (December 21) and Bobby Bandiera (December 22) provide the driving soundtrack to the holiday homestretch in the nights ahead.

The countdown to Christmas 2015 represents anything but a wind-down at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, where a fast-moving flurry of high-profile benefit concerts promises to keep the place buzzing like Santa’s workshop-slash-fulfillment center during the holiday homestretch.

From the most big-hearted of local music mainstays, to the vintage hitmakers whose records landed on many a Boomer-era wish list — and on into the next generation of Shore scene stalwarts — the Basie boards will resound with a Wall of seasonal Sound, every note of it dedicated to a great cause and an all-’round generosity of spirit.

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LINCROFT: BOSS BOOK PARDNER @BROOKDALE

Outlaw Pete Caruso“Outlaw Pete” illustrator Frank Caruso, at right with Bruce Springsteen in a recent “Daily Show” appearance, brings their book to the Brookdale Community College campus Thursday.

Its author flat-out declares that it’s not technically a child’s bedtime story, even if its many inspirations include the “Brave Cowboy Bill” tales he used to hear as a young child. He’s also forthcoming about the notion that he “didn’t have much to do with it,” although he’s dutifully promoted the project in venues that range from Jon Stewart’s Daily Show to the Times Book Review.

Still, the fact remains that the new book Outlaw Pete takes its title and its text from Bruce Springsteen’s song of that name, a gunslinger epic that opened his 2009 long-player Working on a Dream. As illuminated by artist Frank Caruso, the eight-minute song becomes an illustrated fable of what Springsteen describes as “a man trying to outlive and outlast his sins.” And on Thursday, December 18, the artist comes to the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College for a signing event at the school’s Student Life Center building.

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RED BANK: PRIDE AND PRICE(LESS)

philyyTom Hanks’ Oscar winning star turn in PHILADELPHIA screens for free on Tuesday night, capping an evening of Two River Pride at the Count Basie. 

Cynics insisted that filmmaker Jonathan Demme only took on the sensitive project known as Philadelphia to atone for Silence of the Lambs and its cross-dressing, mean-tucking serial killer. But all was forgiven by no less an authority than Oscar, when the 1993 drama — one of the first Hollywood productions to address HIV/AIDS and homophobia — earned a Best Actor award for Tom Hanks, as well as a Best Original Song trophy for Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets Of Philadelphia.”

The film comes to the big screen of the Count Basie Theatre on Tuesday, June 10, as the latest in a long-running series of free features — a screening that also caps the 2014 edition of the annual gathering known as Two River Pride.

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BASIE HOSTS TWO RIVER PRIDE EVENT

MennaZuckermanRed Bank Mayor Pat Menna delivers a special proclamation, and Josh Zuckerman provides the live music, as the annual Two River Pride event comes to the Count Basie on June 10.

Press release from Count Basie Theatre

On the evening of Tuesday, June 10, the Count Basie Theatre will be the setting for Two River Pride, an annual Pride Month gathering that was created for LGBTQ youth and their allies — and that centers on LGBTQ history and celebration, by giving specific voice to area youth.

The event represents a partnership between local civic, cultural, and community leaders and groups, including Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich, Make It Better for Youth and others. Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna will attend, to deliver a proclamation in recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. This year’s event will also feature live music, a sampling of wares from some of Red Bank’s food purveyors, and screenings of three acclaimed shorts from young filmmakers.

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RAISE YOUR VOICES, AT RED BANK LIBRARY

LorraineDiasZipprichActress Lorraine Stone, Two River Theater artistic director John Dias and Councilman Ed Zipprich are among the Red Bank area notables giving voice to historic American figures in “The People Speak LIVE,” presented free at Red Bank Public Library on Thursday night, December 12.

There’s the escaped slave turned abolitionist and social activist Sojourner Truth, brought to vivid life by local actress Lorraine Stone. The pioneer openly gay elected official Harvey Milk, paid tribute by Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich. The Nobel laureate playwright Eugene O’Neill, channeled by Two River Theater Company artistic director John Dias — and Red Bank Regional grad John McMahon as T. Thomas Fortune, the trailblazing African American journalist whose historic Red Bank home is the subject of an intensive rescue and preservation effort.

These and other fascinating figures from America’s past and present will be making their voices heard inside the Red Bank Public Library on the evening of Thursday, December 12, when the T. Thomas Fortune House Preservation Project joins Frank Talk MultiMedia Network and RBPL for “The People Speak LIVE,” an event in which “community-minded people from the greater Red Bank area” recreate the words of pivotal people in our nation’s history. Hosted by journalist, businesswoman and cable TV host Candace Kelley, the 6 p.m. presentation is based on the documentary film “The People Speak” — itself adapted from the late Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States.”

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M’TOWN: MIGHTY MAX GIVES BACK TO THE MAC

MaxWeinbergE Street Band drummer and Middletown resident Max Weinberg does it “talk show” style, in a benefit for the township’s Arts Council that takes place at the Middletown Arts Center on Sunday night, November 17. (click to enlarge)

Press release from Middletown Arts Council

On Sunday, November 17, the Middletown Arts Center (MAC) will host An Evening with E Street’s Max Weinberg to benefit the Middletown Arts Council, with the 7 pm event presented as a talk-show style question and answer format, followed by a VIP meet and greet reception.

Event moderator Tom Cunningham — host of the Bruce Brunch, which airs on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. on 105.7 The Hawk Classic Rock Radio — will engage the audience in lively conversation with Weinberg, and show rare video footage from his star-studded career.

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BAR PATRONS GO NUTS OVER PEANUT BAN

Bartender Gavino Siciliano sees the end of the roasted-peanut era at Barnacle Bill’s as a sign of an overly litigious culture. Below, a sampling of comments from the restaurant’s Facebook page. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

When tinkering with some traditions, it helps to have a thick hull, the owners of Barnacle Bill’s are learning this week.

The riverfront restaurant, a Rumson institution, opened for brunch Sunday having quietly ended its four-decade custom of giving out roasted peanuts, whose shattered shells would carpet the floor. Owner Todd Sherman said the change was made over concerns over peanut allergies and slip-and-fall claims.

Within 24 hours, however, the restaurant’s Facebook page was flooded with nearly 450 comments – many of them supportive, but most harshly critical.

“Me and my wife were just there last night, this is such bull$***,” wrote a Vinny DiCostanzi. “Having a beer and peanuts while we wait was a tradition.”

A Joseph Costanza wrote: “Thanks! the 1 thing that kept my kids occupied ,as we waiting for a table for an hour and a half, you have removed ,,,, good luck good bye”

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BOSS FANS FLOCK TO MIDNIGHT DISC DROP

Diego Allessandro and dozens of other fans waited in line at Jack’s for the register to start ringing up midnight sales of the new Springsteen album. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Dan Laden’s been at the front of the line before when new  Bruce Springsteen records have hit the stores.

But being the first, as he was at Jack’s Music Shoppe Monday night for the market debut of “Wrecking Ball,” isn’t about bragging rights, he tells redbankgreen.

“It’s hard to explain,” said Laden, who as the owner of Garden State Auto Repair in Little Silver has worked on Springsteen’s cars for 15 years. “It’s a matter of respect for Bruce.”

A sense of spiritual indebtedness was one of several forces that fans said compelled them to show up shortly before midnight in 28-degree weather to buy an album that would still be available the next morning.

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BOSS TO WRECK A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

Once again, new product from Bruce Springsteen will get a midnight debut at Jack’s Music, where boxes of vinyl LPs awaited sale last week. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

At Jack’s Music Shoppe on Broad Street in Red Bank, they’re still dining out on the time that Bruce Springsteen showed up for a late-night release of one of His records.

That was in April, 2001, for the launch of ‘Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band: Live in New York City.’ Rolling in from his home in Rumson, or maybe the one in Colts Neck, Springsteen mingled with fans, posed for photos and signed autographs for 90 minutes, staying until the last sale was rung up.

With just about every Springsteen record release since then, speculation about an encore stirs, nudged along by the scheduling of midnight drops. The last one was in November 2010, with the issuance of a remastered ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town‘ and companion making-of video.

Hey, is it the store’s fault if diehard fans postpone their beauty sleep on the expectation of an appearance?

Tonight, the must-buy-now impulse again mixes with what-if-He’s there? yearning with the hardcopy release of Springsteen’s newest collection, ‘Wrecking Ball.’

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LAURA CRISCI BEATS THE BLUES @BROOKDALE

Singer, songwriter and Brookdale Community College alumna Laura Crisci performs with her formidable “Whoever Shows Up Band” at a special Beat the Winter Blues event Saturday evening at BCC’s Lincroft campus. (Photo by Debra L. Rothenberg) 

On her latest self-released album All Is WellLaura Crisci joins a bevy of veteran Shore area musicians for a set of songs about desire, regret, redemption and trust, maintaining an Americana vibe that’s punctuated every so often by a twanging rocker or even the odd sea chantey.

Saturday night,  this “Prodigal Daughter” – who reconnected to her Monmouth County roots after a successful few years in Nashville – returns to the greater Red Bank green as the homecoming headliner of a special “Beat the Winter Blues: Meet, Mingle & Music” event on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College.

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HOPE SWINGS ETERNAL FOR BANDIERA

lBob Bandiera brings his all-star jinglebell-jam rock spectacular back to the Basie on Monday night with Hope Concert V.

In an interview we did with Bob Bandiera a couple of seasons back, the veteran musical go-to guy fessed up to the effect that “I’ve got about 95 guitars. My wife is not happy about it — she allotted me two rooms for my music. But you know it’s fun to have that arsenal.”

What the Hardest Working Man in the Shore Music Business also appears to have is a “little black book” of friends that must rival the Oxford Unabridged for sheer heft — that, or a Rolodex the size of the “Big Wheel” from The Price Is Right.

On Monday night, December 19, a few of those friends — otherwise known as “almost every significant artist on the Jersey Shore” — will meet up with Bobby B in Red Bank town to take part in a little fundraiser show by the name of Hope Concert V, a local tradition that makes a much anticipated (and very much SOLD OUT) return to the boards of the Count Basie Theatre.

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CLEMONS RECALLED AS A TRUE ‘BIG MAN’

clarenceClarence Clemons, right, backs up Stormin’ Norman Seldin, behind the piano, at the Lock, Stock and Barrel in Fair Haven sometime in the late ’70s. (Photo courtesy of Norman Seldin; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

He’d already soared into the music industry stratosphere alongside Bruce Springsteen when Clarence Clemons bumped into an old friend, the guy who helped get him his start in the Jersey Shore music scene, and asked if he could sit in, like old times, playing the saxophone.

The late-1970s encounter took place in Sea Bright, where Clemons had a home and was known for towing local kids around with fishing poles for some post-tour R&R.

And earlier this year, to celebrate his 69th birthday, Clemons bought a plane ticket for a longtime friend and former bandmate to fly down to Florida to sing at the party.

Clemons, who passed away Saturday from complications of a stroke, invested as much of himself in his friends and community as he did in his music, friends told redbankgreen in interviews this week, following the Big Man’s death.

Flags will be flown at half-staff throughout New Jersey in Clemons’ honor Thursday. A funeral service was held Tuesday in Palm Beach, Florida.

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