“He works harder than I do at Christmas time,” said Darlene Love while inducting Tim McLoone into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, Oct. 27. “And I work pretty hard.”
McLoone — inducted along with other New Jerseyans such as Southside Johnny, The Smithereens, Jason Alexander, Martha Stewart, George R.R. Martin and Laurie Hernandez at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, Oct. 27 — owns a number of New Jersey restaurants and nightclubs, though the honor, I assume, was mainly in recognition of his work spearheading Holiday Express, which presents free shows at hospitals, nursing homes, soup kitchens and other locations throughout the holiday season.
McLoone, who has a band of his own called Tim McLoone & the Shirleys, performed with Love (who sang “River Deep — Mountain High” and Steven Van Zandt’s “Among the Believers” early in the evening) and also participated in the evening’s final two songs, The Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” and Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me.”
He also gave a short speech. “I told them I wouldn’t do a long speech, but in return, I got to do a song,” he said, before leading five students at the Matheny School for children with disabilities in Peapack through Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly,” which was the emotional high point of the evening.
Here is what Love said in her induction speech. Below that is video footage of her speech, McLoone’s speech, “Learning to Fly,” “Among the Believers,” “River Deep — Mountain High” and “I Saw Her Standing There.”
Most people say, if you’ve lived anywhere around Monmouth County, you’ve heard of Tim McLoone, the Renaissance Man. I met Tim in the early 1990s. We met at Westchester’s Medical Center for Children With Parkinson’s. Tim and the Shirleys blessed us musically, maternally and spiritually. Children were dancing in their wheelchairs. Personally, as a pastor’s kid, I know there was healing in the air.
This was just one of hundreds of shows that Holiday Express performed from November to December! He works harder than I do at Christmas time. And I work pretty hard.
Every year, to this day, there is no greater demonstration of love and caring than this. Tim’s Express motivation is, in his own words, it is better to give than to receive. Restore my faith in human nature.
Okay, so, the Renaissance Man is a Harvard graduate … accomplished musician, accomplished in athletics, increasing numbers of restaurants, all five stars, in New Jersey and beyond, and I think I’ve eaten in each one of them. And the surprise is, he eats the food before he lets the patrons eat the food, which is good. I have had the pleasure of joining Tim & the Shirleys for the last past eight years, and found out that he loves to sing — only before I do. His business in Asbury Park are the core of the resurrection and booming economy.
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