Joe, as we all know, played bass and sang with Frankie Valli as one of the legendary Four Seasons for 11 years from 1965 following Nick Massi abruptly leaving the group in late 1964.
Born Joe LaBracio he grew up in the Peterstown section of Elizabeth, a neighbourhood of Italian-American families. Joe, whose family lived on High Street just off Third Avenue, said in an interview “Peterstown — we called it the Burg — was the greatest place for a kid to grow up. I am deeply honoured, I can’t imagine a higher compliment than to have your home town honour and recognize you in this way, I am flabbergasted, I am speechless" Joe said of the honour.
"To meet him is to love him," Walt Gollender said, "He’s got a tremendous personality. He makes you feel very comfortable." How very true – the UK fans have very special memories of Joey Long. Joe toured the UK with the group, often MC-ing the show and doing improvised comedy routines with Tommy DeVito (who he still sees frequently). He made a lot of British friends, and has fond memories of performing at the London Palladium, a gifted musician who clearly retains the sharpness of wit and generosity of spirit that continues to endear him to fans the world over.
Congratulations Joe – very well deserved and you should be very proud.
Click here to see a copy of the scan of the tribute pamphlet associated with Sunday's Joe Long street naming event and other stories and videos of the day – with thanks to Frank Rovello:
By Lynn Boleyn