The long and short of Al-Vis

Well at least the short of it anyway.

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Al-Vis at the Stone Pony with JP Gotrock, 1982

Think of this as your sort-of Al-Vis ‘getting started’ guide.

1) I have never met nor wish to meet Bruce Springsteen. I’ve stood next to him many times and been in the same room with him as well. Just not interested, sorry Bruce!

2) I have performed with several former of his former band mates, including Vini Lopez, Vinnie Roslin, Danny Gallagher and on and on. And several Asbury Jukes, including Kevin Kavanaugh, Joe Bellia, Carlo Novi and Jukes/Blackberry Booze Band founder David Meyers.

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Chik-A-Boom in The Coaster 1991

3) Yes I have been performing for over 40 years, I started when I was around 14. You can do the math to guess my age.

4) I don’t actively seek out female singers to backup. Most of them seek me out. One of the realities of the music biz is that female musicians are not always confident enough to back themselves, so a lot of male guitarists perform behind female singers. For the record, I have probably performed behind just as many male singers, but why are we asking this question anyway???!!!

5) When I am involved with an act I believe in passionately I do tend to promote the act heavily. The more passionately I feel for the music the more excited I get. This has led to at least a couple of quite emotional breakups. Its natural for a musical breakup to be emotional. 90% of my musical breakups have been relatively drama-less.

6) I decided NOT to make music my main money-making endeavour a while back because I needed medical benefits. I became a programmer. Quite a successful programmer in fact. I am lead programmer of DDI System’s Inform, one of the most popular software products on the market right now for small and medium sized distribution companies.

7) In 2008 I made the decision to make performing original music (both my own and with other artists) more of a priority. Regardless of the financial compensation. I perform quite a few weddings and private affairs so every gig doesn’t have to be a money maker for me.

8) In 1986 I lost my right kidney due to kidney disease. That is part of the reason for my weight issues, the other part being severe arthritis.

9) I don’t wake up in the morning thinking “who can I piss off today?” But some of my posts are aimed at certain types of people. I really don’t give a crap if anyone takes them personally. Treat me right (the way I try to treat everyone) and then you don’t have to worry about whether my latest sarcasm is directed at you.

10) Despite what a few people think I am probably the least judgemental person you will ever meet. You can have conversations about this person or that person but I adhere to the adage “Great people talk about ideas. Average people talk about things. Small people talk about other people.” I don’t go around gossiping AT ALL. Feel free to do so around me because I won’t judge you for it.

11) I am an avid left wing socialist by upbringing and conviction. The Tea Party is my bane. My feeling is that they/you are either misguided or just full of hate. That being said, some of my best friends are avid right wingers (though not Tea Partiers, most of them). I do not judge people by their politics alone- there are plenty of left wing assholes, no?

12) Stop telling me to get over it and move on. I will post what I want and move on when I want. Private message me or email or call me-I will certainly listen to reason if I ever post anything that anyone feels is offensive.

13) Yes I have lived in the Asbury Park area nearly all of my life. I grew up in neighbouring Neptune and my dad was a lawyer in Asbury Park. The only times I didn’t live in this area were when I attended Rutgers and when I lived in Somerset in the late 1980s for a couple of years, recovering from the breakup of my first marriage.

14) Yes I have performed at the Stone Pony more times than you can imagine, with many bands. No it is not my favorite venue. Personally I prefer the Wonder Bar, but thats just me.

15) My advice to young musicians starting out (including those I have performed with): Stay out of YOUR OWN way. I have known so many musicians whose self-destructiveness got in the way of their career. Extremely talented musicians, even legendary musicians. If you can stay out of your own way you won’t have to worry so much about other people being in YOUR way.

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LR: Billy Hector, Bobby Alfano, Al-Vis, Vini Lopez, Paul Whistler, John Luraschi at the T-Birds Cafe Asbury Park 1989.

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