Southside Johnny Lyon and the Stone Pony are forever connected in the world of rock ‘n’ roll.
While Lyon has played the Pony many times, his name came up several times at a recent Pony show he didn’t attend: the Garry Tallent and Dawg Whistle featuring Vini Lopez show in May. Lyon, Tallent and Lopez were all members of Neptune High School’s Class of ‘67 and Tallent brought up classmate Lyon’s name a few times when talking about his co-songwriters on his “Break Time” album.
“We’ve been friends since high school,” said Lyon, a native of Ocean Grove. “We didn’t learn anything but we became good friends.”
Lyon, Tallent and Lopez perhaps learned more at the Upstage Club in Asbury Park. The Neptune trio joined with other talents like Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Van Zandt to eventually deliver to the world the Sound of Asbury Park. Lyon with the Asbury Jukes and Tallent and Lopez with the E Street Band,
“It was very good,” said Lyon , who was out of town on the day of the Tallent show. “We learned to play together and we played nicely together. It was a very good time for me.”
“We had dreams that not lot of people realize but we did, and were lucky in that way.”
Lyon and the Asbury Jukes are coming back to the Pony for their annual Fourth of July weekend show, Saturday, July 1 on the venue’s Summer Stage. The Weight are opening and the Nick Clemons Band will play inside the Pony between sets. The Eddie Testa Band plays inside the Pony after the Asbury Jukes.
Fourth of July fireworks aside, upcoming for Southside Johnny is an album of Billie Holiday covers. What’s not so certain is an expanded release of the Asbury Jukes’ Springsteen covers album, “Live From E Street,” a special 12-inch vinyl pressing recorded at the Stone Pony. It was released on Record Store Day in April and it went to No. 10 on the Billboard Blues Album chart.
“Some have said put it out as an actual album,” Lyon said. “I don’t know — well see.”
See you in Asbury Park, where Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes have a mission .
“In these kinds of times, so strange and frightening for so many, people turn to music a lot more for a certain solace,” Lyon said. “They say music can take you away from your trouble. Our goal is to make people feel better.”