February 26, 2008

Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio UK Interview!

February 26th, 2008

As the story of ’60s pop sensations The Four Seasons heads for the West End, David Gritten of Telegraph.co.uk has a marvelous interview with Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio. Here’s a preview:

For those too young to recall, it is hard to convey how huge the Four Seasons were when they first emerged from New Jersey in 1963 – between the end of rock and roll’s first flush and the “invasion” of America by British groups. Quite simply the Seasons – their driving, insistent records powered by Frankie Valli’s ferocious falsetto – overran the American hit parade. Their first three singles, Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry and Walk Like a Man, all raced to number one in the Billboard chart in rapid succession, making the spot their own for 11 weeks out of 14.

The brilliance of lyricist Bob Crewe (who was never part of the group) and composer Bob Gaudio (who was) ensured that the Four Seasons’ catchy, distinctive sound has stayed part of the soundtrack to the lives of baby boomers, and even those of their children.

It’s no surprise, then, that their songbook would transfer to the stage. But Jersey Boys is no routine “jukebox musical”, a few hit songs thrown together to hang on a threadbare plot. It opened on Broadway in 2005 to outstanding reviews, and won four Tonys in 2006, including best musical.

It has performed exceptionally at the box office ever since. One of the most remarkable facets of the show’s success is the amount of repeat business it attracts. “I think each time you see it, you come away with something different,” says Valli.

“After we first saw it, we felt it could get to New York, and that we had a real good chance of a success,” says Gaudio.

“We never expected it would be as big as it is,” says Valli. “But, because the play is done from four different viewpoints, there’s an awful lot to absorb. Each character has that opportunity to narrate what he thought and felt. Each of us was interviewed separately, and it’s not hard to see how four people in that situation could see things a little differently.”

1 Comment »

  1. Having read the full article, it’s fuuny how many Brits think that Frankie did a “cover” of “Can’t Take My Eyes off You”. I guess Andy Williams did a cover version and it became the hit in Britain while Frankie’s original received little airplay.

    Comment by Ray Ricci — February 27, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

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