Four Seasons Joe Long dies at 88
I never know what’s going to happen when I start my show on New Jersey 101.5. Today I was informed by Tony Newell of the Jersey Four that Joe Long of the Four Seasons deceased at the age of 88. Joe had fought COVID. I had the pleasure of interviewing Joe at a Jersey Four concert and playing with him when the band took me on stage at iPlay America. He was a really great guy and a class number.
Here is the story of this Sunday, which I wrote on February 21, 2019:
February 9 marked the 55th anniversary of the Beatles’ appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. Back then, in 1964 in New Jersey, the Four Seasons were so big that VeeJay’s records came out with an album called “The Beatles against the four seasons” with each group of songs on each side. It was in 1965 that Joe long replaced Nick Massi who left the band on bass. I met Long who is now the Music Director of the Jersey Four, a Four Seasons Tribute Band at iPlay America and we talked about his time with the originals: “It was awesome, it was fantastic, I got to walk in. down there on the first floor, that was something no one could ever forget. “
Long stayed with them during the transition from the pop era, through the psychedelic era and until their disco resurgence in the mid-1970s. How was it for Long?
“Sometimes it was impossible,” Long said. “We had a time where we were so desperate, we recorded things like ‘Watch The Flowers Grow’. There was the ‘Genuine Imitation Life Gazette’, it was my favorite album, bar none, I was so proud of this album that Bob Gaudio gave me the co-producer credit for it. “Then came the era of disco and“ Who Loves You, ”which was the last song Long recorded with the band.
Of all the songs Long recorded with the band, his favorite was “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”. “Not only was it a great album,” Long said, “but the most important thing about the song was that it separated the band from a teen bopper band, to a band that appealed to adults. suddenly, a thousand doors opened for us. “The Four Seasons were the first rock band to perform the Empire Room at the Waldorf Astoria, the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, it opened the band to a whole new audience. .
Long has seen Jersey Boys and likes the play much better than the movie. The portrayal of the characters was accurate, but what they did on screen may not have been as accurate. “Long looks like the movie was about 50% accurate in terms of the timeline.” They took liberties but of course they had to. “
Now Long is spending his time as Music Director of the “Jersey Four”. If you’re looking to see a Four Seasons tribute band that sounds exactly like them, you must see The Jersey four. If you’re lucky Joe Long can be there and maybe he’ll tell you some stories!
The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. All opinions expressed are those of Steve. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday through Thursday 7pm to 11pm. Follow him on twitter @realstevetrev.
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