Opening the Show: PAUL WHISTLER
Gary U.S. Bonds is one of the giants of rock ‘n’ roll.
Yet, in one of the quirks of music history, it took him 20 years to finally play Asbury Park. He did so in the early ’80s, long after his hits “New Orleans” and “Quarter to Three” kept rock alive in the early ’60s.
“We did a lot of shows in and around New Jersey but Asbury Park wasn’t one of them,” said Bonds, a native of Virginia who now lives on Long Island. “Most of the clubs were exactly the same. There’s only one that I remember because people keep reminding me.”
Bonds speaks of the former Hanger night club on Route 35 in Hazlet, where he was joined on stage by Bruce Springsteen in a 1976 show there.
“I didn’t know who he was, I didn’t have a clue,” said Bonds, 76. “He wanted to sing a song and I needed a break to go to the bathroom. When his name was announced, the audience went wild. I said who the hell is this? He got up there and he was cool.”
Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt and the E Street Band wrote, produced and played on Bonds’ “Dedication” and “On the Line” comeback albums in the early ’80s. Bonds and Springsteen and Van Zandt have remained friends, and Bonds performed “Jole Blon” and “This Little Girl” with the E Street Band during the band’s 2012 shows at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
Bonds isn’t hanging it up anytime soon. He’s ready for his Home for the Holidays Bash, Saturday, Dec. 5, at McLoone’s Supper Club in Asbury Park.
“It’s December, it’s me and a bunch of my crazy friends,” Bonds said. “We’ll sit up there and have a nice jam.”
WHAT: Gary U.S. Bonds’ Home for the Holdiays Bash
WHEN: Dinner/Doors: 6pm – Show: 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5
WHERE: McLoone’s Supper Club, Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park
INFO $20 to $45. 732-774-1155; www.timmcloonessupperclub.com