Rockin' Brunswick

Rockin' Brunswick

Rockin' Brunswick - The Groceries - "Nassau Street"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

This is an outtake from Rockin' Brunswick shot at Patrix in New Brunswick, New Jersey summer of 1983. "Nassau Street" is one of The Groceries most popular songs. But Robin Gamble and Martha Haney wanted to do something more elaborate than a one-camera live shot for one of their favorite bands. So we made a music video of "Part of the New America" which is what ultimately made it into the movie.

Jigs - "The Melody"

Posted by Paul Devlin

  Melody Bar 5th Annual Reunion is tonight in New Brunswick!

Jigs (star of Rockin' Brunswick) performs “The Melody” on WRSU-Radio.   Hear the whole interview and learn more about Rockin’ Brunswick

Or get the DVD of Rockin’ Brunswick, here.

Rockin' Brunswick - Crossfire Choir - "Disappointment" (12 of 12)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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Crossfire Choir came to me with this video completely envisioned.  All the shots were written out, we dressed up the Court Tavern to look like a set, they brought costume changes and after the shoot they diagrammed how they wanted it edited. I was happy to have the band so invested and well-prepared and enjoyed the collaboration. It’s probably the most polished of all the videos in Rockin’ Brunswick.

After I finished shooting that summer of 1983 in New Brunswick, I returned to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for my junior year. I brought all the Rockin’ Brunswick raw footage with me (old style 3/4” tape), and used the University’s equipment to learn how to edit video. It was a huge project and took months. And I have to admit, my course work in English Lit suffered a bit.  My passion was shifting to filmmaking. And I was developing a skill that has sustained me ever since.

I’m thankful to everyone involved in Rockin’ Brunswick, and gratified that these posts are inspiring some happy nostalgia so many years later.

That's our final episode of Rockin' Brunswick.  We hope you enjoyed it, and we ask you to support the film by purchasing the DVD here.  Also, check out this big article on Rockin' Brunswick that just came out today in New Jersey's Sentinal newspapers

Stay tuned for more web series from us as we launch The Eyes of St. Anthony, and CutTime in the coming months!

Rockin' Brunswick - Crossfire Choir - "Right to Lie" (11 of 12)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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Crossfire Choir was a great band, incredibly tight and self-assured.  That’s well-represented in this impressive, funky new wave track.  They were all over the dark florescent look and mixing in the trails from the old 3-tube camera.

Watching their rise, it seemed inevitable that they would make it big, and that’s how I positioned them in Rockin’ Brunswick.  They became the favorite band of CBGBs in New York City, toured with some of the top bands of the day – Culture Club, Thompson Twins, Midnight Oil - and, according to their MySpace page, “the band agreed to a two-record deal with Geffen Records that was rumored to be one of the biggest deals ever offered to an unknown act at the time.”

But that page also describes a harrowing, rock and roll story of a band that should have made it but instead stumbled and fell. There were a lot of rumors swirling around New Brunswick about what happened.  The one I heard was that a band member insulted a record executive’s wife and that’s what sunk them.

Who knows what really happened.  But as their reputation rose, they definitely got cocky locally.  I remember keyboardist Eddie Freeze spitting beer out into the audience as part of the show.  One night the audience got fed up, and spat beer back at him.  “Hey! This is expensive equipment!” was his reaction.

But Crossfire Choir always treated me well, and headlined a spectacular show at Rutgers University for the premiere of Rockin’ Brunswick.  I’m still a fan!

Stay tuned next Thursday as we conclude Rockin' Brunswick with one last song from Crossfire Choir!

Or you can get the DVD of Rockin’ Brunswick, here.

Rockin' Brunswick - The Groceries, "Part of the New America" (10 of 12)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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The Groceries were really a Princeton band rather than a New Brunswick band.  But we found a way to sneak them in Rockin’ Brunswick anyway, because they were so popular.  

Robin Gamble and Martha Haney lent us equipment for Rockin’ Brunswick. They were friends who ran a company called Video-a-Go-Go, which pioneered music video projections at live shows even before MTV became popular. Martha shot footage of their friends The Groceries at City Gardens in Trenton, NJ and various other locations and I edited it.

Richard Auguste Morse
led The Groceries. Later he sought out his musical roots in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  He wound up running the storied Hotel Olofsson, frequented by prominent visitors such as Jonathan Demme.  Richard’s current band RAM was featured on the soundtrack for Jonathan Demme’s movie Philadelphia and he has a successful musical career in the Caribbean, releasing 5 CDs with RAM.


Stay tuned next week as we return to Crossfire Choir!

Or you can get the DVD of Rockin’ Brunswick, here.

Rockin' Brunswick - The Blasés, "All Night Long" (9 of 12)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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The Blasés were good friends of mine through high school and college and still are.  They lived in North Jersey and I grew up in Central Jersey. But the keyboardist, Bill Donohue, is a cousin of my high school classmate Jim Donohue.  So we combined our groups of friends, and went on adventures, heading north on the Garden State Parkway to watch the Blasés play high school dances.

The Blasés were a hit in New Brunswick and I made two more music videos of them, both of which played on MTV (we'll post those here as well soon).  They went on to become one of the most popular bands at the Jersey shore in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s and enjoyed a lot of college radio play. 

This song from Rockin’ Brunswick features bassist Paul “Rock” Verdon.  Our buddy Rock died in a train accident in 1985 and will always be missed.

Next up, The Groceries....

Or you can get the DVD of Rockin’ Brunswick, here.

Rockin' Brunswick - Nullset - "To The Point" (8 of 12)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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This excerpt from Rockin’ Brunswick is by the Nullset, led by Joe and Dave Machos.

Back in the day, it wasn’t easy to access decent video cameras and mine was borrowed from Rutgers Physics Department where my father was a professor. My time with it was limited, so when the Nullset drummer, Chris Dallenbach didn’t show up as scheduled, we substituted Crossfire Choir’s keyboardist Eddie Freeze, who was waiting in the wings.  Chris showed up later for his cameo.

Stay tuned next week for a great fun single from The Blasés!
The DVD of the complete movie is also available here!

Rockin' Brunswick - The Deal - "Loving You, Needing You, Wanting You" (7 of 12)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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High-energy, lots of fun and a sense of humor.  Love this video!

The Deal are good friends of mine from high school.  In fact, I was the one who put the band together by introducing them to one another – their first rehearsal was in my parents’ basement.  They’re still together, now as the Loaded Poets, and are the subject of my next project The Front Man.  Check out a clip here.

This video was edited by my brother Ted Devlin “aka Tom”.  Rockin’ Brunswick was the first project I ever edited on video.  I started spending all my time at the University of Michigan’s Media Center, learning the old 3/4” tape-to-tape equipment from scratch. Starting out with a one-hour documentary was ambitious, and I soon became overwhelmed.  Ted offered to help out by editing a couple videos at MIT where he was going to school.

He did a really great job!

Stay tuned next week for more  Rockin’ Brunswick as we introduce The Nullset!
The DVD of the complete movie is also available here!

Rockin' Brunswick - The Deed- "Thought/Passage" (6 of 12)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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I didn’t know much about The Deed when I started shooting.  But as I was researching which bands to shoot, they came highly recommended.  Rather than doing a lip synch music video shoot to a pre-recorded track, they wanted their music and performance live – a challenge for me at the time.  Terry Hughes, of Rubber Ball Productions came to my rescue.

This video was shot at Patrix, a fantastic club in a very dodgy part of town.

Stay tuned next week for more bands from Rockin’ Brunswick.
The DVD of the complete movie is also available here!

Rockin' Brunswick - Rockin' Bricks - "Heartbeat" (5 of 12)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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Pete Tomlinson wrote a column in The Home News called “Rockbeat,” covering the local music scene around New Brunswick, NJ.  He was also a member of the popular band Rockin’ Bricks.  Perfect cross-promotion combination for me: I interviewed him about the music scene and put his band in the movie, which he then wrote up in his column!

The video was shot at the Court Tavern.  The Court was very supportive of Rockin’ Brunswick and I’m still thankful.  This amazing venue is the bedrock of the New Brunswick music scene, even as most other live music venues have disappeared.  It continues to host live music, decades later.  This, despite many assaults on its existence, including tax battles and massive buildings rising up all around it.  Check out this article about their perseverance and community support.  And here’s their MySpace page.

Long Live The Court Tavern!

Stay tuned next week for more bands from Rockin’ Brunswick.
The DVD of the complete movie is also available here!

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