Boccigalupe and the Bad Boys are ready to take their act across the globe. Their debut CD, It's My Turn Now!, will be released on Sound City Records and available in stores everywhere on March 9th. For Tony Amato, his first major record deal is better late than never.
Tony Amato, or Boccigalupe as he's better known, has been playing in Jersey Shore based bands since the '70s. Two of which, Cahoots and the George Theiss Band, were on the verge of signing record deals but something always seemed to happen to screw things up. Nevertheless, Amato kept doing what he loves doing - playing live - night after night in bars across the east coast. With Boccigalupe and the Bad Boys, Amato is now the leader of the band for the first time.
"The problem was that any time before this band, I wasn't really in charge," explained Amato. "I wasn't the one making the decisions. It was always somebody else making the decisions. You can't worry about what happened or what didn't happen. What if Cahoots made it? You can't go back with what ifs. What if didn't happen. Maybe nothing would have happened, maybe I would have ended up being an accountant or working in a WaWa. I think that the way my career has gone now it ended up pretty good.
"I'm pretty happy right now. I'm not out there trying to set the world on fire, I'm just out there trying to do what I do."
The record will be slightly different than the one released independently by the band. The song "Moving On Down The Line" has been taken off the record and replaced by two live tracks and one new track. The live songs are "Until the Good Is Gone" and "It's My Turn Now!" which also appears in the original studio version. The new song is called "I Can't Take It". It's about being politically incorrect. It's also being considered, along with the title track, as the first single. According to Amato, Sound City Records has expressed interest in having the band come to California to shoot a music video. No plans have been set yet, but the band will be looking for clubs to play on their way to the west coast and back.
The band's lineup has changed a little in the last year, but Amato says that the lineup is pretty much set right now. Band members include Billy Walton, Kelly Tyrell, Tim Moss, Pete Maurer and Danny Alvaro.
Boccigalupe and the Bad Boys play good old-fashioned rock and roll, the kind that inspired the term "Sounds of Asbury Park". For the past few years, Bocci and the Boys have been playing clubs throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. With the release of It's My Turn Now!, the band will play areas they've never played before - including an 18-day tour of Europe. Thanks to the band's Asbury Park history, they are very popular with fans of Bruce Springsteen. Last year, Boccigulape and the Bad Boys were there at the start of Springsteen's Rising shows at Giants Stadium. The Bad Boys kicked off the first night of shows with a live performance on the boardwalk stage in front of tons of Springsteen fans.
"We met a lot of fans last summer with that Springsteen thing at Giants Stadium," said Amato. "Hopefully we'll be hooking up with them when we get to the U.K. That's what excites me. I'm excited about going to the United Kingdom. Getting out of the country and letting everybody hear the music. That's the exciting part because I like playing."
Bobby Strange, a Red Bank-based singer-songwriter and Charlie McInstosh will be the opening acts for Bocciagalupe and the Bad Boys on their European tour. The European part of Boccigalupe and the Bad Boys tour starts on May 20th.
Visit the band's website at www.boccigalupe.com to see when Bocci and the Boys will be coming to your town.
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 The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.