Bruce Springsteen. Jon Bon Jovi. Southside Johnny. Steven Van Zandt. These four guys are, arguably, the most important rock ‘n’ rollers New Jersey ever has produced, and have worked with each other many different times, in many different ways, over the years.
But it’s been pretty rare for all of them to actually appear onstage together, at the same time.
One of those few times took place on Dec. 7, 2003, when they all performed at one of Bruce Springsteen’s holiday/charity concerts at Convention Hall in Asbury Park. They did a three-song set: “This Time Baby’s Gone for Good,” “It’s Been a Long Time” and “This Time It’s for Real.” The Max Weinberg 7, guitarist Bobby Bandiera and backing vocalists Soozie Tyrell and Lisa Lowell helped create a Phil Spector-like wall of sound, and the four stars rose to the occasion with performances that were unusually animated, even by their own high standards.
Check out their team effort on “This Time It’s for Real” — the Van Zandt-written anthem that was the title track of Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes’ second album, in 1977 — below.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.