Please Allow Me…..
I was just floating around on you tube while searching out Massachusetts divorce papers and assorted information when the next tune was Rosalita by Bruce Springsteen. My mind flipped into deep memories of him, the band, the shore, I was so much there, Jesus…
I grew up in New Jersey, every summer my parents would take me and my sister to Bradley Beach on the Jersey shore. We learned about the entire coast line from Sandy Hook to Seaside Heights. OMG stories of fishing with my Grandfather just hit my brain, we’ll come back to those.
So, this was an every summer thing, the family would go down for a month every year, as I got older we stopped going down but I would hitch hike my way down, I was about 15 at this time. The thing about me and that age was I had these huge mutton chops so I looked older and the drinking age then was 18 so, I was getting into all the clubs. The main one was in Asbury Park called The Stone Pony. I would see all types of music there from blues, to funk, to punk…
I went there for years, actually became a `the BEST local’ of the club (a local is not quite a bar fly). There was a band that started to play there a lot, `Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes’ a great 40’s to 70’s cover band. These guys really rocked, I would see them every time they played. After a while a guitar player would show up on their gigs, “Bruce Springsteen” and play all night with them. This went on for months, and would happen in other clubs where Bruce and Southside Johnny would just show up and play and sing with whoever was playing that night. This went on for almost two years when Bruce had his band together and so did Southside Johnny. I saw these guys trade sets at the Stone Pony where Southside Johnny and the Jukes would play a set, go on break then Bruce would do a set with his band, and the last set both bands would play together. It was party time and you just knew that these bands were going places, both bands got recording contracts and went into record their albums and I lost touch and went to college in Boston.
While at school a friend came to my dorm to tell me about a band to see tonight, I asked who it was, he said Bruce Springsteen and I said `yea, sure’ and we went to the Orpheum Theater. We were able to get tickets and went in. The Orpheum holds about three thousand but was not full that night and if I could tell you I saw the BEST rock and roll show ever that night I am not bull shitting. My # 1 show ever. From start to finished the band did not miss a note, were running around the stage, working off each other like it was perfectly choreographed. An unbelievable show….
The second year at the college, it went bankrupt and I went back to New Jersey fucked around for a while then went to two different schools in NYC. The first one was The Institute of Audio Research of which I graduated and could not get a job anywhere, so I went to school for electronics at RCA/Technical Career Institutes. During my time at RCA it was announced that Bruce was going to do a weeks set of performances at The Bottom Line. I knew people that worked there and was able to pull some strings and saw three out of the five nights performances. The shows were good, a very crowded stage, the Bottom Line was a small club that held about 300 ppl, and all kinds of people at the shows from Johnny and Edgar Winter to radio DJ’s to TV people. It seemed that all of NYC’s finest were at these shows and so was I. I swear I was recognized by him for at one point he took a double take and pointed right at me, but that was all.
I was offered a job before I graduated working for a recording studio in New York, which I took and started my `career’ in audio. The first job dies after a week, the next one was working for Media Sound, a first rate recording studio and I learned a lot there, moved to three other studios before I landed the a studio called The Power Station. It was here in 1981 that it happened again. Bruce and the band were coming in to record a new album, and I was on the overnight shift. The first night the band came in around 6pm and were underway in a “Lock out session” where no one was allowed in but I was the overnight technician and the shop was through that door. I was told to go through but get to the shop and stay there unless a studio calls me. Well, I tried to do that but as I got through the door I saw Bruce and Clarence Clemons talking directly on the path I needed to go in. I walked forward and they looked up and the double takes started to happen again and Bruce looked at me, then Clarence, then me and said “Al?” I answered with a Hi Bruce, nodding and saying Clarence who then said a big “AL!” and we started hugging and yelling at each other, the `security (front desk person) came running in and saw us having a good time, Bruce said it was all ok and we went into his studio, introduced me to everyone of which I knew most and I then excused myself and went to do my job.
Bruce and the band worked on three albums while I was there, Clarence opened a club in Belmar, Jersey shore, and I used to hang out there a lot when I was not working.
Then I moved to California and have not seen any of them since…