I love playing the holiday hits and Christmas classics on New Jersey 101.5 and every time I hear Bruce belt out Santa Claus is Coming to Town it reminds me of a great time, I had playing Santa on stage with Bruce as he was singing that song.

I’ve had the honor and great pleasure of hosting a series of concerts that raised big money for money Jersey charities. Music aficionado Bobby Bandiera (Southside Johnny, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, and others) put together a killer holiday show that featured some of New Jersey’s most famous and most talented musicians.

This holiday show included participation from Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Southside Johnny, Gary US Bonds, Darlene Love, Max Weinberg, Ben E King, and many other local talented musicians.

The shows, which ran for about 11 years raised millions for different New Jersey charities.

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There was one special show that was very special to me. In 2008 Bobby Bandiera asked me “Do you still have your Santa suit?” I said, “Yeah why?” says “I want you to wear it for the Hope Concert”. I said, “What happened to the guy who was Santa last year?” Bobby said, “He was all over Bruce and bothering him.” “I told Bruce you have a suit. Wear the suit” I reluctantly said OK because it’s a pain to get into and hot as hell.

I got the suit back in 2005 from my tailor Michael Duru who custom-made it for my trip to the Gulf Coast when we delivered toys to the kids ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

So, I slipped into the Santa suit and had Bruce laughing when he saw me. We had a blast on stage and the crowd enjoyed it.

Bruce Springsteen Media Call
Getty Images

After that backstage, Bruce said that I was the biggest F&^%$#@ Santa he had ever seen. I told him you talk like that Santa’s going to skip your house. He laughed. Bobby and his talented lineup raised over $360,000 that night for local New Jersey charities. I miss those concerts, but I am honored and thankful I could be a part of them.

I am so thankful that a fan sent me a copy of the video, it’s a little grainy but fun.

Watch the video above.

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Gallery Credit: Dennis Malloy

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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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