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Story Behind The Song: "Arizona Sky"
by Diego Allessandro

originally published: 10/08/2018

Story Behind The Song: "Arizona Sky" by Diego Allessandro

From the corporate strip mall wastelands of suburbia in Central New Jersey, Diego Allessandro's trademark sound blending Americana with 80s and 90s pop and 2000s punk has earned him two nominations in the Asbury Music Awards Top Americana Band category with his former band Lot 25. He's back with This American Life - his first full length solo effort since 2014's The Losin' Kind. He's shared the video for "Arizona Sky" with New Jersey Stage and provides us with the story behind the song.

The story behind the song: "Early 2017 I was working at a Best Buy store in Monmouth County and it was deader than dead," explained Allessandro. "I went almost two hours with nothing to do except wait for someone to come in and buy toner or something. I just remember thinking, 'This can't be it. All the hard work I put in in school, all the things I had to over come...for this? To make someone else rich? To sell so my asshole managers get a bigger bonus on top of a livable wage and health benefits? There has to be something different, something better.'"

"I was beyond angry at that point," he continued. "You have to understand I come from a generation that was used as a political pawn in the 90s, all anyone ever said was 'we have to leave a better world for out kids' while they were stripping everything away and selling it to the highest bidder. I was told all throughout my childhood 'stay out of trouble, work hard in school and there'll be a job waiting for you when you graduate.' Nobody said anything about experience but we knew, we knew in the mid-90s just how screwed we were."

"That night as I lay in bed after working from 9:45am through to 9 at night because someone decided to call out and we were short staffed and knowing full well I had to go in to close the next day; it was the closest I ever came to just piling my guitars and gear in my car and just driving until I found something I didn't hate," he explained. "When I wrote the song I was just writing about the frustration of feeling so powerless because if you say anything you get fired, if you try to unionize you get fired, if you demand fair wages and benefits you get fired. I quit a few months later when they brought someone else in from outside the company to work a full time sales position I had went out for, I was done after that. I wasn't gonna stay in a job where I was putting up amazing sales numbers every month and seeing nothing come back my way. It made me less than a pleasant person to be around and after I told them to go screw and quit, I was back to my old self again."

Allessandro shares how the video was created:  "I had some stock clips I had collected over the past year or so trying to put something together for this song. It's fun playing around with audio whether it's radio or music, sometimes it's fun to mess around with visuals too. I'm less knowledgeable about Premier and Photoshop than I am with Presonus StudioOne and Adobe Audition but it's fun to see what you can come up with to marry the image to the audio. It's great to have places you can go to get clips and stuff to put something like this together and I am very thankful to those who post those sites and allow others like me to use their stuff to put something together. I'm honestly not the biggest fan of doing videos, 25/30 years ago totally different story. But in the modern industry it's, especially if you're a label artist, throwing a lot of good money out for non-existent results but at the indie. DIY level you can do something cool or artsy without sacrificing anything and no one is looking over your shoulder so to speak and saying 'we can't market this so you can't do it.' When I did this I wanted you to feel like you were on a road trip with this guy in the car thinking about the things he left behind."



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About This American Life: "I'm extremely proud of it, I think it's my best album thus far and I'm at point in my life where I am creating what is my best work," added Allessandro. "I at this point have put out five studio albums and four singles. That's 51 songs now, each one I stand by 100% and over three hours of music and I feel I'm just now scratching the surface of my potential. I'm excited, I'm focused, I'm proud and I am scared shitless. I worked hard on every second to make it the best album it can be, the best you'll ever hear. I hope that anyone who checks it out or purchases it finds in it, something they latch onto, something that makes them feel something. Ultimately that's my job; to make you feel something. I won't stop trying to make the best album you've ever heard, regardless if that's an obtainable goal or not. Why aim for mediocrity? Why not aim at something more lofty? So, yeah; I want people to know that I go to that place that thrills me, scares me, beats me, haunts me and breaks me so they won't have to, so they won't be alone if they do; I can take it. It's the cost for my having this mind, this heart and this soul and that tax man always comes around to collect."

For more on Diego Allessandro visit www.diegoa.net



If you are a musician interested in being part of our Story Behind The Song series contact us at: info@newjerseystage.com



 





50 Years of Cream Comes to Count Basie Theatre
"It's going over really well I think," says Will Johns of Cream. "We've got a really nice range of age groups coming to the shows and a lot of young guitar players as well; which is really great to see; every young guitar player that I know plays that riff from, "Sunshine of Your Love." 
Outpost in the Burbs presents The Lone Bellow
(MONTCLAIR, NJ) --  Outpost in the Burbs presents The Lone Bellow with opener Naia Izumi on Saturday, November 3rd at 8:00pm. This concert will take place at the First Congregational Church, 40 South Fullerton Avenue.
Art of Sound presents Lindsey Webster
(LAMBERTVILLE, NJ) -- The Art of Sound presents Lindsey Webster on Wednesday, November 14th at 7:00pm as part of their much-applauded "Unplugged" series.  Webster, a truly sultry and soulful, young singer/composer, who has scored two Billboard #1’s on the Contemporary Jazz Chart, is the first vocalist in the Contemporary Jazz format to garner a #1 since the iconic SADE! 
Hope 10 - The Final Hope Concert To Take Place On December 23
(RED BANK, NJ) -- Musician, bandleader and community icon Bobby Bandiera and the Count Basie Center for the Arts have announced details for HOPE 10 – THE FINAL HOPE CONCERT. The annual charity concert, which has raised millions for area community organizations, will take place at the Basie Center on Sunday, December 23. Tickets range from $50 to $500.
Mayo Presents Puddles Pity Party
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Puddles Pity Party -- The "Sad Clown with the Golden Voice" -- comes to Mayo Performing Arts Center with his heartfelt anthems and a suitcase full of Kleenex!  Puddles Pity Party performs on Wednesday, November 14 at 7:30pm. Tickets range from $35-$55.


Cliffside Park, NJ Celebrates "Cousin Bruce Morrow Day!"
A crowd of local residents and dignitaries gathers outside Public School #6 in Cliffside, NJ on this beautiful fall evening. They are all awaiting the arrival of the “man of the hour” — celebrated radio DJ Bruce Morrow — since Mayor Thomas Calabrese has proclaimed today, October 5, 2018, “Cousin Bruce Morrow Day!”
Cynthia Sayer and Her Joyride Quartet LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
The audience is already in place this Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018 at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts for a special “Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon” performance by Cynthia Sayer and Her Joyride Quartet entitled The Hot Banjo Show!
Whitney Houston Exhibit Opens at The GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center
Interviews with Pat Houston, President of The Estate of Whitney E. Houston and Bob Santelli, Founding Executive Director of the Grammy Museum
"Very Happy!" The Buckinghams and Cowsills Star in Cousin Brucie's Rock and Roll Yearbook Vol. 2 LIVE!
Fall is in the air at Homdel, NJ’s PNC Bank Arts Center this Friday, September 28, 2018 evening as thousands of ’60s music lovers ready themselves forCousin Brucie’s Rock and Roll Yearbook Vol. 2! The show — produced by Cousin Brucie, along with Rob Albanese and the Garden State Arts Center Foundation — features four fab acts from the 1960s: The Buckinghams, The Cowsills, Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, and The Orlons!
“Brilliant!” The Young Dubliners LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s a mild Saturday, September 29, 2019 evening as fans of Celtic rock are streaming into Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts for a concert by The Young Dubliners.










Event calendar
Sunday, Oct 21, 2018


MUSIC

DiTrani Bros: Folk, Swing, Jazz, Ragtime!! @ Roxy and Dukes Roadhouse, Dunellen - 7:00pm

Jazz Guitarist Abe Ovadia @ Englewood Public Library, Englewood - 7:00pm

Gypsy Jazz Brunch with Pyrenesia and Max Hansen Buffet @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

Dryden Ensemble: Bach Cantata Fest @ Miller Chapel (Princeton), Princeton - 3:00pm

Suzzanne Douglas @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 7:30pm


THEATRE

The Ghost Princess @ Pax Amicus Castle Theatre, Budd Lake - 2:00pm

The Shuck @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 3:00pm

CDC Theatre presents A Few Good Men @ CDC Theatre, Cranford - 2:00pm

Wait Until Dark @ Somerset Valley Playhouse, Hillsborough - 8:00pm

World Premier of, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, A Horror of a Play @ Forum Theatre (Metuchen), Metuchen - 3:00pm

The Color Purple @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 1:30pm and 7:00pm

Almost, Maine @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 2:00pm

Black Tom Island @ The 1882 Carriage House, Liberty Hall Museum, Union - 3:00pm

*Uncle Vanya, Scenes from a Jersey Life in Four Acts @ Hudson Theatre Works, Weehawken - 7:00pm

Black Coffee by Agatha Christie @ Westfield Community Players, Westfield - 2:00pm







DANCE

DRACULA - THE ATLANTIC CITY BALLET @ The Strand Theater, Lakewood - 4:00pm


FILM

A conversation with John Cusack Following a screening of Say Anything @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 7:00pm


KIDS

Summit Farmers Market Pumpkin Painting @ Summit Farmers Market, Summit - 10:00am


POETRY

The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival @ Victoria Theater @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 9:00am


MISC

HAUNTED ILLUSIONS LIVE @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 3:00pm

THE MAGIC OF BILL BLAGG LIVE! @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 2:00pm

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