Johnny's Jive



Well boys and girls, once again the holidays are upon us like a plague of suppurating boils. Troops of carolers hold us spellbound at our front doors with their angelic harmonies while their comrades transport most of our valuables out the back. Jolly, rotund Santas exude cheap whiskey and false bonhomie as they terrify children in shopping malls across this meshuggenah land. Speaking of crazy, in homey parlors filled with the scent of latkes and kreplach, grouchy grandpas are tripping over errant dreidels and snapping angle bones in a time-honored tradition. I don’t know what the Kwanza folks are up to, but I’m sure it involves family, and we all know what that means. Family members of every race and region are happily at each other’s throats in the true spirit of the season.

Why Uncle Southside has to endure all this cheer is a question for the ages and sages. I guess I musta done somethin’ wrong in a previous life.

But on to more gladsome tidings. As we speak, (or I type, anyway) we Poor Fools are girding our collective loins in preparation for some studio recording. Soozie looks especially fetching with her loins girded. I think she’s sporting a little number by Vera Wang. She always looks good in leather. We hope to have something ready for the gladiola and tulip season. That’s spring, for the florally-impaired. There will be some covers and some new songs and if you’re not nice, I’ll play guitar, so watch it. I’d like to take this soooo apropos moment to thank all the peoples who came to our Fools shows. And no, you can’t get your money back. Shut up with that, already.

On the Asbury Jukes front there will be a new CD of mostly original material, uh… any day now, any day now. Jeff and I are in the tortuous process of writing songs and trying mightily not to kill each other. Angst; another word for inspiration. Right, Kazeezal? But to hold you over till that blessed day when another Jukes excrescence hits the fan… I mean stands, there will also be a CD of the live “Men Without Women” set we did at the Pony in July. The band sounds great. I, on the other hand, sound like a wounded water buffalo playing a vuvuzela. But hey; ya get watcha get, know what I mean? It should be ready by summer.

Now let’s see, what has ole Southy missed? We will be at the Basie in Red Bank for New Years, but they know that. I’m surprised you do, you hopeless goofball. I’d like to thank all the sweet fans in the front row who gave me Gentleman Jack and other goodies for me boithday. Oh Baby, you knooooow what I like!

Thanks for all the kind words about Bill. He was a wonderful fellow and is sorely missed. And it looks like I will be with a bunch of friends (and Gary Bonds, who doesn’t qualify as a friend) down in Norfolk Va. in January to play at a tribute to Clarence. Don’t miss it if you can.

Other than that, I will be working my tired old tuchus off with both the Jukes and the Poor Fools all next year on the road, so have a little pity for the old Guv and drop an ice cube in his drink.

Happy Holidays… if you must.


Hey kids. It's ole Uncle South back from the asylum Yep, they granted me another work furlough so's I could do the summer gigs. They must be the crazy ones.

Before we get to the fun stuff, two items. First, thanks to all the good folks who dropped by to see Kevin Kavanaugh at the hospital or wrote him notes or just had him in their thoughts. Kevin is Mr. Sociable, so all the input he can get helps a lot. And thanks to the musos and audience at the Wonder Bar for their generous contributions. That helps, also.

It is sad for me to report the the incredible Joey Stann will not be touring with us this year. He has some things he needs to take care of at home and he also needs a break from touring. He has been a stalwart Juke for decades, and I know youse guys will miss him as much as we will, but we wish him well and I'm sure he will reappear at various and sundry gigs in the future. He will be playing with the Soul Cruisers and other units, so please catch them and him and say hello. He'd appreciate it.

Now as to the Jukes this summer. As I stated in some other cosmos, we will be playing the entire "Men Without Women" lp at the Stone Pony this 4th of July holiday. I just listened to it again in the car today and can not believe it wasn't a huge hit. Great songs, great arrangements and a killer band, along with the most compelling authentic vocals I have ever heard from Steven Van Zandt. Oh; speaking of Steve, go to Youtube and find the trailer for his new Norwegian TV opus "Lillehammer". It looks like a killer (pun intended) show. As gritty as the Sopranos but with more humour.

I hope to hell it gets to American TV. If it don't, I'm ona have ta see a guy I know to convince HBO to air it. Know what I mean?

There are plans in the works for a follow up to "Pills and Ammo', an acoustic record and who knows what else. Plus many gigs in which we can collectively lose our minds. So let's hope the rain stops and the temp goes up and we all get sunburned and stupid together for the next three months. Then...back to school with the lot of ya.

The Jives