The dark side is still callin' John Cafferty
The cinematic Eddie Wilson may be dead, alive or somewhere in between -- depending on which movie sequel you've seen. But John Cafferty is very much alive and still cranking out his brand of boardwalk rock.
It was Cafferty and his Beaver Brown Band who gave actor Michael Pare that Springsteen-esque rumble in the 1983 movie Eddie & The Cruisers. Say what you like about the movie -- more of a fable that followed the rise and sudden collapse of a band in the golden era of rock -- but don't diss the music. Eddie gave us On The Dark Side, an anthemic thrust lamenting the eternally hopeless battle against the power of love.
The dark side's callin' now
Nothin' is real
She'll never know just how I feel
From out of the shadows
She walks like a dream
Makes me feel crazy
Makes me feel so mean
Ask Cafferty about the song and he'll tell you it didn't really exist before he got the call on Eddie & the Cruisers from music genius Kenny Vance. It was a work in pieces.
"It wasn't called On the Dark Side," Cafferty told Stuck in the '80s. "I had a couple songs that Kenny liked. I read the script, and it said the song started out with a classical piano piece and goes into classic rock chords. I just put two and two together."
In this case, it added up to the No. 1 song of the fall of 1983. Not bad for a Rhode Island kid who just wanted to work as a lifeguard and play the beach bars of the boardwalk.
Cafferty is our special guest on this week's podcast. He tells some epic tales of his fortune through the years, and his meet-up with a guy named Sly Stallone. It's one of our best. Click here to listen. Or click here to get all our shows for free via iTunes. And catch John Cafferty along with a mishmash of other greats from the '70s and '80s on the All Star Rock Tour, which hits St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater on Saturday, June 4.