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#31 Jon Caspi: Eddie Knows!

By Gary Wien

originally published: 01/26/2012

Who would have thought a song like “What Does Eddie Know?” from I’m Not Angry... Anymore could inspire an entire rock and roll concept album?  Perhaps more surprising is the fact that it led to a rock and roll concept album that actually works!

Eddie Knows! is described as a “rock and roll novel” with each song detailing a chapter  in the story.  Basically, it’s your usual boy meets girl, boy and girl break up, boy falls into depression then meets woman whom he falls in love with (but can never have a family with since she’s infertile), and concludes with a visit by his old girlfriend who has surprising news for him.  You know, that old story.

Played out in song, it’s an adventurous tale that largely succeeds where so many similar projects have failed.  Starting out with the sounds of the boardwalk that kick off the song “How It All Went Down,” Caspi introduces the characters and sets up the story.

For a project like this to work, songs need to be able to stand on their own while adding to the story as a whole.  Caspi accomplishes this masterfully.  Songs like “Drive,” “Same Old Thing,” “Rising Above,” “Big Change,” and “Anyone Else There?” are just as effective as radio singles as they are important components of the story; meanwhile songs like “Make It A Lifetime” and “I Will Be There” are memorable theatrical numbers.

Caspi doesn’t try to copy rock and roll conceptual albums of the past; nor does he try to emulate any well known Broadway musicals.  Instead, by combining attributes of both, he creates his own little niche. 

In 2009, Caspi took the project one step further with a true theatrical production of the album at the Showroom in Asbury Park.



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Highlights include “How It All Went Down,” “Drive,” “Rising Above,” “Big Change,” “Anyone Else There,” and “Picture In Her Pocket.”


From the book Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists by Gary Wien


Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station Asbury Music. He can be contacted at gary@newjerseystage.com.


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Event calendar
Sunday, May 19, 2019


MUSIC

Believe: A Fundraiser Benefit for Marilyn's Place @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 4:00pm

Tash Sultana @ The Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park - 6:00pm

Will Martin Sings Dean Martin @ Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 3:00pm

MICHAEL BOLTON @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:00pm

Band Together for Veterans @ Bar Anticipation, Lake Como - 1:00pm

ART OF THE DOUBLE CONCERTO - NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 3:00pm

Carmina Burana New Jersey Youth Symphony 40th Anniversary Concert @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 3:00pm

Derek Bermel's Mango Suite @ Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton - 4:00pm

Laurie Berkner, Solo @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 3:00pm

Grace Morrison at Riverside!! @ Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme, Succasunna - 4:00pm

The Bronx Wanderers @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 5:00pm and 8:00pm







THEATRE

Frost/Nixon @ Pax Amicus Castle Theatre, Budd Lake - 2:00pm

Surfing My DNA @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 2:00pm

Camelot @ Algonquin Arts Theatre, Manasquan - 3:00pm

She Loves Me! @ The Summit Playhouse, Summit - 2:00pm

Morir Sonyando @ Passage Theatre Company, Trenton - 3:00pm

Rapunzel @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 1:30pm and 3:30pm

MET Encore: Dialogues des Carmelites @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 1:00pm


DANCE

Roxey Ballet Presents Cinderella @ The College Of New Jersey’s Kendall Main Stage Theater, Ewing - 2:00pm

Kick Dance Studios presents I LOVE the 90s @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 1:00pm


KIDS

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY @ Brook Arts Center, Bound Brook - 2:00pm

Double Dare Live @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 1:00pm and 7:00pm


SPIRITUAL

Transform Your Thoughts & Heal Yourself Spiritually @ 10 Colonial Court, Hainesport, NJ 08036, Hainesport - 1:30pm

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