‘Havin’ a Party,’ Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes

Southside Johnny sings "Havin' a Party" at the Capitol Theatre in 1978.

Southside Johnny sings “Havin’ a Party” at the Capitol Theatre in 1978.

Sam Cooke originally released “Havin’ a Party” as a B-side (to “Bring It on Home to Me”) in 1962, but it became a hit in its own right, as well as his usual concert-closer. In the ’70s, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes began covering it, making it sound even more raucous than Cooke did, and it became one of those songs — like “I Don’t Want to Go Home” — that no Jukes concert would be complete without.

Here’s a great version, from the band’s 1978 New Year’s Eve show at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band joined Southside at his Capitol New Year’s Eve show the previous year, but on this number, there were no guests, except the dancing bear, and concert promoter (and Capitol owner) John Scher, whom Southside drags out to dance at the 2:20 mark. And … is that actor Robert Hegyes (of “Welcome Back Kotter”) singing along at 3:20? It sure looks like him.

In addition to playing somewhere in New Jersey each year on New Year’s Eve, Southside can usually be counted on to present a big Jersey concert somewhere in the neighborhood of July 4 each. This year’s show takes place at the Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park, July 3, with The Weeklings opening.

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.

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Don Weisman June 23, 2015 - 8:47 pm

I think you’re right, that is (Glassboro State College grad) Robert Hegyes on stage, and if I’m not mistaken, NJ’s favorite deejay Vin Scelsa disguised as the Bayonne Bear.

njartsdaily@gmail.com June 24, 2015 - 8:42 am

Scelsa posted on Facebook, saying: “I am relatively sure it is me. But it is New Year’s Eve and I was drinking in those days so I have no actual recollection of this particular moment. It is the BB’s … um … costume … so … and yes, the happy chap dancing with Southside is John Scher.”

Theatrepup October 3, 2017 - 12:41 pm

Definitely Robert Hegyes, very cool! Thanks for sharing!


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