Few if any New Jersey musicians have been around for so long and been so successful — yet received so little mainstream recognition for it — as Bobby Bandiera.
Longtime Jersey rock fans know all about him, of course. After stints in Shore-based bands such as Holme and Cats on a Smooth Surface, the singer-songwriter-guitarist was a prominent member of Southside Johnny’s Asbury Jukes, and more recently has been a touring member of the Bon Jovi band. He also leads the Jersey Shore Rock n Soul Revue, which plays often at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. And when he’s not on tour or playing with the Revue, he can often been found playing his own music and covers at smaller Jersey venues.
The New Jersey rock scene would have been a very different place without him for the last 30 or 40 years. Yet he has never really had the national breakthrough that he deserves.
Below, listen to one of Bandiera’s own songs: The Chuck Berry-esque beach anthem, “C’mon Caroline” (co-written by Bandiera and Bob Burger, who is currently with The Weeklings), from the 1991 album, Bandiera.
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.