Filmmaker Dennis Laverty is on a quest to tell the epic story of Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes in a series of documentaries utilizing previously existing but, in many cases, rare footage. As previously posted on NJArts.net, Part 1 covered the band’s early years, Part 2 picked up the story from 1979 to 1991, and Part 3 is on its way. (Meanwhile, a separate film is devoted to the band’s 2001 Jukestock convention in Tinton Falls.)
While locked down at home due to the pandemic, recently, Linda Thebold — who runs the Southside Johnny fan group page, Jukebox, on Facebook — came across some old VHS tapes and sent them to Laverty. He will use some of the content in Part 3. But a 1990 clip of Southside Johnny appearing on the TNN television series, “American Music Shop,” was too late for Part 2, so he has put it online on its own, and I have embedded it below. This clip was not previously available on YouTube or any other outlet that I’m aware of.
Laverty said Thebold had the show on two different tapes. “One had good video, but bad sound,” he said. “The other tape had sound but not as good video. With software editing, I was able to put together all the songs Southside sang on the show. Special thanks to Linda for trusting me with her collection.”
In the nearly 13-minute clip, Southside is backed by an all-star group of Nashville-based musicians – dobro player Jerry Douglas, keyboardist Matt Rollings, drummer Harry Stinson and others — and duets with fellow Jersey native Eddie Rabbitt on the Dion hit, “The Wanderer.” He also performs his own moody ballad “Sirens of the Night” (from his 1988 album, Slow Dance) and — in the segment that will probably be of the most interest to hardcore Southside fans — sings the rollicking rock song, “The Ballad of Sue & Earl,” which he co-wrote with Bobby Bandiera. At the beginning of this number, which starts at the 5:38 mark, Southside says that he hasn’t recorded this song yet “but if we ever make another album, this will be on it.” Yet I don’t believe Southside ever released a studio version.
Laverty asks that anyone who has footage that may be useful for Part 3 contact him via Facebook Messenger; his Facebook page is facebook.com/dennis.laverty.94.
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