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Dead World Roundup: Five Minutes With Mickey On The "Jersey Shore"
By Mark Pinkus
The Mickey Hart Band has released a new song, "Jersey Shore," to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. To download the song and help rebuild the shore go to http://www.mickeyhart.net/jersey. Those who make a donation will also receive two bonus hours of music including the full length performance of the Mickey Hart Band Live on the Jersey Shore (August 17, 2012), and tracks from the band's latest album, Mysterium Tremendum.
Hi Mickey. Thanks for taking the time to talk us. We're really digging "Jersey Shore."
Ain't it neat?
Crystal sounds great...
She really does. I believe in these people. They believe in me. She believes in the song. It was kind of a little miracle song. It just kind of popped out.
Who wrote the lyrics?
I did. It was one of those things. What happened was...after the Jersey Shore, I was watching Brian Williams on NBC News and Bon Jovi was on there. And he's a shore guy, you know, him and Bruce Springsteen. They are really close to it. And I could see it in Brian's eyes. And I could see it in Bon Jovi's eyes. It was really moving. Very rarely do you see that. This was really a heartbreaking story amongst heartbreaking stories. All the people - you can just see it in their eyes, their faces, the loss of their place. You know you can replace buildings but this is a much greater loss because the Jersey Shore stood for a lot more than just a shoreline. It was where people came to enjoyed their lives and the community. It was a sacred place in some ways. People came to enjoy the water, the sand, the smell, the times they had... like in the song. All those memories were gone, except for this blight. It got to me and then about seven minutes later, [the song] popped out. At the end, I said "the sweet Jersey Shore." Because I came from Coney Island, Far Rockaway, and from Atlantic Beach. Shore towns are pretty similiar in those ways. They have a kind of feeling about them that is specific to coastal areas.
I was toying with this song for years. It was called "Native Idol." I could never put lyrics to it. I just never really connected. And then all of the sudden, I realized the Jersey Shore was like a Native Idol in some ways. There was definitely a little bit of a connection there because people used to go there on a Saturday or a Sunday to relax. It was a play area in a city that's really a hard-working city. And I thought this is perfect. And that was it. I called the band up.
Where did you record it? In your house?
I record everything here. This is the last place you'll ever record! Once you record here, you don't want to go anywhere else.
Have you had a chance to play it live?
We played it once at a Rex Benefit.
I'm really glad that you like it. I hope other people do. It's a song of hope. It's a song of survival. And that's what people need now. They think that Jersey Shore is over. But no! There are people out there right now with no heat, in the middle of the night, with kids. Freezing. They haven't been able to rebuild. Their hearts are still broken. The Jersey Shore is still theirs. People say after the tragedy, everything is all over. We're not thinking about it anymore. But that's not so. These things go on - like in Haiti, like in Jersey Shore. I hope that the song can raise some funds for this but even if it doesn't, I'd be happy if it makes someone more hopeful and it does some good. Like the Dalai Lama would say "even if one human ear hears it, it might do some good."
To me, the Jersey Shore had a very, very positive feeling of hope and rebuilding. It's aspirational. I feel like as time goes on, even though it's about Jersey Shore, it's a positive message that can be related to any sort of moment of need.
Yes, that's true. I hadn't given that much thought but you are absolutely right. It's very uplifting. For example, there are the bells for the buoys. It kind of puts you there. The songs is kind of place-centric. When you hear those kind of sounds, you think of laying on the beach and sand on your feet and hearing the bells toll... I can't wait to actually get back there myself. My grandparents used to take me there twice in a summer, just to enjoy it for a day. I remember it just like Coney Island.
The memories, they're really the important thing. You might not exactly remember the houses... maybe the ferris wheel. But the memories come back. This organization, Clean Ocean Action, that we are working with picks up the thread there.
All proceeds from the download go to Clean Ocean Action?
The idea is to put your hand in your pocket....to give is to receive.
When I was in the navy stationed at NAS Lakehurst. I visited Seaside Heights in the winter. I really loved it in the winter. Jersey shore is a beautiful place.
i used to buy my Grateful Dead vinyl bootlegs at head shop in Seaside Heights....so very heart warming to see you doing so much to help people in my old stomping grounds.
He's such a warrior.
Please come play the Music Pier in Ocean City.
at the Rex benefit at the Fillmore, and was quite well received. Glad it's getting out there, for such a good cause.