(Note: The original date for this event was postponed because of weather, and the story has been updated to include the new date, Aug. 30.).
Hoboken has some impressive claims to fame, such as being the birthplace of Frank Sinatra and baseball. The Hoboken music store, The Guitar Bar, is trying to add something to the list: For the fourth year in a row, owner James Mastro is spearheading an effort to have the town host the world’s largest strumalong.
Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. at Sinatra Park (Sinatra Drive, between 4th and 5th streets), all guitarists and players of other stringed instruments are invited for a free event at which 15 songs — including material by the late David Bowie, the late Prince and the late Merle Haggard — will be played. Volunteers will hold up signs with chord changes, so that even beginners can participate.
More than 400 people showed up in Hoboken last year. According to guinnessworldrecords.com, the largest guitar ensemble in the history of the world is 6,346, set at a music festival in Wroclaw, Poland in 2009, and the largest performing rock band is 953. There will be a rhythm section in Hoboken, so the performance will be eligible for both records.
Here are the songs that will be performed. For help practicing the songs, and other information, visit facebook.com/guitarbarnj.
“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” Bob Dylan
” ‘Heroes,’ ” David Bowie
“Keep the Car Runnin’,” Arcade Fire
“Three Little Birds,” Bob Marley
“Come As You Are,” Nirvana
“The Cross,” Prince
“So You Wanna Be a Rock n Roll Star,” The Byrds/Patti Smith
“Twist & Shout,” The Isley Brothers/The Beatles
“Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” Creedence Clearwater Revival
“Tonight the Bottle Let me Down,” Merle Haggard
“Life During Wartime,” Talking Heads
“Wish You Were Here,” Pink Floyd
“Dog Days Are Over,” Florence & the Machine
“Freefallin’,” Tom Petty
“Two Tickets to Paradise,” Eddie Money
Here is a video of the 2013 attempt:
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