November 14, 2009

Jersey Boys Blog in the Old Neighborhood!

November 14th, 2009

(Photos by: JBB Tech Half)

A Sunday Kind of Love in the Old Neighborhood! Yes, during our NYC visit last month, the JBB Tech Half and I had the marvelous opportunity to take a side trip to Jersey–with the Four Seasons Old Neighborhood Tour coordinator extraordinaire, Audrey Rockman!

We were all over the map, like a cockroach! From Manhattan to Jersey City to Newark to East Orange to Bloomfield (no, not Fairfield!) to Belleville! Tommy DeVito’s houses; Nick Massi’s house; the first nightclub where Tommy brought Frankie Valli up on stage; the “Projects,” where Frankie grew up, including a little police activity (Maybe someone went shopping, “Jersey style”?); and so much more!

These were the places I’ve been wanting to visit since Day One, my friend, thinking of the first time The Four Seasons made that sound–their sound–when everything dropped away and all there was, was the music–that was the best.


  1. This is great…it makes it all so much more realistic. Thank you!

    Comment by Carolyn — November 14, 2009 @ 10:33 pm

  2. Very impressive slide show. It really ties everything together. Thanks for putting that together Audrey!

    Comment by Gary — November 15, 2009 @ 1:57 am

  3. A private tour from “Rockman Turn Over and Drive?” Cool!

    On my daily hellish 75 to 90 minute commute into downtown L.A., I pass by street signs announcing Jersey St. and Bloomfield Ave. in rapid succession. If it doesn’t bring a smile to my face it at least drops the blood pressure a few points.

    Comment by stubbleyou — November 15, 2009 @ 3:50 am

  4. Great slide show, Audrey…one of these days
    I will be one one of these terrific tours!!!

    Comment by sharon wardlow — November 15, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

  5. This brings back nice memories of the bus tour. Glad you had a the opportunity for this side trip.

    Comment by Linda/Tiggerbelle — November 15, 2009 @ 2:23 pm

  6. When Christie Holden did her interview with Frankie Valli 2 years ago on the Jersey Boys Podcast, Frankie shared a most interesting bit of information. James Moody’s mother lived at Stephen Crane as well and Frankie would meet up with James Moody when he would come to visit his mother. James Moody is the legendary jazz saxophone player whose improvisitation of the chords of “I’m in the Mood for Love” became “Moody’s Mood For Love.” Eddie Jefferson later wrote lyrics for “Moody’s Mood For Love” and had a hit song with it as did King Pleasure and Annie Ross in a great duet. Frankie used to do a skit during the 60s combining the two songs and doing both the King Pleasure part and then the Annie Ross part. It was laugh-out-loud funny. A “serious” version is in Jersey Boys and that is the song that caught Bob Gaudio’s attention: “I never heard a voice like Frankie Valli’s…I know I need to write for that voice.” Bob Gaudio has said in interviews over the years that Frankie’s version of “Moody’s Mood For Love” where Frankie went up and down the music scale effortlessly was his inspiration for “Sherry” as further inspired by Bruce Channel’s “Hey Baby.”

    Comment by David Cace — November 15, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

  7. I’ve been on a couple of these tours, and let me tell you, Audrey does her research & homework. There are new sites and different places to visit added to old favorites. It certainly gives you a feel for the time and era that Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons experienced. Being from the South, my favorite tour took place in the winter when a little snow had just fallen.

    Comment by Lulu Thompson — November 15, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

  8. I think we should nominate Audrey as Belleville, NJ’s “Person of the Year–2009″. Where is the street sign for “Audrey Rockman Boulevard” under Franklin Street’s above? And Stubbleyou, bless you–you found the cure for lowering blood pressure! Now, if you can tell me that the drive also takes off 10 pounds, we’ll be onto something.

    David, as well as I know you, you always come out with more and more tidbits that amaze me.

    I’ve been on two of Audrey’s tours, and yes, they are terrific. Audrey, when is Fodor’s Travel Guide planning on listing you, and better yet, when will I see a Zagat rating for Dickey Dee’s???

    Comment by Howard Tucker — November 17, 2009 @ 11:49 am

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