Southside Johnny pays tribute to Ronnie Spector with guest singer Layonne Holmes at Stone Pony

southside layonne

Southside Johnny and Layonne Holmes perform together at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, Feb. 12.

Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes paid tribute to the late, legendary Ronnie Spector — with the help of singer Layonne Holmes — at “Stupid Cupid,” their annual Valentine’s Day Week show at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, Feb. 12.

About halfway through the show, Holmes guested on “You Mean So Much to Me” — the Bruce Springsteen-written song that Southside and the Jukes recorded for their 1976 debut album, I Don’t Want to Go Home — as well as “Be My Baby” and “Don’t Worry Baby.” She then returned for the encores, “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” and “Having a Party.”

“Be My Baby,” of course, was Spector’s signature hit, originally recorded when she was a member of The Ronettes, in 1963.

“Don’t Worry Baby,” written by Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys as a sort of homage to “Be My Baby,” was recorded by Spector in 1999 for her She Talks to Rainbows EP. And Spector recorded the Billy Joel-written “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” with the E Street Band for a 1977 single.

Linda Tartaglione Thebold has shared a video of most of the show on Facebook. You can see it here. “You Mean So Much to Me,” “Don’t Worry Baby” and “Be My Baby” can be seen at the 2:45 mark, and “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” and “Having a Party” at an hour and 12 minutes.

Southside introduced the first segment with Holmes after mentioning that Spector had toured with the band, and had sung on “You Mean So Much to Me.”

Spector “was such a great person, and such a dynamic person,” he said.

He also talked a little about “You Mean So Much to Me.” He remembered being at the Record Plant studio in New York with Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt, recording the first Jukes album. Engineer Jimmy Iovine was also there, and was talking to Spector on the phone.

Iovine had met Spector by working on John Lennon’s 1975 Rock ‘n’ Roll album, which Phil Spector produced, Southside told the Stone Pony crowd.

“I said, ‘Who is that you’re talkin’ to?’ ” Southside continued. “He said, ‘It’s Ronnie Spector.’ And Bruce stood up! And Steven stood up! And I stood up! And we said, ‘Get her down here tomorrow, we want to hear her sing.’ So we spent all night re-writing this song for a duet for Ronnie Spector, and it was one of the highlights of my life.”


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