HUNTINGTON, New York, April 30
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
John Lyon – better known as Southside Johnny, a pioneer of the quintessential “New Jersey sound” which he and artists like Bruce Springsteen made famous – didn’t want to be a musician during his early years growing up in Ocean Grove, N.J.
“I wanted to be a writer,” he said.
A 16-year-old with a knack for lyrics, he said, he could always retain said lyrics, but never thought himself to be a singer. But he hung around with musicians, he said, and one day those musicians asked him to be in a band.
To that, the man that effectively became Southside Johnny replied, “Hey, why not? Everyone else is doing it.”
Now, decades later with his band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, the writer-turned-musician has produced dozens of albums, toured the world, performed thousands of live shows and produced hits like “I Don’t Want To Go Home,” “Trapped Again” and, perhaps most accordingly to the type of show he and his band puts on, “We’re Havin’ A Party.”
And that party is coming to The Paramount, once again, on May 9 for a one-night-only show in Huntington village.
“[The Paramount] is a great place to play,” he said. “I’ve been playing in Long Island since the mid-70s and there are a few different places out there that we go to, but when you hear a name like that, you get excited.”
Last playing The Paramount nearly a year ago in May 2014, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes will take the stage in what he said are the months leading up to the completion of the band’s latest studio album. While Southside Johnny wouldn’t reveal a title for the album, he’s hoping to finish up work on the “horn-heavy” record this summer.
In the meantime, Southside Johnny and his band have continued to play shows, work hard and look for new ways to keep the party going around the world.
“One of the ways that you keep it interesting is you follow what your latest passion is; you play different stuff each night,” he said. “And the best part is that I have musicians who can play anything.”
Joining Southside Johnny on tour this year is Jeff Kazee (Hammond B3 organ, piano), Glenn Alexander (guitar) and John Conte (bass, drums).
Tickets for the show are available from the box office or from http://www.paramountny.com for $20-$49.50. Doors open at 7 p.m. on May 9; the “party” starts at 8 p.m.
Originally published: Long Islander News: Half Hollow Hills
(Thursday, April 30, 2015; A25)