Friday, July 18, 2014
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons!
My parents loved music in their later years. In their earlier years when I was a kid discovering their taste (Mitch Miller?)there were record albums around but nothing of any significance. In the later years they attended what are called "pop concerts" involving the local Symphony in which mostly has beens would come and sing for 3 days to a bunch of old people. Now that I'm an old person I completely get it but at the time ehhhhhh. After my Dad died, my mother continued to go to the "pop concerts" and on occasion would drag me along. Well maybe not dragged because I loved it.
One Sunday afternoon (oh those old people 2pm matinees), shortly before she got sick, the pop concert involved Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. I went with her.
For godsakes these guys had some monster hits. Besides being struck by the diminutive stature of Frankie Valli (Johnny Sack didn't call him the Mayor of MunchkinLand for nuthin)I could not believe how much this 73 year old man made me see what it was about the Four Seasons that made the perhaps THE most unique group in rock history.
Geez, Max's Dad, you've never mentioned these guys before, what's up? Well I just went to see Jersey Boys, the movie, not the stage play. Not having seen the stage production and having no reason to holler how awful Clint Eastwood's movie is, let's just say I gave it a thumbs up. Having known nothing of their story the movie set me straight. And reminded me of the monster hits these guys had.
I don't know why but its something about the musical arrangement that makes it stunning to me. The opening drums, the harmonies, the dinner bell, the ooooooooo ooooooooo. Wow. And goddam, this song hit #1 for two weeks in 1964. 1964? Do you know how fucking hard it was the dethrone the Beatles in 1964? But this song did it.
Yeah I know its solo on Frankie Valli's part but for my purposes it counts. I hated this song in 1978 or whenever and I still can't stand it now. For crissakes, check out the clip, Frankie he looks like Tony Montana. Before there even was a Tony Montana.
Can't Take My Eyes Off You
Again, I know it's a solo effort, but since Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe wrote it, it counts. Do you know how many times this has been covered? Thousands. The song is brilliantly written, brilliantly performed and who doesn't scream out "I LOVE YOU BABY" when the appropriate part comes up on Spotify or the local oldies station? It's a classic, their masterpiece and Christopher Walken sings the shit out of it in The Deer Hunter. And he's in Jersey Boys. How can that not be a sign?