Some might argue for “Having a Party.” But I think “I Don’t Want to Go Home,” the title track and opening song on the first Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes album, is the quintessential Jukes song.
“Having a Party” is fun, of course, but the Steven Van Zandt-written “I Don’t Want to Go Home” has more depth and soul. And it’s also a perfect concert song, since it’s about transcending the problems in your life, even if momentarily, through music, and finding a sense of community in a theater or nightclub
As great as the Jukes’ version of “Having a Party” is, it’s a cover of a Sam Cooke song that was already a big hit for Cooke. But their “I Don’t Want to Go Home” is so definitive I don’t think any other artists have ever even tried to put their own stamp on it. (I can’t think of one, anyway).
Below is a great 1978 performance of it, with an enthusiastic Bruce Springsteen guesting, at the Agora in Cleveland (the Boss was in town for an E Street Band show at the Richfield Coliseum).
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.
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