Bassists don’t always have the biggest stage presence. But Louis “Mr. Lou” DeMartino had an ebullient, outgoing way of performing that made him stand out in any project he was a part of.
“For me, as a bandmate and a bandleader, it was just so much fun for me to have him onstage,” said Joe D’Urso, whose band, Stone Caravan, included DeMartino for the last 15 years. “He loved performing, and whenever I was talking and didn’t know what to say or something, I would just throw it over to Mr. Lou, and he would usually come up with some funny quip and get me through to the next song.”
DeMartino, a Millburn resident who grew up in Parsippany, died in July, of an asthma attack. He will be remembered at “Concert for Mr. Lou,” a memorial and benefit taking place from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park.
“Everybody loved Lou,” said Joe Grushecky, who will be one of the performers. “He was a really good musician, and an even better human being. He was just a sweetheart.”
“You don’t meet too many Mr. Lou’s in your life; I look forward to meeting the next one, because this one was really great,” said D’Urso. “He was just a real special person. Lou was a very honest and soulful and kind person. It sounds so simplistic but it’s really true. He was always asking how you were more so than he would ever tell you how he was doing. We live in such a narcissistic society, and I think he was a breath of fresh air for a lot of folks.”
Performers at the benefit will include D’Urso and Stone Caravan, Grushecky, Eddie Manion, Vincent Pastore, Bobby Mahoney, Jon Caspi & the First Gun (featuring Dez Cadena of Black Flag and The Misfits), Bronze Fondue, Jason Didner and Tim O’Donohue.
One of DeMartino’s former bands, Bouncing Off Bob, will reunite for some songs. Other bands DeMartino played with over the years included Bronze Fondue, Boss Gremlin and Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam.
There will be music and speeches from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., a buffet lunch from 2 to 2:30, and then more music and speeches until 5, said D’Urso. Admission will be $20 (at the door only); proceeds will be used to cover funeral costs, with the remainder going to DeMartino’s favorite charities.
For information, visit stoneponyonline.com.
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