Talk Like A Man
A true living legend, the glory of FRANKIE VALLI and his group The Four Seasons is being celebrated in an award-winning stage musical, Jersey Boys, which has just opened in London. He spoke to TERRY STAUNTON about fame, the other Fab Four, falsettos and Sopranos.
A failed audition for a gig as a lounge singer at a low-rent bowling alley in Union, New Jersey, might be the sort of experience aspiring musicians would want to forget. But for Frankie Valli, such a humiliating thumbs-down in his own back yard way back in 1961 has stayed in the memory, a charming anecdote of the rebirth of his group.
The Four Lovers had been slogging away at their craft for close to five years, eager to be heard by anyone, anywhere. Pride wasn’t a consideration; if the only outlet available was a run-down dive where hard-working men and women gathered to blow off steam and make a little noise, so be it. But the owners weren’t interested in the noise that Valli and his friends wanted to make.
“It was pretty typical of hundreds of places across the States,” Valli recalls. “The alley had a little lounge where bowlers could get a drink and listen to some live musical entertainment. Not the greatest place to perform, it has to be said. It wasn’t as soundproofed as it could have been; you always heard the sound of pins being struck and crashing over mixing in with the music.
“We didn’t get the job, though. They turned us down flat. On the way out we looked up and saw the sign above the door, and something just clicked in our heads. We all decided, then …
by Terry Staunton
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- ALBUM REVIEW: Jersey Beat by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
- BOOK REVIEW: Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons by David Cote
- LETTER: Seasons Greetings
- ALBUM REVIEW: The Motown Years by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons