Dennis Laverty did not attend the Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes concert/convention, Jukestock, in 2001. He did not even know it was happening, actually — and probably would not have gone, anyway, as he had one young son at the time, and another soon to arrive.
However, the Jukes fan and amateur filmmaker — who has already made a documentary about the Jukes’ early years, as well as ones on John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band and Elvis Presley’s influence on Bruce Springsteen — turns his attention to Jukestock in his new film, “Remembering Jukestock.” It contains both a 50-minute documentary and about 90 minutes of Jukestock concert footage, and can be streamed for free on Vimeo, or below.
“For me, the entire process was an incredible experience,” said Laverty, who lives in Staten Island, in an email message. “I am hoping that if Southside and the band get the opportunity to see the film they will see how important that weekend was to so many. For those 300 fans that were there, I hope it brings all those memories back. For those that were not, here is what you missed.”
Jukestock, which took place over three days at the Tinton Falls Holiday Inn, included a 33-song, nearly three-hour (!), rarities-filled Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes concert plus sets by bands led by Jukes members Bobby Bandiera, Richie “LaBamba” Rosenberg, Mark Pender and Jeff Kazee. There were also memorabilia displays, screenings of rare Jukes videos, a trivia contest and a meet-and-greet/autograph session with Southside and band members.
The idea for the film came when Laverty learned, from Jukes fan Stan Goldstein, of the existence of the concert footage. Laverty reached out via the Facebook fan group, Jukebox, asking if anyone had photos or newspaper clips that could be used. Maggie Powell, one of the Jukestock organizers, ended up narrating the documentary, which also includes commentary by people who were there, such as Goldstein, Neil Packman (who came from England and ended up singing “The Fever” with the band), Brian Reiss (who won the trivia contest), Jukes expert Mike Saunders and yours truly (who covered the event for Newark, N.J.-based daily newspaper, The Star-Ledger).
In my segment, I talked about interviewing Southside at the event, and how genuinely appreciative he seemed that it was taking place.
My original article, as well as other articles, are shown in the movie. I’ve looked up the original text of my article online, and this was what Johnny said in it:
I’m having a ball. I was a little worried coming in, but it hasn’t been anything but good, which is surprising to me. Signing autographs has always been a weird thing for me. It’s like, “Why would you want it?” I still think of myself as this guy from this little town in New Jersey. …
I like the people: I mean, they come up and jive me as much as I jive them. And it’s very flattering to have people come from Amsterdam and Germany and everything like that. After all these years, it’s still a bit like, “What’s the big deal?” But they enjoy it, and that makes me happy. It’s been a long time that people have supported me, and how can you pay that back? You just can’t.
The movie can be streamed here: