By Lauren Wanko
Along the Jersey Shore, there have been lots of bands that practiced in their parents’ basements or garages, waiting to see their name in lights.
“I got to tell you, we thought we were good, We thought we were the next Beatles or the next Rolling Stones. We were ready to be stars. It just took 50 years,” said lead singer Lowell Stanley.
The Beachnuts were one of those bands. It all started with Lead Guitarist Keith MacGregor and Bass Player Clyde Snyder.
“We were in the seventh or eighth grade and I think basically we wanted to meet girls. It was a way to,” Snyder said.
By 1966, the Jersey natives recorded two original songs with three other band members.
“It was some of the most fun times we had. We went up and down the Jersey Shore,” said drummer Marv Gellman.
Eventually the band split up. A couple members headed off to college.
“We never really talked about getting together again,” Gellman said.
“It was horrible. We couldn’t figure out why these guys wanted to go to college instead of staying in the band,” Snyder said.
Over the years they played together for a couple of summers. The Beachnuts reunited for a night in 1981 and then moved on. More than 30 years later, Marv turned to the internet.
“It was the early days of Google. Just out of the blue I put in the Beachnuts and Iconoclastic Life and Nature’s Company and I went numb. I saw all these sites all over the world talking about our music,” he said.
After Marv discovered the websites online, he ordered a copy of the 45 from a collector in Australia. When he got it, he realized it was a pirated version. It cost him $35, so he started digging online again and says the original cost $800 or more.
Now they’re rehearsing for a benefit concert, scheduled at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park tomorrow night.
“Nothing’s changed expect the hair is older, or grayer or dyed,” Lowell said.
“Music is universal language that anybody can understand and we just love to do it,” said rhythm guitarist Tyler Sherman.
“It’s a very special and unique experience to play music with other people,” MacGregor said.
What’s next for them? “We’ plan to go on tour, probably the major cities in U.S. and then we’re talking about European tour,” Snyder said.
For now, they’re focusing on tomorrow night’s gig.