PopCultureClassics.com has posted a fabulous in-depth interview with musical genius Bob Gaudio, who talks about the early days of JERSEY BOYS, the movie, the movie soundtrack, his early musical influences, his time with The Royal Teens, The Four Seasons, Jersey Babys and more! Below is a sneak peek:
POP CULTURE CLASSICS: With all the new Rhino releases – “Jersey Boys” film soundtrack, 4 Seasons box set, the ”Audio with a G” album, does that prompt you to reflect on this amazing body of work you’ve created?
BOB GAUDIO: Yeah, it does. It does make me feel older. But starting with “Jersey Boys” and all of that going on… it’s actually exhausting, watching the show. It feels like I’m running through 45, getting more like 50, years of show biz, so to speak, in music. It has quite an impact, when you watch it in two-and-a-half hours. Same way, when I listened to some of the albums, although, I must to admit, I haven’t listened to the soundtrack since I finished it. But it was fun doing it. The soundtrack for the movie was an amalgamate of a little bit of everything, as it states on the cover – the Broadway show, some original masters, the film soundtrack – so it was fun doing that, because I found materials. It’s like picking fruit from a music tree. Some versions of stuff that we did and Frankie did. So, yes, it was great, in answer to your question, in a long-winded way. It’s an amazing thing to be able to do and be still around to do it.
PCC: That “Jersey Boys” movie soundtrack is a very engaging mix of the film’s performances and the original tracks. What was the thought behind that?
GAUDIO: Well, what I realized and I should have expected, because Clint Eastwood is all things to all people, and when he does a movie, as with Scorcese or Spielberg, they take over and they do what they do. So I didn’t really know what I was going to get. I was not part of… I was not on the set. I let it go, as I did with the Broadway show, when it was in La Jolla [where the musical was originally launched in 2004]. When I heard what I had to work with, I realized that I didn’t have enough to put out what I perceived to be a comprehensive soundtrack. Didn’t have enough time, without using tons of underscore. And I didn’t prefer doing that, given our catalogue. So once I started looking through, okay, how do I turn 20 minutes of music for me, that I would use, into 50 minutes? Hence, what came about was a combination of the Broadway show, what I had from the film, and original masters. I think, to use probably an old expression, doing a mash-up on a couple of things, and combining the two sources, was really fun.
PCC: And what was your reaction to Clint Eastwood’s film version?
GAUDIO: Well, the music, you know, he did as I knew he was going to do – a live version of it. Mostly everything was done on the set. I’m sure there were fix-ups. But essentially, it’s live on the set. I was apprehensive about that and how that process would work. It is what it is. It’s the real deal, so to speak. And in doing so, lots of things didn’t get used. They didn’t quite work, so they didn’t go in the film. They weren’t on screen – songs like “Beggin’,” which is probably the most current song we have in our catalogue, to have an attachment to a younger audience. And things like that. And that’s why I approached the soundtrack the way I did. It’s another version of our history and our life and time, as is “Jersey Boys.” So it’s another take on it. And it’s got serious merits.
PCC: But the film as a whole, were you happy the way he transferred the dramatic elements to the screen?
GAUDIO: Yeah, I mean, there’s lots of stuff in that film that I like. Again, I have said this before, I saw something early on of the film. I didn’t go to the opening. Neither Frankie nor I went to the opening. You know, I had lots of apprehensions before the show opened in La Jolla, even though I kind of knew what was going on. We told our story. We saw some drafts of the show, what Marshall and Rick did [writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice]. But you never know. You just never know until it’s in your face. And opening night in La Jolla, was a little frightening. We were very positive and actually thrilled not only with how we felt about it, but the audience response. So that was one of the thrills I’ll always remember.
I just got nervous about going to the opening of the film, because, times 10 what happened in La Jolla was going to happen on the screen, because it’s truly in your face [laughs]. The big screen is another world. So I must admit, I was not very courageous. And I elected not to go. My kids went and family went. But I just felt nervous . So I didn’t see what everybody else saw. I saw an early cut. And there was lots of work still going on and Clint was still making changes. So I guess I’m looking forward to seeing it on television [laughs].