On his 1987 album Gematria, Peter Himmelman drew inspiration from a familiar New Jersey sight.
“Waning moon hovering the Meadowlands, I’ve been waning, too,” he sang in his moody rock song, “Waning Moon.” In the song, the moon becomes more than a symbol of his state of mind; it practically becomes a character.
Himmelman is a Minnesota native and now lives in Los Angeles (and is still very active as both a musician and a visual artist). But in the mid-’80s, he and his Minneapolis-based band Sussman Lawrence relocated, en masse, to Bergen County. (When he began releasing albums and touring under his own name a few years later, his bandmates continued to work with him.) He never became a full-fledged star, but did have several major label albums and got some airplay on MTV, and is known for his dynamic, unpredictable stage shows. He’s been nominated for a Grammy and an Emmy, branched out into children’s music, and even presents music seminars for corporations (visit bigmuse.com for more about that).
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday last year. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we are marking the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. We started in September 2014, and will keep going until late in the summer.
If you would like to suggest any songs to be included, please let me know in the comments section underneath the video. And if you want to see the entire list, either alphabetically or in the order the songs were selected, click here.