January 17, 2010

This Day in Four Seasons History – 20th Anniversary of the Four Seasons Induction Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – January 17, 1990

January 17th, 2010

**To see & read larger versions of the programs and other memorabilia, click right on the photos in the slide show.
**In the Rolling Stone article photo caption, Tommy DeVito & Nick Massi are mixed up.

During our visit to New York City in September 2008, the Tech-Half and I were invited to dinner by David and Lynette Cace. David and his kids, Crist and Ella, picked us up curbside at the August Wilson Theatre after the Saturday matinee for our drive to the New Jersey suburbs. What we thought would be a quiet dinner turned out to be quite an adventure as David took the long way home by making stops first in Hoboken to see Frank Sinatra’s old house and then in Belleville to see Tommy DeVito’s old house, with a quick stop at the Belmont Tavern. After a wonderful dinner, David drove us back to our hotel in New York City for what I thought would be a nice restful night’s sleep after a hectic day but that was not to be. For the whole story see the October 5, 2008 JB Blog post.

The highlight of the night for me really came after dinner when David showed us his collection of Four Seasons’ memorabilia and rare recordings. The biggest treat for me was hearing David talk about his attendance at the Four Seasons’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 17, 1990, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, and showing us the commemorative program and CD all attendees received that night.

With the 20th anniversary of the Four Seasons’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rapidly approaching, I asked David if I could share the 1990 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Program and the other gifts the attendees received that January 17th Wednesday night 20 years ago with the Jersey Boys Blog readers.

* * * * * * *
JBB: Thank you so much for digitizing the cover of the 1990 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Program and the applicable Four Seasons pages, along with all the other wonderful material you received that night.

DAC: My pleasure. If it wasn’t for the world-wide success of Jersey Boys, and the Jersey Boys Blog becoming the main communication vehicle for Jersey Boys and Four Seasons fans alike, there wouldn’t be too many people who would even be interested in seeing the memorabilia I have from that night. It would have all remained in a box in my basement. It is really a joy for me to be able to share this with so many Four Seasons and Jersey Boys fans.

JBB: How were you able to get a ticket for the event?

DAC: It is my understanding that there are always a number of tickets available to the general public for the induction ceremonies. I don’t know what ticket prices are today for attending an induction ceremony but back then it was $1,500 (about $2,500 in today’s dollars), so I talked it over with Lynette and she understood that there were just too many concert memories that I had as a 13-15 year old kid from seeing the Four Seasons of Frankie, Tommy, Nick and Bob performing together on stage that it was important to me to see them all together on stage one more time.

And as you can see from the pictures I took that night, my seat wasn’t exactly front row center, but as my kids say, even back in the “olden” days (of 1990), there was a big screen set up so even for people in the bleacher seats like me you could hear and see what was going on.

JBB: Were there any performances by the inductees that night?

DAC: Unlike today where it is my understanding that there are some rehearsed live performances by the inductees, the only thing that happened for the first 10 or so years at induction ceremonies was that there was a “jam” session after all the formal inductions took place.

What I remember is that Paul Shaffer and his band provided the music for that night and all the inductees, and some of the prior inductees in attendance like Diana Ross and Dion, and guests, such as Bruce Springsteen and John Fogerty, came on stage and “jammed.” It was all very informal and definitely unrehearsed – but I do remember that the closing song for the evening was, appropriately so, the old “Pookie” Hudson and the Spaniels tune from 1954 of “Goodnite Sweetheart, Goodnite” (originally released on Vee Jay records – how’s that for a coincidence) and Frankie took the lead and Nick sang the bass parts. That was something very special for me as I hadn’t heard Nick sing on stage since the summer of 1965, although I did see Frankie call Nick on stage to sing with him (just as mentioned in Nick’s closing soliloquy in Jersey Boys) at the Westbury Music Fair on Long Island in the late ‘70s. And I was able to get closer to the stage during the jam session when those attendees who stayed after the formal ceremonies were able to move up closer to the stage.

JBB: Was that the last time the original Four Seasons were on stage together?

DAC: To my knowledge yes. There was some talk after their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame about bringing back the original group for a reunion tour. WCBS-FM radio in New York was very much behind that. I also heard that HBO wanted the Four Seasons to do a reunion concert special similar to the one HBO had done with the Everly Brothers. But it just didn’t come together.

JBB: Did Bob Crewe induct the Four Seasons into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as shown in Jersey Boys?

DAC: Yes. To sum up his induction speech, it was just like the person that Bob Crewe is, all class. His induction speech was very complimentary to each of the Four Seasons but yet warmly delivered as he referred to the Four Seasons often as his friends just like in Jersey Boys and the importance of friendship is such a core element in the show that comes through so clearly thanks to Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.

JBB: To me, the most remarkable thing was that you were able to get each of Four Seasons to sign your program – how were you able to do that?

DAC: That wasn’t easy. Security was pretty tight that night and all the inductees and their families and guests were at tables close to the stage and you really couldn’t get to them, however, I was able to briefly “capture” Frankie, Tommy, and Nick separately that night for a personalized autograph. Unfortunately, I was just not able to get close enough to Bob to get his attention with security as tight as it was. It wasn’t until the opening night of previews for Jersey Boys, 15 years later, that I took a chance and went down to the August Wilson theatre early before the show in the hopes of catching Bob and sure enough a limo pulls up to the theatre and who should come out but Bob and Judy, and Bob autographed the program for me in front of the August Wilson Theatre.


  1. Wow. I was going through the program, and something struck me while zooming in on the photographs of the programs. The line from “Rag Doll”

    “I love you just the way you are”,

    jumped out at me. I never realized how ironic it was that Billy Joel had the exact same line in “Just The Way You Are” over a decade later, and that almost two decades later, Billy Joel had a big hit with the credible Four Seasons soundalike record, “Uptown Girl”.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — January 10, 2010 @ 8:30 pm

  2. Ted, That is amazing when I first heard “Uptown Girl”
    I said to my dad Frankie Valli has another “Hit” out there. Come to find out it was put out by Billy Joel.
    But as Billy Joel mentions to his public in several interviews he has had through the years/ growing
    up he was VERY into “The 4 Seasons” music he loved it….
    Its great sounding like people that you admire.


    Comment by Patti-Massi-Candeliere — January 10, 2010 @ 10:15 pm

  3. Keen observation, Ted. Could Billy Joel have been thinking of himself as “just a … Rag Guy” to the young lady’s “Uptown Girl?”

    I’ve always liked him a lot anyway, but when I first heard this song I was blown away. Great for a talent such as him to pay tribute this way.

    Comment by stubbleyou — January 11, 2010 @ 3:48 am

  4. Patti and stubbleyou, I’m gald to see that I was in such good company as to think that it was, or could be, the Four Seasons when I first heard it.

    As I recall, the first time I heard it was on CKLW Windsor Detroit, the station recognized as the first to play CTMEOY. I think I called the station and asked who did the song that sounded like the Four Seasons, and they told me it was Billy Joel. I thought that was interesting because he had sounded so much like Harry Chapin on “Piano Man”. A vocal “Chameleon”, I thought!

    I found an interview today on line where Billy Joel says that “Uptown Girl” was the “flip side” of “Rag Doll”, lyrically speaking. Of course, we’re confused because we think of “Dawn (Go Away)” as being the lyrical “flip side”, and “Silence Is Golden” as the B side “flip side”!

    Comment by Ted Hammond — January 11, 2010 @ 7:27 pm

  5. Does anyone remember a TV Special Tribute to Billy Joel 10 or 15 years ago? Frankie performed “Uptown Girl” on the show. I have been told that Frankie did “Uptown Girl” in concert for a few years but I never saw him perform it.

    Comment by David Cace — January 12, 2010 @ 7:46 pm

  6. Thank you so much for this feature…it is wonderful. After seeing Jersey Boys so many times, one thing is always left to my imagination…the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What was it really like to see these four guys on the same stage together again? My curiosity has been fulfilled. They all looked so handsome! I also always wonder what Mary Delgado looked like. From her portrayal in JB, she seemed very striking.

    Comment by Carolyn — January 17, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

  7. David that was sweet of you to share this wonderful event of “The 4 Seasons”/Jersey Boys whom I am so very
    proud of. They truly deserved being inducted into the “ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME” along with so many other
    talented Artists. You can tell in there photo how they
    were all glowing, and they sure have every right to be.
    Yes! Nick Massi/Tommy DeVito were mixed up on the photo caption.
    The correct line up is:
    Bob Crewe,Nick Massi,Frankie Valli,Tommy DeVito,Bob
    Its a night that will always be remembered…

    Comment by Patti-Massi-Candeliere — January 17, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

  8. Great stuff, David! Thanks for sharing and taking us back so authentically.

    Comment by Pamela — January 17, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

  9. David, like you I didn’t see Frankie Valli perform “Uptown Girl” though I heard about it.

    I am still reeling that the Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, the same year as The Beatles. The slight should have been seen at least in time for 1989.

    I was perusing some of Joel Whitburn’s fine publications, and in 1964, The Four Seasons were SECOND only to the Beatles in Hot 100 Chart success, beating the Beach Boys who were #4. The Four Seasons were #9 for 1962, even though the Beach Boys used their name first and hit the chart earlier in 1962. Of course, FV4S as The Four Lovers hit the charts six years earlier than the Beach Boys in 1956.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — January 17, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

  10. Ted, I didn’t catch that show either but I’m sure it was AWSOME! Seeing Frankie Valli singing “UPTOWN GIRL”.
    Billy Joel is such a great artist, “THE PIANO MAN”, “JUST THE WAY YOU ARE” & “UPTOWN GIRL” will always be me & my dads favorites.
    The Beach Boys & The Beatles are favorites & of course
    Thanks for sharing these publications with us.


    Comment by Patti-Massi-Candeliere — January 17, 2010 @ 7:39 pm

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