He is a rock and roll legend who has been adopted into the New Jersey music scene by Bruce Springsteen, Stevie VanZandt, Bobby Bandiera, and Southside Johnny.

Gary U.S. Bonds celebrates a big milestone, and he is throwing his party at the Vogel theater in Red Bank, NJ. Gary is celebrating his 85th birthday. I continue to be amazed at Gary’s spirit, talent, and personality. He never slows down, and you can see the love he has for music and his adoring fans.

The Vogel, new venue at Count Basie Center for the Arts (Count Basie Center for the Arts )
The Vogel

Gary had big hits with New Orleans, which led to a No. 1 hit Quarter to Three in the '60s. He toured and opened for some of the biggest names in rock and roll history.

He is humbled by the fact that Bruce Springsteen and Stevie VanZandt were instrumental by resurging his career after a chance meeting in 1980.

Bruce and Stevie produced and performed on his album Dedication which garnered big hits from the album This Little Girl, Jolie Blon, and Out of Work. After that experience, Gary became a naturalized citizen of Jersey rock and roll.

I met Gary when I was hosting The Hope Concert, which was Bobby Bandiera’s charity concert that included frequent appearances by Bruce, Jon Bon Jovi, Southside Johnny, and other major entertainers. We became steadfast friends. Gary asked me to host his star-studded 75th birthday bash held at B. B. King’s Club in New York.

Bobby Bandiera - Townsquare Media
Bobby Bandiera - Townsquare Media

As with everything that Gary is involved with it was a blast and I was honored to be part of the celebration. Gary has an innate sense of making you feel that you have known him for years. His wife Laurie and daughter Laurie are both welcoming and friendly to all they meet and provide outstanding background vocals to Gary’s performances.

Gary continues to perform remarkably and makes audiences laugh and feel comfortable at every show. He is an entertainer and is the same on or off the stage.

Gary U.S. Bonds at the young age of 85 will be at the Vogel in Red Bank on June 6. Help celebrate the legend’s birthday.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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