Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes @ the NYS Fair

Thirty-one years ago, I saw Southside Johnny play at Franklin Field in Philadelphia–immediately after the first football game of my freshman year at Penn. We lost the game, but I became
a huge fan of Southside & The Asbury Jukes. They’re not just the
Bruce-alikes as many people dismiss them. Southside has the best
blue-eyed soul voice around and the Miami Horns hit with the force of
a screaming electric guitar solo.

OK, it rained like hell–forcing them to cut short their set. The
band (especially the horns) has been decimated by the defections to
the Max Weinberg/Tonight Show Band (what’s Southside w/o LaBamba?)
It was still a rockin’ good time in the rain. Standouts included "I
Play The Fool", "Living The Blues"–segueing into a knockout version
of "The Fever", an interesting cover of "Walk Away Renee" and "Talk
To Me." That last one, written by Bruce, was (according to
Southside’s on-stage banter) requested by "the man who writes the
checks." Another example of Fair Director Joe O’Hara pining to bring
Bruce & The ESB to the Fair. If the closest we get is Southside
Johnny, that’s OK by me. Next time, put him at 8 PM and give ’em
some sun! Because, as the man says: "I Don’t Want To Go Home."


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