RED BANK: DEAD BANK, GRATEFUL AT GIG 200

Dead Bank guitarist Jim Willis, left, and bassist Nash Aliaga at Jamian’s, where the band was conceived six years ago. A photo of the late Jerry Garcia has a place of honor on the stage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[UPDATE, July 7: Forecast of rain postpones tonight’s Dead Bank show at the Dublin House. The band’s 200th gig will instead be tomorrow night (Friday) at the Dub, weather permitting.]

By JOHN T. WARD

The band’s name, echoing a moniker for Red Bank at its economic low of the 1980s, doesn’t exactly thrill local chamber-of-commerce types, Dead Bank guitarist Jim Willis acknowledges.

“We’ve gotten a lot of crap from the town about it,” Willis said last week. “They’ll never let us play any of their festivals because of it. But I just wanted to see another connotation for ‘Dead Bank,’ a positive one.”

The Grateful Dead cover band is an inarguably local phenomenon, and this week, weather permitting, Dead Bank’s “perpetual tour of of Monmouth Street” brings it to the backyard of the Dublin House Pub for its 200th show.

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THIEF RETURNS GUITAR

lakata-guitar-090811Dale Lakata’s guitar at Jamian’s Thursday evening. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The man whose plucking of a performer’s beloved acoustic guitar from a Red Bank bar was captured on video surveillance early Monday has returned the instrument.

Jamian’s Food & Drink owner Jamian Laviola tells redbankgreen the thief walked into the Monmouth Street bar Thursday afternoon, instrument in hand, and expressed remorse for what he’d done.

“He said, ‘I was drunk, that’s not me, I’m not like that,” Laviola said as he awaited the arrival of borough police, who wanted the guitar as evidence.

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