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Southside Johnny (real name John Lyon, born December 4, 1948 in Neptune, New Jersey) is an American singer-songwriter who usually fronts his band The Asbury Jukes.
In 1982 Rolling Stone Magazine voted the album Hearts of Stone among the top 100 albums of the 70's and 80's.
During the 1980s Southside Johnny's recording contracts continued to change almost by album, but he continued to release records: Trash It Up (1983), a disco influenced album written by Billy Rush and produced by Nile Rodgers; In the Heat (1984) an album trying to reach out to "Adult Oriented Radio"; and At Least We Got Shoes (1986) where guitarist and Jersey shore fixture Bobby Bandiera took over songwriting and guitar work from Billy Rush and led the Asbury Jukes back to their original sound. Songwriting credits on At Least We Got Shoes also contain a song co-written by Bandiera and singer Patti Scialfa, who was known as a Jukes collaborator since the 1980 album Love is a Sacrifice and who became a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band in 1984.
In 1987, Southside and the Jukes were featured in the film Adventures in Babysitting performing at a college frat party. One of the songs performed was Future In Your Eyes.
In 1988 Southside Johnny released his first solo record Slow Dance containing ballads and love songs, but also "Little Calcutta" which is still discussed as Southside's most political song of his career, describing the life and environment of the homeless in New York City.
More record label switches, Jukes personnel changes, tours and club
Southside performed the theme song for the 1990s television sitcom Dave's World, a cover of Billy Joel's "You May Be Right."
Southside eventually relocated to Nashville taking a break from the music business. A few members of the Asbury Jukes would end up being part of The Max Weinberg 7 on the Late Night with Conan O'Brien television show, while some others went on tour and into the recording studio with artists like Jon Bon Jovi, Mink DeVille, Graham Parker, and Robert Cray.
In 1998 Southside Johnny came back into the spotlight with an independent release titled Spittin' Fire, a live record with a semi-acoustic Jukes lineup released in France containing a 20 song set recorded during a series of 10 shows at the "Chesterfield Café" in Paris, France.
Since 2001 Southside Johnny and the Jukes have toured the UK and Europe as an annual event, their first since the 1992 Better Days tour, although Southside and Bobby Bandiera did some acoustic shows in 1995.
After a decade without a record contract Southside finally founded his own record label in 2001 under the name of Leroy Records, and started releasing and distributing his new records fully under his own control: Messin' with the Blues (2000), Going to Jukesville (2002), Missing Pieces (2004), Into the Harbour (2005).
Two die-hard Southside fans from England, Mike Saunders and Dave Percival, while following a European tour, befriended the band and became volunteer roadies for the remaining UK shows. Nicknamed 'the Druids' by Bobby Bandiera for Saunders' long hair and Percival's hooded sweatshirt, they helped on subsequent British tours and became part of the Jukes touring family and legend. Mike Saunders also chronicled the band's many line-up changes over the years in the form of an Asbury Jukes family tree.
In 2008, Southside Johnny collaborated with long-time Asbury Jukes trombone player Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg, for a break from the classic Asbury Jukes sound to classic Big-Band Jazz. Together with a 20 piece big band they recorded a cover album of songs written by Tom Waits, arranged and conducted by Rosenberg.
As of 2009, Southside Johnny Lyon lives again in his original hometown Ocean Grove, N.J. USA.