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Thursday, August 26, 2004

To Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes last night. I saw Johnny and the Jukes at the Calderone Concert Hall in Hempstead. They were touring behind "This Time It's For Real", so it must have been 1977 or '78. I won the tickets in a contest sponsored by WLIR ("Avant Garde Radio"), and I remember it was a terrific show. Actually, I don't think I ever saw a bad show at the Calderone-- unless you want to count all those Todd Rundgren shows that I thought were just swell at the time.

The years have been good to Southside Johnny, who somewhat resembles a squaty version of my brother. His material is strong, (he introduced Springsteen's "Fever" years ago, and I still prefer his version, for example). I'm a sucker for a flash horn section, and this was all that, spinning their horns, putting on the dance moves-- great stuff. This sort of thing seldom comes off as well on record, unfortunately-- live it's a big band, but recordings turn it into "Chicago III". Still, if it came down to Springsteen at HSBC or Johnny and the Jukes somewhere down the block, I'd have to go with Johnny. It takes a fair amount to get me dancing, but there I was, grinning like an idiot. As I walked down to the Square last night I thought about what it would be like if Southside Johnny traded bands with Ted Nugent. The Motor City Madman would get the better of the deal, but Johnny and the Amboy Dukes would still work out. I expect that both would end up doing "Journey to the Center of Your Mind", and they also both might do "Walk Away Renee". Or maybe not.

I didn't get to much Thursday in the Square this year: should have gone to Kim Mitchell and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and probably Blue Rodeo; made it to Leon Russell and Spirit of the West.

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