Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

The Weeklings To Release New LP 3

The Weeklings To Release New LP 3

Don't let The Weeklings fool you, spawned in Asbury Park, NJ, the foursome have become an impressive rock 'n' roll ensemble, at once classic but thoroughly up to the moment. The Weeklings will release the new studio album, 3 on January 17 via Marty Scott's legendary indie Jem Records. Today, they share the video for "I Want You Again", evoking the 60's era of jangling guitars, winsome harmonies, and indelible melodies. Watch below!

The Weeklings are a five-year-old band but each member has over five decades of musical and touring experience. Veteran rocker Glen Burtnik (Lefty Weekling) boasts an impressive resume ranging from a series of solo albums on A&M and becoming a member of Styx, to writing hit songs like Patty Smythe and Don Henley's "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Good Enough," and Randy Travis' "Spirit of a Boy, Wisdom of a Man". The left-handed bassist, who played Paul McCartney opposite Marshall Crenshaw's John Lennon in the Broadway production of Beatlemania, takes on a similar role opposite band co-founder, guitarist and vocalist Bob Burger (Zeke Weekling).

The two teamed to co-write most the band's originals, with Burtnik penning the majority of the music as "the starter," and Burger, the lion's share of the lyrics as "the finisher. "We've been collaborating for more than 30 years, but we were never in the same band," says Burtnik.

"This is just a straight-out rock 'n' roll record," adds Burger, an Erie, PA, native transplanted to New Jersey, having credits that include performing with Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Jon Bon Jovi. "It turned out Glen and I had very similar musical tastes and influences. We liked all the same bands. We come from the same roots. That's why our styles are so simpatico."

The two remaining key elements for any great rock and roll band, a killer drummer and a brilliant guitarist came into view when Glen met Brooklyn-born lead guitarist/singer/songwriter John Merjave (Rocky Weekling) at one of the annual Fest for Beatles Fans, where he also ran into Ringo-channeling drummer/singer Joe Bellia (Smokestack Weekling).

The Weeklings recorded their previous album, and several cuts on this one, at London's famed Abbey Road Studio 2, and include many rare, previously unreleased Beatles gems in their repertoire. The title track hits you with a harder edge than what you'd expect. John Merjave's "1000 Miles" boosts a rockabilly feel reminiscent of Dave Edmunds' Rockpile. "Change Your Mind" and "In the Moment" lean towards 80's FM Classic Rock. "Baby Let Me Take You Home" has a nascent power-pop feel that recalls groups like Badfinger, the Raspberries and Cheap Trick. Their powerful cover of the Easybeats' classic "Friday on My Mind" features Herman's Hermit's lead singer Peter Noone and the closing "765... (4321)" channels a bluesy, Chuck Berry vibe, evoking Brit Invasion stalwarts like the Stones, T. Rex and The Move.

"We tried to turn back the time machine and act like we were writing for '60s pop culture," explains Burtnik about the impetus to start the group in 2014. We hope that we appeal to those who remember this music and 20-year-olds at the same time." The Weeklings summon the spirit of The Beatles and the '60s without the wigs and costumes of tribute bands, which is no small feat. Instead they imbue the music of The Beatles and their own stunning compositions with brilliant performance and exuberant personality.

Merjave (Rocky) effortlessly channels George Harrison's licks on "I Want You Again" and "I Got the Love", while many of the songs include hidden "Easter eggs" for true Beatles fans. "Rocky is a true Beatles' musicologist when it comes to guitar parts and tones of that era," says Burtnik.

Bellia (Smokestack) has toured and recorded with fellow Jersey natives Jon Bon Jovi and Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes (former Asbury Jukes trumpet player Tony Pallagrosi is the band's manager) as well as British rock icon, Dave Mason and is an expert in the Ringo Starr school of drumming. Listen to his powerful drum fills in "In The Moment". All four also perform as members of longtime E-Street Band drummer Max Weinberg's Jukebox.

With a 2020 touring slate that includes Light of Day Foundation performances and Beatles fests, their music is frequently played on Little Steven's Sirius/XM Underground Garage, earning "Top 10 Coolest Songs in the World" designations for 2016 and 2018. They can also be heard on The Beatles Channel as well as terrestrial stations around the world!

"The Beatles created a template for us all as writers and players," says Burtnik, "from 'I Saw Her Standing There' to 'I Am the Walrus', both of which the band plays live. That frees us up to go in any number of musical directions."

"Like Mozart and Beethoven, The Beatles music has and will be around a long time," adds Burger. "That was unthinkable back in the '60s when I was a kid. I never dreamed we'd still be doing this at our age. It's still a lot of fun."

Tour Dates:

Jan 10 - Montclair, NJ @ Outpost in the Burbs (Acoustic - Light of Day WinterFest Tour 2020)

Jan 11 - Philadelphia, PA @ City Winery

Jan 15 - New York City, NY @ The Cutting Room (Light of Day WinterFest Tour 2020)

Jan 17 - Asbury Park, NJ @ The Stone Pony (Record Release Show - Light of Day WinterFest Tour 2020)

Jan 18 - Asbury Park, NJ @ Paramount Theater (Light of Day WinterFest Tour 2020)

Jan 24 - Pawling, NY @ Daryl's House

Jan 25 - Hagerstown, MD @ Maryland Theatre, w/ Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone

Feb 1 - Shirley, MA @ The Bull Run



Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

Related Articles View More Music Stories

From This Author TV News Desk