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February 24, 2006

Frankie Valli Hangs On to What He’s Got…

February 24th, 2006

Wonder if the blue-collar kid from the Newark who had big dreams to be a singer ever thought his life story would be on Broadway? According to Chuck Darrow of the Asbury Park Press, Frankie Valli, the pop-rock legendary lead singer of the phenomenal chat-topping The Four Seasons, had that kind of dream, but never thought it would happen.

Valli is obviously thrilled with Jersey Boys, the biography of the Four Seasons, that’s currently one of Broadway’s hottest hit musicals.

Jersey Boys tells the stranger-than-fiction tale of how a crew of mob-connected tough kids from the mean streets in and around Newark defied the odds to become one of rock’s all-time, best-selling acts. Although Jersey Boys was authorized by each of its four main subjects — Valli, Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio and the late Nick Massi — the production isn’t sugarcoated or glamorous. While the band’s massive artistic and commercial triumphs are celebrated, the play’s considerable drama springs from the darker elements of the group’s story, from DeVito’s troubles with mob loan sharks that helped torpedo the act at the height of its success, to Valli’s dysfunctional family life that included the death by drug overdose of his daughter, Francine.

When Jersey Boys made it’s pre-Broadway debut at La Jolla Playhouse, Valli admits that scenes, such as his daughter’s tragic death made him a bit unfomfortable. He states,

“I hadn’t gone to a lot of rehearsals, so the first time I saw it, I was a little uncomfortable. So I tried to analyze it intellectually,” he says. “After the second and third times, I started to feel a little more comfortable.”

What may have been tougher, admits Valli, was having to interact with his former bandmates from whom he’d been estranged for years. Considering the men had not been that friendly following the original band’s breakup, Valli found reconnecting with the former band quite difficult.

What’s going on for Valli now? Looks like there’s no stopping Valli’s career, over four decades after his first big hit, “Sherry.” In addition to headlining tonight and tomorrow Caesars Atlantic City, he’ll reprise his role as wise guy Rusty Millio on “The Sopranos,” which begins its long-awaited new season on HBO March 12.

Valli sums it up as he reflects on his life,

“To me, success is doing what you want to do and making a living at it. That’s all I wanted to do.”

27 Comments »

  1. What year did Frankie Valli’s daughter die?

    Comment by Jonathan Fedor — December 19, 2007 @ 11:51 pm

  2. Sadly I went to the wake and then the church. I’m not sure what year,but my sons who were young at the time also went to the wake and think it was early 80′s. sad time.. 1ST FAN

    Comment by Elizabeth Sweeney — December 24, 2007 @ 10:17 am

  3. Well they did it again. Frankie and the group has always been about great vocals and arrangements and they once again prove what I have said for years…Frankie and whoever (Gaudio or Robbie R) arranged this create the best vocal masterpieces ever…..remember the song “And that reminds me (my heart reminds me)? Well if you do, you know what I am talking about.

    Comment by Ralph D'Auge — January 3, 2008 @ 10:04 am

  4. “Toy Soldier” is personal fave.

    The 4 Seasons took a backseat to no one.

    Comment by King Groundhog — January 9, 2008 @ 6:15 pm

  5. I have loved Frankie Valli since day one, and always will. I have even written a poem and sent him a copy of the book it was published in , when he was performing at the sands in Atlantic City in the 80′s.To me there never has been and never will be anyone like him. I would love to meet him just once in person, and be able to hang around him and just talk and look at him. I still get chills when i see or hear him. I have been to so many shows to see him, and yet i can never get enough. God bless him, he deserves all success and happiness.

    Comment by Kathleen Mauser — June 17, 2008 @ 12:05 am

  6. i am from italy, i saw jersey boys in new york and london, i fly just to see the musical,,,,,,what a beutiful music and story.i hope one day come in italy.
    i love you

    Comment by valter belii — June 24, 2008 @ 12:22 pm

  7. How many children does Valli have? I have seen conflicting reports that two daughters passed away but only one is mentioned in Jersey Boys?

    Comment by Judy — September 25, 2008 @ 3:06 pm

  8. The first time I saw Jersey Boys, it was in previews on Broadway. When Christian Hoff came on stage, I thought, no way! He doesn’t look anything like Tommy DeVito; Bobby Spencer was wayyyy too tall for Nick Massi. Guess what? After five minutes, both men had me totally convinced that they WERE Tommy & Nick. And I have no words to express the emotion I felt when John Lloyd Young sang his first notes. In total, I’ve seen it three times and can’t wait to see the new cast on October 28th–my fourth time!

    Comment by Vera Galasso — October 17, 2008 @ 10:21 am

  9. I can’t even find the words to express how much I loved the show. But I was also very sad for the tough life Mr. Valli had he just didn’t deserve losing a child. But he is so loved and I will see NJ boy’s as many times as possible.

    Comment by Linda Mayrose — February 3, 2009 @ 1:12 pm

  10. I saw Jersey Boys last night in Toronto. I think I was the first one on my feet when it was over! Never have I loved a performance as much as that one. I’d see it again in a heartbeat. You would actually swear it really was The Four Seasons singing the songs. The music, everything, was just incredible.

    Comment by Jan Giffin — February 21, 2009 @ 5:46 pm

  11. I saw the four seasons in 1966 1967 in the Washington D.C. area I drove Frankie to a show, I was dating Hal Charm’s (Harold Grossman} daughter. he was manager at Mercury Phillips records, they put on a show I’ll never forget, the little time spent with Frankie he was very nice and a real gentleman who made positve impression in my life

    Comment by Larry Fornia — June 1, 2009 @ 9:31 pm

  12. Just saw Jersey Boys a couple of days ago in Las Vegas. I didn’t really know that much about the Four Seasons, but was amazed that I really knew most of the songs. What a great show, and what great talents Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio are. I just bought some CDs and am going back and discovering all that great music. If you haven’t seen the show, or think the music is before your time… you’re missing one of the great ones.

    Comment by Steve — June 7, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

  13. Just saw it last night in London and it was awesome.Within the first 5 minutes I had this big smile on my face which never left. So happy when I left the theatre.

    Comment by Holly — July 16, 2009 @ 11:44 am

  14. I saw Jersey Boys on Broadway last nite, after wanting to see it for a couple of years. What an incredible show and story. It was wonderful and I walked away with a much greater respect for, and knowledge of, Frankie Valli.

    Comment by Linda — September 2, 2009 @ 8:09 pm

  15. I saw Jersey Boys on Broadway just a few days ago and I can’t stop thinking about it. It was absolutely the most moving, entertaining, fantastic show I’ve ever seen! It was not only a great broadway show but a great concert as well! Jarrod Spector is phenomenal as Frankie Valli. Walking into the show I knew nothing about Frankie Vallie and The Four Seasons and I left as a huge fan! I will see this show time and time again!!!

    Comment by Natalie — September 7, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

  16. I saw “Jersey Boys” last Sunday in Vegas and it was absolutely awesome. I’m 82 and was a big be-bop and big bands fan but this music was wonderful,too. When “Can’t Take my Eyes off of You” played I wanted to go on stage and sing it, too. (Everyone my age wanted to be a singer-especially if you were Italian)
    I hope to see JB’s again before I leave this life—
    (I better hurry up–HAHA!)

    Comment by Maria Frasca — November 4, 2009 @ 6:14 pm

  17. I just saw Jersey Boys last night and was thrilled by the great performance given. I loved it and like so many others that commented, I would see it again in a heartbeat. Knowing Frankie Valli is private about his personal life, I was saddened to learn during show that he lost a daughter, something I never knew. The last performance in Chicago is Jan 10, 2010 and am so glad I had this opportunity to see performance at least this one time. Words can’t express my enjoyment of show but EMOTIONAL, FANTASTIC & EXCEPTIONAL come close…

    Comment by Vicky — November 30, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

  18. I just saw Jersey Boys last night in Detroit. I have waited and waited to see them. I can’t put into words how great the show was. I loved Frankie Valli and the Four Season the first time I heard them. I can remember when they came on the radio all the cars would turn the radios up all the way and we would dance in the parking lot. The show brought back so many good memories. I could tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing the first time I heard any of his songs. Yes, I said his. NOBODY could sing and move you the way he did and still does. Don’t get me wrong Jersey Boys was great and I loved it But, Frankie is the real deal. As far as age. We would ‘t have cared if he was 10 or 40. Love him.

    Comment by Carol Belle — December 19, 2009 @ 10:34 pm

  19. Just saw Jersey Boys at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit. The story and the music were just fantastic! They sound just like the Four Seasons..it was incredible! I just bought 2 CD’s so I can enjoy the wonderful music of my childhood! I had a smile on my face the whole show! A must see for anyone!

    Comment by Tracey Liening — January 7, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

  20. Just got home from the theater. We bought tickets months ago. The show was great! We’ll go again if it comes back to Des Moines (IA). All performers were terrific. My sis, my hubby and I sat and smiled, clapped and -quietly- sang along.

    Comment by Kathy Young — July 10, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

  21. I saw the Jersey Boys show in Vegas in 2009 – fantastic show ! Always was a fan from my high school days – now I am 61 but still love his music – awesome and will see the show again for sure .

    Comment by HAROLD HILDERBRAND — January 10, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

  22. I’ve just seen Jersey Boys for the 7th time! I love it! The backstory is fascinating and touching. The music is terrific, also. What can I say? Everything is great! If you get a chance to see it, DO NOT HESITATE!

    Comment by Honi — February 12, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

  23. Just got back from seeing Jersey Boys in Milwaukee. Saw it previously twice in Chicago. Absolutely loved the show – everytime. Hope it returns to the area again soon.

    Comment by Betty — July 31, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

  24. Saw Jersey Boys in Vegas today. Awesome show! Saw them in person in the mid-70′s and this brought back fond memories of that.

    Comment by Cherie — August 7, 2011 @ 12:48 am

  25. We saw JB on opening night in DC last night. It was the first time for me and I loved it! Brought me back to high school in an instant. I came of age listening to the Four Seasons, driving around in my Chevy Nova with the windows down, a cigarette in my hand and Frankie Valli blaring from the radio. I was there again!

    Comment by Norma — November 11, 2011 @ 8:29 am

  26. Dear Mr. Valli,
    We enjoyed the music from Jersey Boys so much last night. We come from that era and it brought back so many memories. What I wasn’t prepared for was the heartbreak in your life that was portrayed in the play. It is shame when what is sacrificed on the altar of success is your family’s life. Only Jesus can fill in those gaps. I pray that as the new year begins a new start in knowing the forgiveness of His blood and the brilliant new life in Him can begin in you. Blessings!

    Comment by cookie sanders — January 1, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

  27. What a GREAT show!! We “grew-up” with Frankie Valli music and love it as much today as when we first heard these great songs. We saw Jersey Boys a few years ago on Broadway and Friday night in Philly. What a life! My husband’s comment was that each time he saw the show, he came away with the feeling that Mr. Valli is a man of great integrity and a man of his word (and hand shake). What a man…what a show! Thanks so much for sharing your lives with us. May 2012 be a great year for you personally and professionally for Jersey Boys.

    Comment by Linda Burchett — January 1, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

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