October 18, 2007

JBB Fantastic Fan Interview With David Cace!

October 18th, 2007

The Jersey Boys Fantastic Fan Interview series has EXPLODED this week! Being an absolutely HUGE Four Seasons’ fan, I had a marvelous time recently chatting with David Cace, who is by far, I do believe–our resident Four Seasons’ expert! David fills us in on these amazing late ’60s Four Seasons photos that he has shared with us; how he became interested in the Four Seasons as a preteen in Hoboken; the incredible experience of seeing the 4 Seasons in concert dozens of times over the last four decades; and of course, his thoughts on Jersey Boys! In addition, David talks about how he became involved in this coming Sunday’s Jersey Boys Fans Unite to Support BC/EFA event.

JBB: David, thanks for these amazing 4 Seasons’ concert pictures. They will make a great permanent addition to the Jersey Boys Blog Photo Gallery – 4 Seasons Section. What year are these pictures from? Do you remember the venue?

DC: I am very confident in saying that the venue is the Convention Center in Asbury Park, New Jersey, which was the home for so many rock concerts throughout the ‘60s and early ‘70s. All the big artists of the time performed there. The guys that I grew up with in Hoboken, New Jersey, would go and see the 4 Seasons perform whenever they were in the area and that area would be as far north (east) as the Westbury Music Fair in Westbury, Long Island and as far south as the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey. And since northern New Jersey was “home base” for the 4 Seasons, we got to see them perform very often. The 4 Seasons would appear every year during the summer concert series at the Convention Center in Asbury Park for about 10 years in a row and we would make it the highlight of our summer to all get together for one big day down the Jersey Shore which would end with catching the 4 Seasons 10 o’clock show. I would usually be the guy who would go down at the beginning of the summer to the Convention Center in Asbury Park to pick up 20 or 30 tickets every year. We would get second or third row seats as you can see from the pictures.

From the lineup of Joe Long, Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio, and Frankie Valli, the pictures have to be from the years 1966-1970. My best guess, based on their outfits, with the ruffles, is that the year was 1968.

JBB: What can you tell us about some of the pictures? There appears to have been a lot of movement on stage.

DC: Movement yes, dancing no. The picture of Tommy, Joe, and Frankie fighting for the microphone would be their performance of “How Do You Make a Hit Song,” which is on the fake live Vee Jay album. Ditto for the picture that appears to show Frankie Valli jogging. The two pictures of Tommy DeVito center stage was when he would do his comedy solo number which started out G-rated, then started drifting toward a PG-13 rating and ended up R-rated and that’s when Joe and Frankie would push him out of the center.

There was an exceptional amount of movement during Frankie’s laugh out loud performance of “I’m In The Mood For Love” together with “Moody’s Mood For Love.” The performance of these two songs by the Frankie Valli character in Jersey Boys is accurate but on stage it was a comedy skit and in the “Moody’s Mood For Love” part Frankie would put a kerchief on his head and sing the Annie Ross female part of the song at heights only he could achieve. Tommy and Joe would be fooling around while Frankie was trying to sing a straight version of “I’m In The Mood for Love” and play their guitars off key and loud and even “performing was never really my thing” Bob Gaudio would get into the act by hitting a wrong note on the keyboards, and that’s when Joe Long would go over to Bob and pick up the sheet music and show Bob where he screwed-up. You can also see Joe Long center stage as he would be the MC of the show setting everything up between songs. For those who never saw a 4 Seasons live performance during the 1966-1970 timeframe, you really missed something.

JBB: How many times have you seen Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons perform?

DC: My best guess is that I saw the original 4 Seasons of the ‘60s, always said this way to be inclusive of Joe Long, perform at least 60 times and 50 of those times were with Joe Long in the group. I was a little too young to get to places on my own when Nick Massi was still with the group, and therefore had to rely on relatives, or mass transit to get to 4 Seasons’ concerts at the 1964 World’s Fair, for example, or the defunct Freedomland USA in the Bronx, New York. After I graduated from college in 1972 and actually had to work for a living my concert attendance dropped but I would estimate that I have seen Frankie Valli perform another 50 times over the past 30 years or so with just about every “Season” he has ever had post Tommy, Bob, and Nick/Joe.

JBB: What do you remember about the Nick Massi 4 Seasons?

DC: Nick would do a lot of solo numbers. Fortunately, two of those songs are recorded so people can hear his great voice in other than those bass solo snippets on the early 4 Seasons’ records: the Roy Hamilton classic “Don’t Let Go” from the “Dawn” album; and Nick’s stage version of “Mack The Knife” from the fake live Vee Jay album. That was fabulous. He would have a stand-up bass and he would twirl it around and even dance a little – clearly he had the most rhythm in the group. And what a singer! I also remember him always fidgeting on stage. Bobby Spencer has him down perfectly constantly fixing his jacket sleeves, his tie etc. Frankie and Tommy did most of the between song banter until Joe Long joined the group and took that role over. Nick and Tommy would joke around too but Joe was more of a straight man for Tommy than Nick. I even got to see Charlie Callello perform once. He just played and sang the bass parts. He was not an entertainer. When Nick left the group, I don’t recall Tommy, Bob, or Joe doing any solo numbers, except for Tommy’s comedy songs.

JBB: How accurate is the part in Jersey Boys when the horn section comes out when Frankie Valli’s character sings “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”?

DC: Very accurate. Up until that time the “band” consisted of Tommy on guitar, Nick or Joe on bass and Bob on the organ. And the 4 Seasons had two great drummers during the ‘60s: Ronald Roach and Joey Cass. Both fabulous. And not only did the 4 Seasons sound vocally just like on the record, but also instrumentally as well. Bob could replicate violins and other sounds on his organ so it sounded just like on the record. Bob could in fact “play like a madman.”

JBB: Do you have a favorite 4 Seasons song?

DC: I have many depending on whether you’re asking about hits, album cuts, Frankie Valli solo songs, or songs performed live. Record: “Sherry;” Album Cut: a tie between “A Sunday Kind of Love” and “Dody;” Live: “Tell It To The Rain,” “C’mon Marianne” and “Let’s Hang On!” – Tommy really rocked on guitar during these songs; Frankie Valli Solo Live: “To Give,” “Circles in the Sand,” and “My Mother’s Eyes” and there were people crying in the audience when he sang “My Mother’s Eyes” and not in the comical way it is portrayed in Jersey Boys. And at the end of “My Mother’s Eyes” he hit a note and held it for so long that you could have gone out for popcorn and came back and he would still be holding that note. It brought chills up and down your spine.

JBB: How did you become such a big 4 Seasons fan?

DC: I was 12 ½ years old when “Sherry” came out and I was captivated by that sound then and I am still captivated by that sound even today when I hear that record. As the 4 Seasons then started to get some notoriety and I found out they were from New Jersey, and Newark/Belleville in particular, just a Mickey Mantle home run distance from Hoboken. I and the guys I grew up with kind of adopted them as “our guys.” And then when I saw them perform live on stage I was hooked for life.

JBB: And what do you think of Jersey Boys?

DC: It’s absolutely fabulous. I could watch the first act of the show a million times. The second act is great too, don’t get me wrong, but I like to remember the guys performing and having fun on stage. That personal stuff in the first half of the second act doesn’t particularly interest me. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Who cares! They made great music together and had fun doing it. And we had fun listening to it and watching them perform live. That’s what matters most to me. There are times, especially during the “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man” part of the first act where it takes me back 40 or so years to an actual 4 Seasons concert (except for the dancing).

JBB: How many times have you seen Jersey Boys?

DC: I am probably a lightweight here, but my best guess is between 20 and 25 times, including twice in Phoenix when I was out west attending a conference.

JBB: What kind of conference? What do you do for a living?

DC: I was attending a Litigation and Fraud Conference. Like that famous JB Special Correspondent Howard Tucker, I too am a CPA but a dull and boring one unlike the ubiquitous Mr. Tucker, “Mr. Suspenders” himself.

All kidding aside, I am a partner at Eisner LLP, a major accounting firm in Manhattan, and the proud sponsor of this Sunday’s Jersey Boys Fans Unite to Support BC/EFA.

JBB: How did Eisner LLP get to become the sponsor for the Jersey Boys Fans Unite to Support BC/EFA event.

DC: I was drafted by Irene Eizen to be a member of a committee to see if we could get a Jersey Boys fan evening together with the Broadway cast, along with Charles Alexander, the author of the Jersey Boys Cast CD Liner Notes and the author of the foreword to the just released Jersey Boys “coffee table” book. Being drafted by Irene Eizen reminds me of receiving my draft notice from President Lyndon Johnson which said something like “Greetings from the President – You are hereby requested to appear at your local draftboard…” That letter from President Johnson was not really a request and neither was Irene’s request. Unfortunately I didn’t have the equivalent of a college acceptance letter to give to Irene to get out of committee like I did to get out of the army so I was inducted into Irene’s Army. But all kidding aside, I am happy to be on the committee for this wonderful event for a very worthy cause. BC/EFA, which also happens to be a client of Eisner LLP. It will be a great evening and we have some very, very special guests lined up to attend, so if you haven’t picked up your tickets you better hurry, because time is running out. You don’t want to miss this evening.

Thank you so much to David Cace for taking the time for this amazing and insightful interview about The Four Seasons and Jersey Boys, and for sharing these incredible 4 Seasons concert photos from his personal collection! If you would like to be featured in a JBB Fantastic Fan Interview, feel free to contact us! Please click on the Contact Page and send us your contact information.


  1. David: You lucky son of a gun!! What a great article and memories to share with us JB fans. Thank you so much for the insight on the early years. Your gift for words makes me think you should be a writer instead of a CPA. I loved your comment about going out to get popcorn while Frankie held a note!!! He definitely is no Neil Sedaka!!

    Comment by LindaL — October 18, 2007 @ 9:31 am

  2. Nice interview with David and also great pictures that you won’t find anywhere. I happened to be one of the fortunate ones who happened to see Nicky perform with the group twice in 1964 back at the Scranton CYC and then again at WARM Day at Rocky Glen Park during the Summer. Really great memories. I can still hear Frankie singing the very first song I heard him sing live, “Since I Don’t Have You”.
    It was great to see the comedy they performed on stage.
    Great Memories of that LIVE sound from the group …

    Comment by Jerry — October 18, 2007 @ 10:22 am

  3. Hi, David,

    This is President Eizen! Great interview. My mind is now working on my next project, for which I will send you another DRAFT notice. I only draft the best! IE

    Comment by irene eizen — October 18, 2007 @ 2:10 pm

  4. Great interview and priceless pictures!!! How wonderful!!!

    Comment by Wanda — October 18, 2007 @ 2:52 pm

  5. Oh David, how blessed we all are to have you in our Jersey Boys family! This interview is priceless, as are your comments on the Blog, and your friendship to me personally.

    First, re the boring aspect, “Maybe we’re a new kind o’ CPA? Think we could wrap our minds around that?” Trust me, David, I was as dull as they come until Susie brought me “on Blogstage for the first time!”

    I remember exactly where I was the first time we connected. After my FF interview in December, 2006, I flew to Hamburg, Germany, opened my e-mail, clicked “this is not spam”, and “the whole world exploded!” “Some people just click”, David, and we did.

    We met at Daniel’s “Black and White Christmas” and I’ve since gotten to know your wonderful wife Lynette and kids Alison, Johnathan, Crist, and Ella. When I was a guest at your home this summer, I have a wonderful memory of 7-year-old Crist running up and hugging me….normally one glance and I send kids that age heading in the other direction!

    After passing a tough security clearance and the growls of your dog Sunday who weighs twice as much as I do, I gained access to your Four Seasons room, which probably has twice the memorabilia of Frankie’s, Tommy’s, and Bob’s houses combined. I perused your Hall of Fame program, saw so many pictures similar to the above, and heard stories about Frankie imitating Soeur Soriere, “The Singing Nun”, and about Bob “performing was never really my thing” Gaudio, which suggest exactly the opposite!

    One of your best anecdotes, though, that you haven’t recounted above, is how you became so close with Tommy. I can’t remember exactly which food it was that was only made by a certain restaurant on the East Coast to Tommy’s satisfaction, but he ‘joked’ with you to bring it out the next time you were near Vegas. And sure enough, when you were out there again, you called him, “Tommy, I have it” and the rest is history! (I have a friend in CA who insists I always bring out Wise potato chips as he can never get them out there…the sniff dogs have a field day w/my luggage!!)

    Finally, David, whenever I call you with the silliest Four Seasons historical question, I get a wonderful greeting as if it were President Eizen on the phone (on the other hand, maybe the great greeting is relief that it’s NOT President Eizen), and a complete and charming answer or opinion. We’re less than a year apart age-wise, David, and sometimes I really feel as if we’re brothers. Thank you so very much for being a part of all our lives.

    Comment by Howard Tucker — October 18, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

  6. Howard,

    As always, your comments are so thoughtful, insightful and heartwarming. You make everyone who knows you feel a part of your family.


    Comment by irene eizen — October 18, 2007 @ 11:17 pm

  7. Thank you everyone for your nice comments.

    Jerry, “Since I Don’t Have You” is the first song I heard the 4 Seasons perform too. Outside of the first 3 No. 1 songs, “SIDHY” is the song performed most often on stage during the ’60s both with Nick and Joe, every show I can remember except when the 4 Seasons performed with a full orchestra and then their opening song was a “Sound of Music” type medley. I suppose “SIDHY” was a good warming up song. If you get a chance Jerry please drop me an email and we’ll share some concert experiences. You can reach me at [email protected].

    Comment by David Cace — October 20, 2007 @ 6:54 am

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