Hartman Group As rock 'n' roll's preeminent purist, it makes perfect sense…
- Posted on Apr 4th 2011 8:30AM by John D. Luerssen
Bobby Bank, WireImage
Before the evening's special gig, Springsteen had participated in a panel discussion about soul, R&B and the history of race and music in Asbury Park. Much to the glee of attendees, Bruce also made an unannounced appearance at the night's event, titled 'Nicky Addeo and Friends Celebrate the Music of Asbury Park's Westside.'
As for his participation in the show, Springsteen began by playing guitar on Them's 'Gloria' and serving up a duet of Ben E. King's 'Stand by Me' with Southside Johnny. Later, he sang lead on covers of other 1960s classics like Mitch Ryder's 'CC Rider,' and Don and Juan's 'What's Your Name,' with accompaniment from old friends, including Bobby Thomas, Billy Ryan and Ed Manion.
"I used to hear Nicky Addeo sing, there used to be a place on Route 9 called the I.B. Club. I'm not sure what the I.B. stood for," Springsteen told the audience "Nicky was the King of Route 9 Doo-wop. I couldn't explain it to you if you weren't there. The place was wall-to-wall leather, sharkskin pants, nylon see-through socks and high-roll collars. It was something to behold."
Springsteen also spoke of how music had changed once the the Beatles had emerged. "In the early 60s there were two kinds of bands, guys who sang, the vocal groups, and there were the instrumental groups. That was it, they didn't meet," The Boss said.
"After 1964 and the Beatles, people sang and played. In the meantime, those things crossed over so I would end up opening for Nicky or the Broadways," he continued. "It was an amazing mix of things. But if you were a beat group in those days, you had to know some Doo-Wop. If you didn't know Doo-Wop, when it came time for the slow dancing on the floor, you were dead! You had to be able to play the grinding music. So the Castiles [Springsteen's mid-1960s band] did."
The Wonder Bar holds a special place in E Street Band history. It was the venue where saxophonist Clarence Clemons was playing when Bruce first met him in September of 1971. Clemons had wandered across the street during a break from his gig with Norman Seldin's Joyful Noize to check out Springsteen's gig at the Paramount Theatre.
Ironically, the tables were turned Saturday. While Springsteen was playing at The Wonder Bar, Clemons was across the street at the Paramount -- attending the screening of his movie 'Who Do I Think I Am,' as part of the Garden State Film Festival. While they didn't play together this weekend, Bruce and Clarence apparently met up later in the evening at an after-party for the film at the Greek restaurant Synaxis on Cookman Avenu, Asbury Park.