The Rascals were Van Zandt’s first rock-and-roll love. He inducted them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, saying, “Some people may not realize it, but the Rascals were the first rock band in the world… in the real world, in the center of the universe—New Jersey.” He first saw them at the Keyport Roller Drome in 1965. “They were fantastic, wild,” he said. Hearing “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore” on the radio for the first time, he’d found it “sexier than the sex I was having with my girlfriend.” He concluded, “To sound that black, you had to be Italian.” (The New Yorker)
Thanks to sista-n-law Nancy, we are booked for the (Less-Than-Young) Rascals in Boston in late June. She has us in one of those little boxes on the side. I'm very much looking forward to seeing this show/concert event that is the labor of love of Little Stevie Van Zandt, who, after years of trying, coaxed these guys to do a limited run on Broadway. We missed that run, but are now given a second chance.
Many compare this (unfavorably) with Jersey Boys because of the quartet of guys/era of the music thing. I will reserve my opinion of the quality of the Rascals show until I see it (liked Boys, didn't LOVE it), but as for the music, there is no comparison - Rascals, hands down. You can have your (fake) Frankie Valli with those pop falsetto songs (I admit to loving Sherry back in the day), but give me the gritty, infectious blue-eyed soul of the Rascals ANY day! The obvious risk is that it's really them, almost fifty years hence. It's a risk I'm more than willing to take, so you better slow that Mustang down!