Asbury Angels Induction Show Starring The Ventures, The Weeklings, More, Fri. 1/18 at Stone Pony
Pat DiNizio, the Smithereens leader who passed away a year ago, tops this year's class of Asbury Angels inductees announced annually at Light of DayWinterFest, the 10-day festival which this past weekend launched its 19th year of raising money and awareness through the awesome power of music in order to defeat Parkinson's Disease and the Parkinsonisms, ALS and PSP, in our lifetime.
The lives of DiNizio and his fellow departed 2019 classmates Obie Dziedzic, an assistant toBruce Springsteen in his early years; Asbury Park musician Gladstone Trott; and music journalist "Uncle Mike" Lisa, will be remembered and celebrated at the annual Asbury Angels Induction show, Friday, Jan. 18 at the Legendary Stone Pony, 913 Ocean Ave., in Asbury Park, to kick off the final weekend of LIGHT OF DAY WINTERFEST '19, presented by the Asbury Park Press.
Quintessential '60s "surf band" The Ventures ("Walk Don't Run," "Hawaii Five-O"), the best-selling instrumental band in rock history, and The Weeklings, America's most unique tribute to the music and "muse" of The Beatles, as well as surf, spy and western instrumental power trio Black Flamingoes top the bill at the Asbury Angels Induction show, which honors and memorializes the lives and history of members of the Asbury Park musical community, "including but not limited to, musicians, tech support persons, DJs, journalists, club owners, record company personnel, managers and promoters." One of the most anticipated events at LOD WinterFest, the Asbury Angels show is a four-hour marathon featuring more than a half dozen acts, on alternating electric and acoustic stages, celebrating the newest honorees. Other performers will include The Billy Walton Band, Milly, Boccigalupe & the Bad Boys, Bobby Mahoney & The Seventh Son andMike Rocket, along with an acoustic stage that will feature a tribute to long-time Light of Day artist and supporter, Pat Toner, who passed away last year. Doors open 7 p.m. Tickets $28 advance/$33 day of show at www.stoneponyonline.com, Ticketmaster, and at (732) 502-0600.
The new inductees were selected by a blue-ribbon panel of music industry professionals and historians. Criteria used included significant contribution to the creative music community and impact on that community; and the length of time spent on the Asbury Park music scene. Those eligible for induction this year and in future years include musicians, songwriters, disc jockeys, writers, technical support staff and club and venue owners. They must have been deceased at least one year.
The inductees will be recognized in the upcoming year with plaques on the city's "Boardwalk of Fame" by the Asbury Angels Project, which seeks to memorialize those who have made important contributions to the city's musical legacy. There are currently more than 50 plaques along the Boardwalk. This will be the eighth Asbury Angels class.
DiNizio, a native of Scotch Plains, performed at Light of Day WinterFest as a solo artist in 2015 and returned with the Smithereens the following year to headline Bob's Birthday Bash and kick off a yearlong 30th anniversary of the release of its multi-platinum major label debut, Especially ForYou. To mark the occasion, the band highlighted their jazzy baroque stylings by adding horn and string sections to the presentation. He played in Asbury Park throughout his career, both with the Smithereens and solo at the Langosta Lounge, where he staged his "Confessions of a Rock Star" show in a weekly residency in 2014 and '15.
"[When] I played Light of Day for the first time [solo acoustic] ... it was one of my most memorable performing experiences in that I've seldom seen an audience that responsive to virtually every performer," said DiNizio in anticipation of the 2016 Smithereens show. "It was simply electric.
"Parkinson's disease could happen to anybody at any time," he continued. "We know people and have supporters of the band who are stricken with this disease who come to the shows. Obviously, we have a lot of empathy for anyone who's suffering. This is one of the good events for a good charitable cause."
Dziedzic was called the Boss' first and "No. 1 fan'' by Springsteen himself, and also served as a confidante who helped Springsteen purchase his first car and house. She passed way in May of 2017 at the age of 65, and also played a managerial role for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.
Trott was an Asbury Park native who played at venues at the Jersey Shore and New York City, and often at St. Augustine Episcopal Church in Asbury Park. Michael Lisa covered the Asbury Park music scene for the Two River Times newspaper of Red Bank in the 1990s and early 2000s, as the longtime author of its rock music column "Night Grooves" under the byline "Uncle Mike." The column became a must-read for the denizens of the Jersey Shore music scene. He died of cancer in September 2017 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Photo credit: Mark Weiss