New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media

Did you know NJ Stage offers FREE Event Listings? Nearly 100,000 listings were viewed in January. Be sure to add your events to our calendar and get your shows noticed!

Jeffrey Gaines at "The Beach"

By Gary Wien

originally published: 07/13/2016

Jeffrey Gaines at "The Beach"

(BELMAR, NJ) -- Talk about making lemonade from lemons! 90.5's Songwriters On The Beach series kicked off 2016 inside the Belmar Municipal Building with a view of basketball nets and bleachers rather than the beach and beach chairs, but the atmosphere somehow inspired Jeffrey Gaines to take his set into strange, new directions. The result was a tremendously fun, intimate performance by an artist unafraid to take chances -- even on the fly.

Following a strong set by 90.5 favorite Dave Mooney, Gaines appeared, staring around at the setting around him. Clearly planning for a show at the beach, he remembered how rock and roll got its start in gymnasiums across America just like this one. Thinking back to Buddy Holly, he performed "Rave On" followed by "Bye Bye Love" from the Everly Brothers. During each song, a couple was dancing 50s style. Seeing them dance inspired Gaines to keep going in the same vein, bringing out the classic "Summertime Blues" by Eddie Cochran. All through the night Gaines would throw out 10-30 seconds of a classic rock song as memories flooded his head - some he had never performed before. He was simply going with whatever came to him.

In fact, the setting clearly had Gaines strolling down Memory Lane. He talked about his days in elementary school as he towered over the class even then to high school memories of the prom and a teacher (who was just out of school herself) that he had a crush on. Regarding the prom, he responded to something Dave Mooney said while introducing a song. Mooney said he realized that what you say for a job interview was like what you say to get a prom date.

"I don't know what kind of job I'd get with what I said on prom night," laughed Gaines.

Looking around the room, he spotted inspiration sayings across from him - "If you can dream it, you can do it" - which reminded him of going to see the midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show" after the prom. He imagined Frank N Furter saying those inspirational lines.

The article continues after this ad


One of the funniest moments was when Gaines started to play a song, then stopped, remembering it was requested by a fan. "I just realized this was a Vickie song. Is Vickie out there?" He scanned the audience, but nobody responded. He then proceeded to explain how he had been messaging back and forth with a fan who "demanded" he play two songs for his girlfriend. After a while he tried again to see if Vickie or her boyfriend was anyone to be found. Apparently they had just come in from the outside. Gaines laughed when he saw the requestor, remembering that he had taken a photograph with the guy after a show once. He remembered him because he reminded him of Paul Rodgers.

"I said I'm just going to tell my friends this is Paul Rodgers in the photo," he said.

Another great story came when Gaines thought back to one of his favorite records - The Bends by Radiohead. He gave the audience a tour of his old apartment with a groovy seventies green couch. And every time he played that record, a girl would undoubtedly fall into a trance by the music and begin interpretative dancing. "Yeah, baby!" said Gaines in an Austin Powers voice.

In addition to Gaines' brilliant cover of "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel and the fifties set, my favorites were a trio of originals entitled "Fall You Fool," "Toast and Tea," and "Love Disappears."

Here's a taste of each:


Ebenezer, you must believe her
She's not telling lies
Little pomme de terre, it's all so clear
Take the blindfold from your eyes
Lonely miser, she's so much wiser
With a willingness to feel
So solitaire, so afraid to care
So rooted in the real
And now, it's been a long time
Since you've felt something so good before
Even you deserve love
Fall you fool, your bones won't break
Fall you fool, what in the world have you been thinking of?
Fall you fool, falling from you undeserving of love

Sometimes you cry
Sometimes you curse my name
Well, enough said
Let me hold your head
You need that healing again
And without a word we harmonize
And thank the Lord for these stolen times
And we both close our eyes and know that
I'm not staying for toast or for tea
We've got right now and that's enough for me

I was gathering all the things I had to tell you
And found that there were more things I had to hide
Like lovers and tears, doubts and fears inside me
Cause when you're away
There's nothing to say at all
Cause when you're not here
Love disappears

Personally, I still wish Gaines would bring back "Hero In Me," but I guess those days are long gone. In my world, he's still known first by that tune AND THEN by the Gabriel cover. That song was one of the first introductions for many to Gaines in the early 90s. Apparently that was a period of time, which wasn't his favorite. He mentioned how phony the world of rock stardom was and how everybody wanted to do everything for the star, which is something he can't stand. Looking back, he might miss the limo rides but he doesn't miss that environment.

With his set winding to a close he said, "This feels like a long assembly. So, what's my bullet point? What's my mission statement?" He paused then added, "If you can dream it... you can do it."

He ended the show with a cover of "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" - the incredible song by Nick Lowe that lives forever thanks to Elvis Costello.

90.5 Songwriters On The Beach series continues every Thursday in Belmar. With any luck, this will be the last show that needs to be held inside (although if any show had to be inside, this was a good night as it was still in the 80s at showtime and the municipal building's air conditioning came in handy).

Upcoming shows include:
July 14 - The Ballroom Thieves / JT Makoviecki (of Thomas Wesley Stern)
July 21 - Tall Heights / Cold Weather Company
July 28 - Lee Harvey Osmond / Renee Masin (of Lowlight)
August 4 - Mike Edel / Francis Lombardi
August 11 - The Grip Weeds / The Anderson Council
August 18 - Randall Bramblett / Quincy Mumford
August 25 - Hollis Brown / Hidden Cities

Jeffrey Gaines at "The Beach"

For more by this author, click here

NJSO presents 2019 Winter Festival, 'Music Speaks'
(NEWARK, NJ) -- A trio of renowned guest artists with distinct musical voices—pianists Emanuel Ax and Daniil Trifonov and soprano Dawn Upshaw—headline the NJSO’s Winter Festival, “Music Speaks,” in January 2019. The Orchestra’s signature artistic event takes place across three weekends, January 10–27, in six New Jersey venues.
RVCC Chorale to Perform Annual Holiday Concert on December 8th
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) --The RVCC Chorale will give its annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 8 at 8:00pm in the Welpe Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College’s Branchburg campus. The program will feature Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata, Das Neugeborne Kindelein, as well as a cappella pieces from by Sergei Rachmaninov, Zoltan Kodaly and Giuseppe Verdi. The program also will include an audience singalong of traditional carols.
Classic Stones Live! The Complete Rolling Stones Tribute Show Comes To SOPAC
(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- The Rolling Stones, the greatest Blues band of all time, couldn’t make it to SOPAC on their 2018 tour. Instead, the acclaimed tribute band Classic Stones Live! makes an appearance on the SOPAC stage December 15 at 8:00pm for those who like to hear their Rolling Stones hits live.
Tony Trischka Presents "Of a Winter's Night" at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Of a Winter’s Night is Tony Trischka's acoustic celebration of the holiday season. Based on his CD release of the same name, this concert features Trischka’s considerable melodic inventiveness on a wide variety of seasonal tunes. He turns his inventiveness loose on bluegrass and Americana music for the holidays. This one of a kind concert will take place at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship on Saturday, December 8 at 7:30pm.
Idle Wave To Hold Record Release Party At Asbury Park Brewery
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Pop-punks Idle Wave will celebrate the release of their self-titled EP on Saturday, December 1st at Asbury Park Brewery.  The record release show also includes performances by Skyeline, Roderick, and Pollyanna.

"An Amazing Musical Genius!" Brian Wilson LIVE! at the State Theatre
In the music room in the back of our house, there’s an electric bass and amp, two acoustic guitars, a microphone and PA speakers, several pieces of music recording equipment, and a bookcase filled with books on music, not to mention a slew of assorted music memorabilia. But, perhaps, one of the most highly prized items in the room is hanging directly above the piano next to the college music diplomas.
Jazz Saxophonist Don Braden LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s a breezy day for a new installment of the Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon concert series at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Sunday Oct. 27, 2018 afternoon. Today’s special 3pm performance is entitled Earth, Wind and Wonder and is presented by jazz saxophonist Don Braden.
Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge LIVE! at The Strand, Lakewood
The stars are out this Saturday Oct. 26, 2018 evening in Lakewood, NJ for a “Golden Oldies” concert featuring Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge!
PODCAST: Grammy Winner Terri Lyne Carrington At TD James Moody Jazz Festival
Drummer, leader, and composer Terri Lyne Carrington made history as the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz for her album “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.” Now, she brings her interpretation of Duke Ellington’s “Money Jungle” to the TD James Moody Jazz Festival at NJPAC on November 11, 2018, as part of a program called “Jazz Vinyl Revisited.” Producer Susan Wallner talks to Carrington about her connections to the jazz greats Clark Terry and Max Roach; her newest project, the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice; and why she thinks drummers make natural leaders.
Sha Na Na LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
The audience is streaming into the Newton Theatre auditorium in Newton, NJ this Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 for a live concert starring Sha Na Na!

Event calendar
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018


New Politics @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

THE REPUTATIONS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

TOTO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

ANNIE, The Musical @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 7:30pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 7:30pm

Spring Awakening: The Rock Musical @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm


PARSONS DANCE @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


Crybaby Matinee: March of the Penguins @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

View all events


For more on our awards, click here

New Jersey Stage © 2018 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 |

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.