October 1, 2010

Frankie Valli & Bob Gaudio Reflect on the Jersey Boys Phenomenon

October 1st, 2010

Bob Gaudio & Frankie Valli
Bob Gaudio & Frankie Valli (Photo Credit: Philly.com)

Amy S. Rosenberg’s interview with Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio offers some amazing insight into the success of JERSEY BOYS. Here’s a sneak peek to the legendary pop stars’ reflections:

“It’s very successful, honey,” he says of Jersey Boys. “Beyond that, how would you feel if someone was doing your story? It feels good to know you’ve made an impact in a business that was very important, and you loved what you did. I’ve given these answers over and over.”

Ah, Frankie Valli, still a charmer, a self-described “kid from the ghetto” just outside Newark. Grew up in the projects, a lot of music, a little mobbed up, a little rough, one of four corner-boy crooners who, against the odds, recorded scores of hits beginning in 1962 but never got the respect they craved from the industry. Then they broke up. It makes a good story.

Gaudio, 67, a producer of Jersey Boys and writer of the Four Seasons songs that ensured that Valli’s falsetto would become legendary, puts the group’s situation this way: “In 1964, ‘Dawn (Go Away)’ was No. 2, and the Beatles were No. 1, 3, 4 and 5. We were the bologna in the bread. We couldn’t go up the chart or down the chart. We survived.”

Of Frankie, he says: “Was he Paul McCartney, with the cute little haircut, getting women screaming out in the audience? No. We just didn’t have it. I don’t have the reasons why. Possibly we were older. I think we were on the wrong side of the river. Jersey’s pretty popular now – I can’t turn on the television without seeing Jersey. Back then, Jersey was some place in the backwoods. Little by little the recognition started to come.”

It was Gaudio’s idea to do a Four Seasons musical, after hearing one of his songs, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” in the 1978 movie The Deer Hunter.

“I went through a metamorphosis,” he says. “Hearing my song and Frankie’s voice in this, it was a revelation that maybe we’re a little more than radio music.”

Visit Philly.com to read the full interview.

1 Comment »

  1. A good article. I have heard Frankie interviewed several times on Mark Simone’s Saturday night radio show on WABC. The quotes here are similar to what Frankie says of life on the road and the success of the 4 Seasons.

    As a fan since 1964, I remember all of the songs well. I remember the first time I heard the Seasons, on WABC, the song was Dawn (Go Away). I was hooked right away. Then I started to hear their “oldies”: Sherry, Big Girls, Walk, and I became a fan for life.

    Still, it was not cool to be a fan. My 12 year old peers were into the the British Invasion, Motown, etc. So was I, but Frankie and the guys were always at the top of my list. So when I watched the Tony awards (something I had never done before or since)the night the annoucer said “coming up, Joe Pesci and Julia Roberts” my wife asked why would they be there? Well, Julia had been on Broadway that year and I told her the Joe Pesci-Bob Gaudio/Frankie story. Then we were watching when I felt we had finally been vindicated. Jersey Boys won! All of us working class kids who were never “in” had won.

    Comment by Jim Hicks — October 1, 2010 @ 7:56 am

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