Jersey Boys

I don’t normally do film reviews but I going to make an exception because it gives me the opportunity to slip in a song.

I’ve listened to December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night) countless times over the years and never really bothered to find out more about Frankie Vallie & The Four Seasons. Jersey Boys was therefore a timely education in music history for me.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, it stars the main cast from the Broadway Musical and Christopher Walken, one of my favorite actors. Basically it tells the story of Tommy Devito, Nick Massi, Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli (real name Francesco Stephen Castelluccio) wo formed a friendship in the 50’s that nearly resulted in them becoming hardened criminals, and how they cemented a musical relationship that resulted in the formation of the band the Four Seasons in the 60’s.

A nice bit of trivia was learning that the songwriter Bob Gaudio was introduced to the others by none other than Joe Pesci the actor. When Tommy Devito is eventually forced to leave the band he goes on to work for Pesci, in what capacity is not revealed.

Christopher Walken plays a rather likeable mobster boss, who has a soft spot for the boys, especially Frankie. And as usual he does a superb job.

You may remember some of the hit songs by the Four Seasons such as Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry and The Frankie Valli solo Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, but I’m going to leave this one here…

Walk Like A Man

There is a rather poignant moment at the end with the Four Seasons getting back together after more than twenty years to sing together again in 1990 when they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and Frankie Valli remembering how four guys used to sing under a street lamp.


Rock In Peace: Lou Reed

There’s a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out.

Lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter of the Velvet Underground Lou Reed, passed on at the age of 71 this weekend. Perhaps best remembered for the solo hit Walk On The Wild Side, Reed was an icon of the music industry whose career spanned nearly 50 years.

Apart from Perfect Day, my favorite Lou Reed song is Sweet Jane, although I am partial to the Cowboy Junkies version which Reed himself admits is “the best and most authentic version I have ever heard.”

But anyone who ever had a heart
they wouldn’t turn around and break it
and anyone who ever played a part
They wouldn’t turn around and hate it
Sweet Jane, Sweet Sweet Jane…