1971-05-14 Sunshine In, Asbury Park, NJ

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Scheduled: 20:30 Local Start Time ??:?? / End Time ??:??

Info & Setlist | Venue

One show, triple bill. This is the first of only two performances ever of Dr. Zoom & The Sonic Boom (the other show was outdoors the following day). Undercard acts for this debut show were Sunny Jim and Godzilla (who were a late substitution for Cornerstone). In reality, Dr. Zoom was merely a progression of Springsteen's March 1971 The Friendly Enemies shows at The Sunshine In and his April 1971 "Jam Concerts" at The Upstage. Much of the long-standing confusion about how many Dr. Zoom shows were performed stems from the fact that some people count the earlier March-April gigs as Dr. Zoom events, while others don't count them. Technically speaking they weren't Dr. Zoom shows, but they did contain most of the musicians and the same party-like atmosphere. The members of Dr. Zoom & The Sonic Boom were Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt (guitar), David Sancious (keyboards), Garry Tallent (bass), Vini Lopez (drums and backing vocals), Southside Johnny (harmonica and vocals), Bobby Williams (drums), Albee 'Albany Al' Tellone (tenor saxophone), and Bobby Feigenbaum (alto saxophone). There was also an eight-member backing vocal troupe nicknamed "The Zoomettes", consisting of Jeannie Clark, Robin Nash, Connie Manser, Fifi Longo, Sherl Tallent, Kevin Kavanaugh, Steve Large, and John Luraschi. The MC was Kevin "Bird" Connair. Big Danny Gallagher handled the on-stage props. Danny Federici was not involved in the Dr. Zoom shows. The ten-song setlist listed has been culled from a document (in Bruce's handwriting) that is probably the song schedule for this debut Dr. Zoom gig. The material is clearly identifiable by Bruce's header of 'Sonic Tunes'. Whether or not Bruce made any late changes to this setlist for the actual performance is not known. Written on the setlist as "Dave Dudley", the third song is actually "Six Days On The Road", the 1963 hit made famous by country music singer Dave Dudley. The song is a celebration of the American trucker and was covered regularly on the Jersey-shore in the 1970s by many bands, including Albee Tellone's Hired Hands. "Fast Blues Shuffle" may be Bruce's name for "Last Night In Texas" (as also performed at the following day's Zoom gig). "Zoom Theme" is a rewrite of Irving Berlin's "Alexander's Ragtime Band".

I was a "Zoomette" for two gigs with "Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom", Bruce's interim band. It was a fun and joyous, somewhat organized, free-for-all! My memory of the Sunshine Inn was a large, rectangular room with concrete floors and square support pillars and a free-standing stage to one side. There was standing room only and lots of people dancing. The next day we went out to Newark for an outside performance. I still have the short, butterfly, hippie dress I wore that day and I bring it out occasionally for Gross National Product, my high school band, reunion concerts.
© Jeannie Clark Fisher

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