ArtC Founder Bill Horin Interview

Ivy– “Bill Horin, as founder of ArtC and a South Jersey native, Can you explain what the ArtC organization does and talk a little bit about yourself as an artist, a champion of the arts in South Jersey, and your role in this art scene, past and present?”
Bill- “Wow, that’s actually a lot… Thank you for breakfast…which was great… that sets a precedent… the role of ArtC, I’m gonna give you a little bit of history of ArtC the people may not know. ArtC was started, the idea for ArtC, in 2010 when I was at the meetings in Atlantic City when they were saying we want to have an Arts District… I got excited about the fact that Atlantic City wanted to do something serious with the Arts and they wanted us to promote the district and what they’re doing… so a couple people involved with the CRDA came to us and said hey you guys seem to be doing a lot can you form something that will help us promote the Arts in Atlantic City… so ArtC was born.  The A and the C in ArtC are for, Atlantic City originally…so that’s when it was born… Then as things started dragging on with that project and we weren’t hearing enough we went to meeting after meeting we brought artists in and it just seemed like it wasn’t really moving forward as quickly as we’d hoped it would… or sometimes not at all. We had looked at each other and said, you know what, it’s time to do something for all of South Jersey… because we had done a magazine called Envision, we did one called Art Beat, and those were geared towards all of South Jersey and we knew how much was out there that needed to be promoted and supported and so the goal was to shine a light on the Arts of South Jersey and that’s what ArtC’s job was and we had thought about doing another magazine but things at that point… magazines weren’t doing as well, and there was more stuff online.  So there was an opportunity to do something online that would have the same impact and the same reach and ArtC became an online organization. Then we met up with people like Frank Weiss and we got into doing video work and the videos became a big part of artsy and the documentaries and we’ve done over 50 videos about artists in South Jersey we’ve done four documentaries and a premiered in movie theaters or theaters like the Cape May stage so ArtC kind of grew from there… ArtC is a flexible thing it’s like a living organism in my mind, you know, we’re not totally locked into one thing. Our Mission has never changed. It’s been to promote the Arts of South Jersey but more importantly the artists of South Jersey we feel that that’s where we have the best connection we relate to artists. Everybody on my team is actually an artist in their own right. If not an actual artist, they’re so good at their craft that we related as artists better than we do anything else so that’s the goal right now that’s the future of our team is whatever we can do for artists in South Jersey in to raise awareness of what artists are doing and to support the artist in many ways, there is not just one thing or just one need… there’s a lot of things we can do to support the Arts.
Ivy– About the ArtC Public TV Show
Bill– “…I figured if it was something I wanted to know, that my viewers wanted to know… something I was interested in… because I’m not an Art Expert I can’t look at a painting and tell you whether is great or not, I have friends that do that for me, but I would learn and that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to people to watch the show and get to know a little bit more about what’s involved and what people go through to create and what makes their work good and how they got to where they are…“
Ivy– “…about the state of things in Southern New Jersey in regards to funding, proper representation, and support for artists at all stages, so what is most important for us to understand as Artists as well as Citizens about the current politics and overall situation there?”
Bill– “One thing about the artists in South Jersey is, they’re not really relying on the politics or the funding mean they’re doing their thing creating their art so they’re not quite as aware of all these things that are involved in funding or would they like funding and yes of course they would but it’s not as important to them as it might be to other organizations but what’s happening and what has happened is we have the New Jersey state Council of the Arts for example and there is no representation from South Jersey on the council so things are happening I told that affect South Jersey and there’s no one saying it win it has a South Jersey representative can’t we do this or this so I’m not saying that what they’re doing is Melissa For this so I’m not saying that what they’re doing is malicious or it’s there’s a bad intent or anything with that but they don’t know us down here they’re not aware of who we are what we do and I think South Jersey has unique needs that don’t get met so we’d like to see an opportunity we have several people one in particular that we recommended for someone who would actually has Common Sense who who was made an effort to learn more about the Arts in our area and who could at least …represent us….
…the thing with artists, there’s really no organization in South Jersey, or New Jersey for that matter, that deals specifically with the needs of artists.  Yes the council has some programs they do occasionally, as far as I think that’s great but we need support. The way it works today we’re losing a lot of galleries in South Jersey.  Accent Gallery… I mean, half a dozen left, so there’s less opportunities for artists to sell their work thus less opportunities for them to have representation, so the stress is on them now to provide all around marketing and no photos and videos and marketing tools, and that’s a lot for artist to absorb…
“…you know we should be encouraging them to do their best work and then help them with supporting these other things that they need to do in order to sell their work and make a living as artists and it’s difficult.  It’s a difficult time to do that kind of stuff. What are people buying? Not like they used to… it’s not happening as much… so that’s why I feel artists need some more support and some recognition, and all the things that go into helping them in a survivor’s artist market.  That’s personally my opinion.”
Ivy  “Exactly!  Because you can’t get the true impression of a work of art online.  You can’t feel the textures and see the brush Strokes, as well as, like, being in that atmosphere, walking into a gallery and, like, it’s just a totally different experience.”
Bill  “There is a huge difference.  I’m looking at your work on the walls here, you know, if I see that online I’m not going to get that feeling from it.  It’s two dimensional work but there’s a three dimension to it. There’s a third feeling to it and that like you said, texture, the paint in the depth, you know all those things are important to experiencing art especially before you buy.  … in a full Glory so to speak. So these are all the elements that we’re losing.”
Ivy  “The people may not think they’re missing it but it is missing!  It’s getting tougher I think. People do miss that stuff, but when there’s not a place to go for a long enough time, such as galleries, then they’re not going to be going to look for it in generations to come.  So that’s a problem.”
Bill   “Artists have to become marketers today there’s no question about it.  They have to know more about marketing their work but it’s it’s a little more difficult even for the person buying the art.  You know you’re not really seeing it in its full Glory anymore so I don’t know… I don’t know what the answer is to that… I know that the trends not going to change, but I’d like to see a little more support for galleries.  And there’s a divide between nonprofit and for-profit. If you’re a non-profit, you qualify for… grants, you know you don’t have to pay your sales taxes or whatever… if they pay sales tax… then the for profits can’t even list a show they’re having for a South Jersey artist.  That was one of Mary’s complaints … so I’m not asking them for money … I just want to be okay. Organizations are the one-stop-shop for art. When you won’t let a for-profit gallery even list an event for South Jersey or an artist. That to me was confusing. It was confusing to a lot of artists and a lot of galleries in South Jersey…  So yes, community. It’s difficult; everybody has their own little world or a little thing going on so I understand it’s not easy to do, (support artists and each other) but I think it can be done it should be. If everyone showed up that was supposed to be there when, we would never end up sitting… we had in 98 people may have been a hundred but we had at least 98 who showed up and the eagle said we can seat 205 so there really was no seating left.  We had 12 people with two panels of six people my original idea was to have a round table and I was going to invite 9 or 10 people who didn’t normally have a voice in South Jersey, but really has something to say and then present that to… New Jersey. I have actually gotten a lot of great feedback from some organizations so this may have been one of those where it’s a step forward and two steps back. On the first one I didn’t do this expecting a miracle.  On the first time we did this, I knew that this wasn’t going to because some people look at it as a thread, you know: “you’re rocking the boat” “you’re trying to make change” “you’re trying to do something that seems” …some people said it was self-serving… to give to artists, “too sensitive” …(however) it’s difficult, as you know it is, to work in solitary. That’s been several people in the panel said artists who work alone, they don’t get to be with other people, their voices aren’t heard… (to some extent) is it partly the artist fault? Sometimes it is.  They could come to things and express their voice but they don’t feel like they’re being hurt so that was part of the goal of the panel discussion and by the way there’s one coming up in the fall in October 2018 at the Cape May stage. I’m hoping they serve a purpose.
“Ivy, you do so much for the Arts in South Jersey and you’re working hard and doing all this stuff but you’re one of those people that have lots of ideas and it’s hard to get them out there to people and that’s kind of what we want to do.  We want to be this Avenue or this. This means for people to get ideas to the right people, and of course, back to having a representative. It’s difficult if there’s no one that you know… and I understand that you know South Jersey and Justice.  (We want Cheryl Broschard to sit on the State Council of the Arts as the first and only representative of South Jersey, and that’s) a tiny part of what she has to do. We need someone to kind of filter those ideas so we can go and say, “what do you think?” and then they can present them to the head of the council… we don’t have that right now.  We need a chain of command a little bit, but someone who actually listens.
“Allison, from Ocean County, I give Allison credit for being there,  …she was there so I’m not sure what they took away from this, I can’t tell at this point.  It was the first time we did something like this, so… but they handle themselves well and there’s still a lot of questions I’d like to ask them I didn’t ask a lot of the questions at this the felt that it was the channel I think  and that’s and I think we can develop and get involved.”
Ivy  And you’re sort of a rare find in that sense, because in my experience, after moving home to South Jersey from New York, where I was able to support myself as a working artist, I wasn’t able to do the same in New Jersey.  And although I had allies and friends, we all seemed to be scrambling to find that one gig, like there’s one piece of corn and all the chickens are going for it at once. However what I did do since 2011 with the sketch nights, open mics and Flower Festival, which was more as a volunteer and for just the love of Art and Community, you fully encouraged and supported from day one.  Few people I’ve seen are able to do what you do for artists, or are as focused on doing just that. So first of all thank you for what you do and secondly why do you?
Bill  How artists are supported, there is no Arts organization without artists… You’re an artist. I think I’m a creative person, but I wake up with the same point of view as an artist everyday, how am I going to pay my bills today how am I going to get work?  How am I going to create something that has an impact that also gets me work to keep doing what I’m doing so I understand the mentality of artists. And these are the people I hung out with. These are the people that I spend time with and these are the people I understood and knew and that really hasn’t changed.  That’s the majority of the people I know or come from that field so I felt that I had an opportunity to make a difference and of course it was this is what I love doing. If I can make a living doing what I love, that’s even better. So it kind of drove me in that direction. The more I talk to artists and get to know artists, the more aware I was in the needs and it reinforced the idea that there is a need for something like ArtC.  I’ve been in every artist studio in South Jersey that I’ve met. I go to the place I spend time with them I know who does what and how they do it I know some of their needs and their concerns and I kind of understand a lot of them not so many out there that I still don’t know and I’m learning more everyday but you have to understand who the artist is and what they do and why they do it; to be able to do something to support and help them and that’s kind of the direction that this is.  You know, between the documentaries in the magazine features and the exhibits, what is involved in doing so, when someone says oh “curate our show” -no, I picked a few artists, the curator selected the art, decided on how to hang it, the theme of the show. So I was a part of that, but I’m not really curator.
“It’s like when you ran your gallery and you had to put all that together every month that’s a lot of work and there’s a real talent to doing that.  …In a radio show I had no idea what was involved and I said, “I can do that,” in front of a camera by the way. I’m a photographer but once I started doing it and realize there’s a lot and I think I’ve been working hard to learn that stuff and to make it as good as I can make it, but you don’t really know, sometimes curators and people that put the stuff together, the gallery owners, who really got a bad rap sometimes, but they’re doing so much to survive nowadays and to keep supporting artists… so I’m saying it from their point of view.
“I was in a play at the Gateway Playhouse which is pretty big deal they’re doing that so I had them on the radio show…  so I joined it and I said okay I’ll try it… I only had a handful of lines And the way they deliver, oh my, does anybody realize how much goes into this community theater they’re not getting paid to do this and the hours that goes into putting on something like this, …when you go out there and it looks easy, but people …who put on a play out of their own pocket… and say okay let’s hope we sell enough tickets to make this work… so when you do something like that and you get to see the other side of it… you develop this new appreciation for the art of things.”
“So I think I relate… and we were talking earlier you said… “but why do you do this?”  …because if you don’t do it you just feel like you’ve ignored what you should be doing.  Deciding to do it and then finding a way to make a living at it. I know a lot of our artists, I don’t know if they knew how hard it was going to be.  This is what I want to do, so I appreciate what you said about me helping. I try, I want to be supportive as much as I can.”
Ivy  “Which leads to my next question, which is, what’s the plan for the future, for ArtC, and for The ArtC TV show?”
Bill  “I always knew that there had to be short-term to long-term goals, so our immediate goals, we do have a few things coming up.  We’re going to continue to produce documentaries as we can. We have shot a portion of A Glass Factory and we’re redoing The Art Spirit and those will Premiere at the Levoy Theatre, September 19th so there’s my one plug I’m going to do.  We have more panel discussions coming up. I think the first one should be a learning experience and I know from the first one that I learned a lot… and they’re no longer carrying shows like our show so they were an inexpensive way to get the show on the air and it was great but now we need to find a new sponsor and we want to come back in the fall.  That’s the goal. …I have to make it happen so we want to bring the TV show back, it really was a voice for the arts in South Jersey and I know I can make it even better and make it even more of that, so this long list of people that I told you are going to be on the show. I’m going to really try hard to make sure the show comes back in September, and that you get to be on the show, and you get to tell the world what what makes you create your art.  I like doing it by the way, so it’s weird being on this side of the interview…
“I think what you’re doing is great and you’re dealing with some of the emerging artists you know and I’ve done work with some emerging artists but I think I focused a lot on the established … haven’t had as much chance to do this yet but that’s why I want to keep the show going because the list goes all the way down and there’s these emerging artist people that are really good but they need help getting to the next level, and I find a ton of them everyday… I mean there are just so many out there and I want to keep doing what I’m doing to support them, and support me, I mean I’m not going to lie this is how I support myself too.
“Thank you so much for doing this interview at your place.”
Ivy “Thank you!”
Important Links for ArtC: ShatteredArt Spiritpanel discussion &


The Andromeda Project

Chapter 1 Bugs


Guy is 30 and a writer for some local New Jersey magazines plus one popular zine on the web.  He is also a musician that gigs frequently in the regional area, enough to sustain his one bedroom bungalow apartment, his couch surfing friends, and his vegan anti-establishment lifestyle… inasmuch as a partially-conservative looking white male would try to emit, given the world he was born into.  Thus he has a colorful beard that is slightly unkempt but makes up for this with dress shirts and dress pants or nice jeans with suit jackets. He’s not a hipster, but could blend in with the hipster herd if needed, and has blended in often for gigs in Williamsburg Brooklyn, NYC.


The writing style of Guy is like Vonnegut plus Steinbeck minus holding anything back. His zine articles describe works of art in ways that circumvent reality, his books are all half finished and need no more than a subtle push to begin the time sequence that will start the countdown to the end of the world.  He writes in a poetic matter of fact detailed fashion, and he loves science fiction and history.


Guy’s music is transcendental rock and roll.  There’s really no simpler way to describe it. One could list influences: Bob Dylanesque lyrics and vocal performances, Hendrix style riffs, Transcendental writing style like Radiohead and Grateful Dead, Blues and guts like the Rolling Stones, and something unique of its own style.


Unemployment brought some notice to Guy’s lifestyle and his anti-establishment socio-political leanings back in the 2000’s, so he decided to stop speaking openly about his opinions as soon as he realized what was at stake.  The more he talked about what he knew, the more trouble he saw, the weirder things got, the more uphill his battles became. Once a social butterfly, he is now part hermit, part charming musician who opens up for performances and networking, part kermudgined old man ready to explode on the man when pushed that one last inch.


A lot of the odd crap happening to this Guy is happening to everyone, and everyone in a minority lifestyle feels and recognizes it as naturally and as matter of factly as the way their hair falls. Apart from the overriding systemic oppression that rules society, Guy still recognizes the world around him.  He somehow compartmentalizes that which he recognizes as untoward disillusion, separately from that which is the comfortable reality that the status quo is comfortable living with to allow for capitalism, reproduction, etcetera. And he still experiences the beautiful and mystical moments life has to offer. What Guy has come to realize is, everyone is their own minority, and people need to look out for themselves and one another the best they can, but how to express that without being the target?


On the way from an interview for a new gig, Guy is driving along the bay and the ocean on a lesser known highway in his seashore environment, Monarch butterflies floating over the ocean, up and over his Jeep, attaching themselves to milkweed.  He is listening to Jimi Hendrix, Electric Ladyland. He then sees a lady on the side of the road, seemingly interacting with the hundreds of butterflies by bending over here, peering into a small container there, and repeat. She looked either like a scientist, or dehydrated woman with sun poisoning thus experiencing mild confusion.  Either way, there were a lot of cars zooming past her, smacking into those butterflies, so Guy decides to pull over and make sure she is all right.


Stuck between a relay in the machine: The Conspiracy Theorist Radio Show-


Guy, pulls over, turns down the music and puts on his hazards.  He rolls down his window and says, “Hello there? You all right?”  She has a large sun hat and sunglasses, orangey dirty blonde, ocean crisped, salty hair, looks up smiling, sort of laughing silently at herself, and says oh yeah I’m fine, thanks, but these guys aren’t all doing so well. She holds her hand out with a butterfly in it laying sideways, lifeless.   “Guy says, so what are you doing? Collecting them?” She says, “Well not exactly, at first I actually was sort of collecting them, I thought it was pitiful and disgusting that they were just laying on the ground getting smashed into the asphalt, but then I realized they’re not all dead… do you have a minute?”  “Uhhh, Sure, sure…” guy says cautiously, “I have a minute.” The girl was kind of pretty even though her face was hidden, and was gentle enough to want to rescue tiny creatures from imminent death, safe bet that she won’t murder him, so yes, ignoring the metaphorical butterflies in his gut, Guy decides to wait and see.  

The lady breathes onto the butterfly and gently moves her palm, without touching anything with her fingers, shielding it from the breeze.  “I heard as a kid you’re not supposed to touch their wings. There’s some sort of magic powder or dust, still don’t know how true that is, never looked it up, so I’m just…”  Suddenly the butterfly twitched it’s antennae and legs… She continued whispering, “doing this.” She extended her palm and fingers, tightening the muscles and breathed two more gentle breaths, and the butterfly stood itself up, stunned but uninjured.  She lifted her arm and reached high up toward the bay side of the highway and the little bug took off! A bit flabbergasted but impressed, Guy said nothing for a minute, then laughed.


He usually doesn’t do this, except to give a worker a lift over the Ocean Bridge, but a woman alone at twilight resuscitating butterflies in moving traffic is an exception. Guy asks the lady, “Hey, do you need a lift?  It’s getting late and I don’t think you can save all of these in one day.” “Yeah, I guess you’re right. I’ve been here way longer than I planned, sun’s setting soon isn’t it…?” Guy nods. “OK, yes thanks!”

The lady gets in after Guy shuffles some CD’s and clothing into the back seat.  She’s listening to Paranoid Android on her headphones, he notices. She takes them off to say “hello,” and introduces herself as Gaia.  “Wow, nice name… funny, mine is Guy. Sounds similar but not as pretty.” He turns off the hazards, pulls out onto the road and asks, “Where to?”  “I haven’t decided yet. What are you up to? Er, I mean which way are you headed?” Guy, perplexed but undaunted, says, “Home. I live right here at the other end of Ocean Drive,” then looks at the time and says “I hope you don’t mind but my favorite radio show’s coming on in one minute…” Timely change of subject in an awkward moment, Gaia thinks to herself.  She says no problem and puts away her ear buds. He turns on the radio and they begin listening to the show.

“”Theories are converging from all angles, science, religion, politics…

the world is in a tailspin, crisis happening everywhere, amidst beauty, horror, and the mundane, hides the truth…” (This first section of the radio show is backed by music, it is the theorists’ opening jingle or theme song.)

Then the conspiracy theorist opens up after the theme rolling right in with a rant: “After a mildly successful two terms of civil rights improvements, the potential president elect is a pre-tyrannical misogynist megalomania-nightmare and his regime may be the turning point in this world’s life cycle. Technology plays a part in all of this; the thing that has developed to keep us connected and informed has evolved into a sort of a synthetic echo of true consciousness… almost “thinking” it is the true consciousness, at times contending.  Adversely, “IT” has seized an opportunity through Wi-Fi to attach in insidious ways to all beings; at first through AI developed for advertisement, then developed further for national intelligence spying and mind control, through commercials and regular ads/broadcasts. Here’s what the feds didn’t bargain for: the smaller the creature the easier to manipulate… More on this after our sponsor.”  On comes a commercial for a popular music festival, calling on supporters to buy in the pre-sales for special packages that donate to a special cause, give backstage passes, and other extras. The obviously retro, earthy female passenger self-deprecatingly mocks, “when will hippies ever learn?”

Guy calls in during the commercial, “Don’t mind me” he says to his passenger. She surmises he is a regular caller: speed-dial, perfunctory body language and comfort in speech and action while saying don’t mind me, a polite by-the-way command rather than a question.  He had an obligatory connection to this broadcast, she could feel all this innately before the call began to ring. The radio conspiracy theory host answers the guy’s call and says, “hey Guy, the commercial’s over in 5, 4, 3…” Guy asks on air, “What about computer Bugs lately, viruses on everyone’s’ smartphones, and the strange behaviors of actual animals and bugs being related to such? Have you heard of this? For example that weasel that got into the world’s most powerful hadron collider and crashed it? Mechanical drone dragonflies?”


Host rattles off his response as if scripted, majestically: “Bugs or insects have become “bugs,” and tech has become “alive” calculating more and more precise and imaginative ways to manage each ‘crisis’ (the “IT virus” assumes crises in people’s private lives down to the molecular level of the microcosm. Each of our daily issues are preempted, assumed and ‘managed’ by the virus)… Interesting note, back in the day Grace Murray Hopper found a bug in the old time computer, Harvard Mark II, and that’s where the concept of a computer bug comes from, it was a moth that was found stuck between the relay of the machine.  Nowadays, bugs that infest become “bugs” or listening spying devices.  Just like when you load a page with pictures on facebook- before the image loads it has text that reads something like, “people indoors, probably sitting, about 5 or 6, maybe a pet,”  you can read these words in the white spaces of a placeholder box before an image loads of a slow internet connection… This sort of general information can be transmitted back to the “it-source/virus tech-mind” via bugs along with heat sensing imagery, motion sensing and audio sensory software whenever any significant brain waves are released from the human subjects.  It’s all commonly known drone technology not being officially introduced to the public, yet being exposed covertly onto the public. Just like we know there are CIA agents, NSA agents and FBI agents undercover everywhere, we just don’t know the extent of which they are unleashed on the private individual or how many are in the public sector, nor do we know all of their covert missions and operations. Their privacy is our ignorance, which in turn can be our undoing.”  

“See this dude blows my mind, he always has a fast and in depth response” says the Guy, still holding his phone long after the disconnect.


“In addition to mechanical drones, there is an abbreviation I want you all to remember, SASP, like wasp with an “S” that stands for Scientific Adaptations Symbiotic Parasitics- and can be referring to any creature known to man that fits the description of living listeners or sensors.  Live spying vessels that attach to other creatures more or less. What the government and scientists in this development field never anticipated however, is living bug bugs becoming super intelligent, as micro organisms are now recognized by both the insects and humans as a means of controlling other organisms, such as the bacteria in the rat that tells it to go near the cat and spread its deadly fleas… living bacteria in all creatures can emit chemicals, control hormones, and affect brain waves just as electrical impulses can.  In addition, for another section, bugs can literally crawl into a person’s ear and become a transmitter, entering a stasis and merging with the mind of it’s host, connecting it not only to the organic social group it is connected with, but also the “thing/virus” or “it tech” that is pervading this epic novel. the bug then has a longer shelf life in this stasis period, starting as a small impulse as it slowly gains access to the host, and growing to stronger impulses as it gains deeper access to the mind, and finally as it begins to die, although drawing life support from the hosts energy in its stasis it has no food or water, the signal becomes weaker.  characters with “bugs” can be seduced into strange behaviors. agents can use bugs to help control hosts as well. Bugs as a social group have been known to combine individual vibrational frequencies to create bumps and bangs, disturbing and intimidating sounds within the home of the host to either drive the host out of the environment or furthermore to drive the host into a fear induced psychosis thereby more easily manipulated. We know ants herd and harvest aphids, and other animals act in symbiotic ways in nature, just as humans do often cooperate and/or enslave one another and other creatures. There is a global war being fought on a biological and molecular level right now, and we have to keep our eyes open.  That’s all for now, up next time, forced remote ECT on whistleblowers and freedom writers!” Cuts to another commercial.


“Wow.”  Says Gaia. The sun is setting in warm brilliant colors and she is looking out her window.

“Have you ever heard that broadcast?” Asked Guy.  She shakes her head no. “What did you think?”

Pauses for a minute… “I just hope those were real butterflies.”  They both laugh.

“Well, if it’s true, knowing that all the insects in the world pound for pound outweigh all the other animal creatures put together, I’d say the tech virus bug idea is a pretty serious hypothesis with some major concerns.  But I try to never take this stuff too seriously. Still gotta drive to work and feed the couchsurfers.”

”But humans have free will and an actual spiritual nature that is undeniable, I just don’t think any amount of spying or secret gadgets can mess with that.” The Ocean Drive was coming to an end.  “Did you say you had a couchsurfer?”

“Not at the moment, but I do go to a lot of concerts and use couchsurfing for my gigs on the road, so I often have some couchsurfers of my own.  My little inside joke. No dog, fish or cat, but part of my paycheck goes to feed to the occasional stray couchsurfer a breakfast burrito.”

“Well, funny, um, I don’t want to be a nuisance… or impose…”

“I hear ya, you need a couch?”

“Is that crazy?”

“Not a problem, almost there anyway, and you never told me where you were going. I’ll call it convenient.”

“OK, thanks!”

In a minute he turns east toward the beach and the jeep pulls into a small sandy driveway to a quaint beach bungalow behind a duplex. They go inside.

Gaia is quiet.  She says few words, looking at her beaded charm bracelets a lot, and at the houseplants and books and posters and various instruments.  There is a desk with a keyboard and a pile of notebooks and a chopped up aloe plant. She mostly averts her eyes from her host, trying not to be a bother as he settles in; Guy has a few bags and guitars to bring in from the vehicle.  She has one large woven satchel, and a smaller portfolio shaped bag for her mini computer and her sketchbook. Gaia had no phone, no wallet, and few explanations.

Guy didn’t mind her quiet personality, and started cooking for them both.  “I’m vegetarian, you want to eat something with me?” “Sure!” She was cheerful when she did speak, but simple in her response to simple questions.  There was a sort of intriguing tension building, but the two of them were too coy to break it with lots of words just yet. She smelled fresh Ginger and lemon, and things were frying loudly with steam.  She enjoyed the aroma and sounds, but shortly excused herself to use the bathroom. In her satchel was a clean dress and some oils. She took a three minute shower without asking, to rinse off the ocean, and oiled up with lavender to cleanse her ridiculously sweaty beach bum smell from the hot day, and put on a long summer dress with a netted woven sweater over it.  She was now really hungry and delighted she was a dinner guest in another vegetarians home. When she came out the table was being set and she began to sneak glances at her host, as it would be odd to keep averting her attention while sitting across from company. Gaia decided to be upfront and come out with it, “I hope you can forgive my taciturn shyness. We just met and…”  

“Nothing to forgive, it’s refreshing to be around someone who can appreciate a little peace and quiet.”  

“This looks amazing, thank you.” Gaia decided Guy was handsome, although his beard covered most of his face, it had pretty colors of red, blonde and brown. His eyes and general build and appearance were attractive to her.  So was his voice and energy, she could sense honesty, depth, kindness and intelligence. As soon as she thought this she felt a rush of blood and warmth to her face, and blushing, picked up her fork and took in some water to occupy her hands.

“You’re welcome. Just tofu and vegetables.  I have some blankets and stuff for the couch.  Let me know what else you need. I am off tomorrow so no worries if you want to stay up or get to bed early.  I don’t have cable but I have Super Nintendo and lots of DVDs.”

“I like that. Cable is so full of commercials and bad news, I try not to connect with it too much any more.  But old video games and movies sounds great to me. You’re a pretty good cook by the way, I love how you did the vegetables. Thanks again.”

“Well thank you too.”

The two finished dinner and Gaia decided to clean up while Guy got the Nintendo hooked up. “Tetris, Mario, or Duck Hunt?”  

“HAHA!  Duck hunt?!  It’s been awhile… How about all three in the opposite order? Tetris is my favorite.  Save the best for last.”

Gaia got a kick out of Duck Hunt, it reminded her of her childhood and how many little friends she played it with, and how many innocent digital ducks she had slaughtered or witnessed being slaughtered in a lifetime.  The irony of now being a vegetarian and doing so was for some reason hilarious, maybe because she is the type to rescue insects from car accidents in her mid twenties. The dog that retrieved the ducks was one of the first interactive character elements in a video game she can recall.  It’s asides and informative gesticulations seemed to give the hound its own consciousness. But of course, it was a simple logical string of zeros and ones listed in an index of commands, linked with simple digital animation- quite primitive.


Guy had not had the pleasure of playing video games with someone who laughed as much and jumped around as much as his new friend in a long time.  His game system was starting to collect dust. When Gaia made her guy jump Guy couldn’t help notice she made her whole body jump starting with her hands on the controller.  She was transformed into a kid. The two had instant chemistry and it was all thanks to the Mario Brothers, next game. Gaia insisted on just watching Guy play Mario. She was Louigi for one round and died so fast that Guy reluctantly agreed it was for the best.  She insisted that she enjoyed being a watcher for these types of quests and not a contender… the bad guys and the fictitious violence gave her anxiety. Tetris was another story. Gaia bested Guy on every round and always got to the levels of insanely fast music without batting an eyelash, whereas guy could play but not hang quite as long.  By the end of the video games they had opened a bottle of red wine and were talking about favorite movies.


They discuss various comedies, Woody Allen, his collection of Saturday Night Live, then Sci-fi thrillers like The Matrix. They then discussed the fact that there are movies for A Brave New World and 1984, great books but not so great movies… Gaia recalls that on one occasion when painting a mural in a high rise in NYC she saw a helicopter just like in 1984, hovering outside a window of a skyscraper, spying right into the building for a good ten minutes, just feet from the side of the building’s outer wall. She and her partner did not speak of the incident ever again, they were just stunned and let it go, and went back to painting.  


They decide on the Matrix.  Guy has such a great time he ends up falling asleep on the couch sitting up watching the end of the Matrix with Gaia.  He wakes up to find that they hadn’t made it through the whole movie, but a visage of a man was staring at him through the blue movie screen.  He shook his head and shut his eyes tight and opened them and the visage was gone. Guy went over to put away the leftovers and was startled. Gaia started to open her eyes and sat up.  They both focused on an adult sized roach standing on the edge of the counter, just staring at them, not interested in the food, and not moving much except for its antennae. Guy knows he isn’t allowed to squish the bug.  He knows Gaia the insect savior is awake and in attendance. He grabs a glass and a piece of cardboard and slowly approaches the bug. At three feet distance he stops, and the bug poises. Guy takes one more step toward the roach and it jumps athletically toward Guy.  Guy instinctively jumps out of the way and shakes the insect away from his body. The bug scurries at light speed and disappears without a trace into the shadows.

New York Musician Eddie Shiffler’s song ‘The Circle’ to feature in the #EmergingProud film.

Amazing to read…

Reframing Mental distress as a potential catalyst for positive change

It feels only right that the featured song for the #EmergingProud film be one that was created out of a spiritual emergence process. Here Eddie, a musician from the NYC band ‘Dogz of Zeus’, describes his awakening experience in a nutshell:

“I have been a singer/songwriter my entire life.  My mother died when I was six weeks old at the amusement park, Great Adventure, on a roller coaster.  Ever since that moment, I have had a connection to the spiritual realm.  I evolved through the years through many great teachers.  When I was eighteen years old, I was in a bad mental state.  A friend introduced me to some writings.  I attempted the meditation techniques within the book, and to my surprise, I went through an out of body experience in a very real and literal sense.  I flew above my body, looked back down and zoomed through the floor…

View original post 1,474 more words

Stone Temple Pilots Still Looking for Singer With That Special Something

South Jersey is craving an answer to the Stone Temple Pilots search for a new lead singer.  Most of all reeling for conclusive news and waiting for contact from the band is local music legend Eddie Shiffler.  E.S. is frontman and writer for New York City band Dogz of Zeus, and lead singer songwriter for local family band Green Language. “When?!” is

the question everyone keeps asking.  But Stone Temple Pilots does not yet have an answer.  Shiffler still has hope that he will receive a call for an audition.  “I hear them on the radio often, many times they are the first song when I turn it on.  There is a connection and I haven’t counted myself out.  My vocal range and stage presence give me an edge for the style and I know if given the chance I would be able to show what I’ve really got.”

Jersey fans want a Jersey chance!  We are calling for Eddie Shiffler to get an audition!  Come on STP, where your Jersey Roots at?!  Eddie, Eddie, Eddie, EDDIE, EDDIE!

Original Article-
Robert DeLeo gave an update on Stone Temple Pilots’ singer search in a new North Jersey interview:

The band is currently writing new material while sifting through 15,000 audition tapes sent by singers eager to front Stone Temple Pilots, which also includes DeLeo’s brother, Dean DeLeo, on guitar, and drummer Eric Kretz.

He said that while the charismatic and eccentric Weiland is impossible to replace, the band is looking for someone who possesses more than just a voice that fits their music. “It’s got to be somebody who has that intangible thing, who can honor our past but stand on their own and contribute to where we’re going in the future.”

After months of John Borja claiming he is likely to be Stone Temple Pilots’ new singer, NBC 9 News/ET reported last month that STP had hired a singer from X-Factor. Stone Temple Pilots later denied the report.  Below is the original story.


The band has tapped X Factor season three runner-up Jeff Gutt — who now goes by his full name, Jeffrey Adam Gutt — as its new lead singer, ET has learned. Gutt has been working with band members Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz for the past few months, writing and recording new material in Redondo Beach, California.

A source tells ET that Gutt and the band members have officially begun rehearsals in Hollywood this week, and are expected to tour next year. They are expected to perform classic STP hits, along with new songs.

Gutt was mentored by Kelly Rowland during his X Factor stint in 2013, though he continuously impressed judges Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato and Paulina Rubio with his powerhouse covers of songs like “Creep,” “Dream On,” and “Hallelujah.”




Press of AC Covers Eddie Shiffler’s Rise to Stardom: OCNJ musician seeks part at Stone Temple Pilots’ lead singer

Posted: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 8:45 am

Eddie Shiffler, of Ocean City, is known on the East Coast as a talented rock singer, songwriter and performer. But he has bigger dreams.

So Shiffler took part in the nationwide search to find a new lead singer for the San Diego-based, hard-rock band Stone Temple Pilots, which featured the now-decreased lead vocalist Scott Weiland. Chester Bennington filled in as Weiland’s temporary replacement, but now the band is looking for a new singer.

Shiffler, 34, said he’s confident that the past 18 years he spent as a musician have prepared him to take over the frontman duties for one of the most commercially successful bands of the 1990s.

A 1999 graduate of Ocean City High School in, Shiffler has produced numerous albums of blues, folk and rock as a solo artist. He currently plays with two different bands — Dogz of Zeus, based in New York City, and Green Language, a southern New Jersey band. He also is the general manager of the Cherry Hill School of Rock in Camden County.

He’s also a Stone Temple Pilots fan.

“They were one of the great bands that came out of that era. When Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains came out, then Stone Temple Pilots and the Smashing Pumpkins were right behind them. That was really a second renaissance in rock ’n’ roll. It was a great era for music in general,” Shiffler said.

The music of that era was extremely influential to a teenage Shiffler.

“It was very important,” Shiffler said. “In real way, those songs shaped the psychology and the soul of America.”

Grammy Award-winners Stone Temple Pilots had seven No. 1 songs on the mainstream rock charts between 1993 and 2013, including “Plush,” “Vasoline” and “Big Bang Baby.”

Shiffler’s cousin, fellow singer Michael Cavaretta, told him about the nationwide search for a new STP singer. When the submission process ended last month, the band had received more than 10,000 applicants.

That would seem like a serious long shot to other people, but Shiffler thinks he has a good chance, if the band considers all factors. And it’s happened before. Tim “Ripper” Owens, who once sang in a Judas Priest tribute band, became the lead vocalist for that group from 1996 to 2003. Current Journey lead Arnel Pineda was found through YouTube.

“I believe I have a strong chance because I’m also a songwriter, a recording artist, vocalist and musician. I have a strong stage presence as well, so I have every single thing that they are looking for,” Shiffler said.

Part of the application process is public, so Shiffler can be heard singing the band’s single “Interstate Love Song” on YouTube. But there also was a private segment where he sent in a biography, a recording of original material and a video of a performance.

Record producer and mix engineer Jamey Staub, 53, has produced two of Shiffler’s albums. Staub has worked with artists ranging from Jessica Simpson to Incubus, Everlast and A Tribe Called Quest.

“Eddie is a very dynamic. He is a fantastic singer,” said Staub. He has hear Shiffler shift effortlessly from singing very softly to screaming. “His pitch is spot on all the time.”

As an example of Shiffler’s talent, Staub told of when Joe Lynn Turner, a lead singer for Rainbow, Deep Purple and guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, held a concert in Brooklyn, N.Y. that featured five bands, including Shiffler’s Dogz of Zeus.

“Eddie’s live show blew everyone else out of the water,” Staub said. “With the changes in tempo and changes in time signatures, he was on point every time.”

Whether Shiffler lands the Stone Temple Pilots gig or not, he has been working since he was a teenage to be good enough to be in the running for a job like this.

Shiffler’s first band was called Keyser Soze after the character from the 1995 film “The Usual Suspects.” He organized a festival called Edfest in 1997 at the Ocean City Music Pier, which was the first time Keyser Soze made any money. Shiffler was the lead vocalist and played some guitar. The band released four albums from 1997 to 2004.

A Philadelphia native, Shiffler lived in Ocean City from the time he was 4 until he was 21. He moved to Philadelphia and then New York before returning to Ocean City three years ago.

With the hard-rock quartet, Dogz of Zeus, Shiffler tries to put on more of show because the band has a thematic style, writing about ancient mysteries and their relationship to modern politics. Shiffler is the lead singer and lyricist and writes the vocal melodies.

Shiffler’s other group, Green Language, fuses rock, reggae and blues into a single sound. Everyone sings in the harmony-laden, song-oriented band that specializes in catchy tunes.

“Green Language is way more lighthearted than Dogz of Zeus, more of a danceable kind of music, a Jersey Shore kind of band. We’re influenced by Sublime and the Wailers as well as the Grateful Dead, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones,” Shiffler said.

Shiffler sings, plays guitar and write songs for Green Language. In a recent four-hour gig at Caroline’s By The Bay in Somers Point, the band did covers of everyone from Elvis Presley to The White Stripes along with its original songs.

The Stone Temple Pilots regular auditions are due to start on April 18, according to website. Staub said he sees Shiffler as the new singer for Stone Temple Pilots and has advice for him.

“Don’t copy what Scott did. Add your own self and personality. … Be yourself.”

That should be easy for Shiffler, Staub said. “He’s a very personable guy. “

Contact: 609-272-7202

Twitter @ACPressJackson

© 2016 Press of Atlantic City. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

OC’s Own Eddie Shiffler Aims to be the New Lead Singer for Stone Temple Pilots

Original Article by OCNJ Daily | Ocean City’s Daily News Source

Alternative Rock legends, Stone Temple Pilots just completed the first phase of an online audition for a new lead vocalist.  Their original singer, Scott Weiland had recently passed away, but was out of the band for a few years, due to substance abuse issues.  Chester Bennington had filled in as a temporary replacement, but resigned from the group to pursue his original band, Linkin Park.  One of the hopeful candidates for the newly opened position is Ocean City’s own Eddie Shiffler.  Known for his celebrated career as a musician and songwriter throughout the region, Shiffler plans to make a splash in this process and get a face to face opportunity with the band.


“I know if I get the chance to perform in the same room as the band, they will have an easy decision to make.”  Shiffler has long been heralded for his dynamic stage performances.  He has been able to captivate audiences with explosive rock shows, as well as enchanting acoustic concerts. Shiffler currently plays with New York City hard rock group, Dogz of Zeus; South Jersey’s favorite underground band, Green Language; and as a solo artist who has produced many albums of folk, blues and rock.

Eddie’s musical career has led him to play with rock n roll greats, such as The Strokes, Rex Brown (Pantera), Joe Lynn Turner (Deep Purple, Rainbow, & Yngwie Malmsteen) Alex Skolnik (Testament & Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Steve Augeri (Journey), Bobby Rondinelli (Black Sabbath, Rainbow, & Blue Oyster Cult) and many others.  With his bands, he has rocked every great club in the nation, from CBGB’s to The Whiskey a-go-go.  He has busked on every street corner of New York City and down in the belly of New Orleans & the tropical strips and squares of Key West.  He also worked as a journalist, concessions manager and event producer, which led him to various encounters with the likes of Paul McCartney, Steven Tyler, Billy Joel, Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, Roger Daltrey, Dicky Betts, Derek Trucks, Arlo Guthrie and more.  Shiffler is currently GM of Cherry Hill School of Rock.  He has truly been musically blessed.

The submission process for the STP contest ended last week and received over 10,000 applicants.  If Shiffler’s performance ranks in the top 10 percentile, he would have a 1 in 1,000 chance.  Eddie remains optimistic, “It’s better odds than playing the lottery, with the same payout!”  He said with a smile.  Even if the audition was great, the numbers are daunting for anyone to sit and listen to that many renditions.  But if they hear his voice, Shiffler knows they will recognize that he is a signature lead singer.

Aside from Shiffler’s innate ability to front a rock band and sing with great diversity, power and range, he does have one other advantage in the process.  Eddie Shiffler’s greatest skill as a musician is his songwriting talent.  He has written over 300 songs and recorded over 100 of them in various projects.  He has long been known for being a great lyricist and composer of compelling melodies, harmonies and catchy hooks.  “There’s a million great singers, but I feel confident that I am the full package, when it comes to singing, performing, writing and recording.  I feel qualified for the job.”

With experience, talent and presence to usher in a new era for a truly legendary rock band, Shiffler hopes to use this opportunity to fuel the next renaissance in rock music.  “Music has become too safe: too cookie-cutter.  I plan to work with STP to bring back an art form that challenges its audience, empowers, informs and inspires them to see the greatness in life.”  All in all, Shiffler is realistic.  “Optimistically, I have about a 1% chance, and that means, if STP hears me on the right day, they might just call me out for a meeting, which is all I need…  to let them hear my vocal approach in person and see me craft some of their riffs into a new song.”  1%… so you’re saying there’s a chance! Check out Shiffler’s submission here:    #stpneedseddie 


Stone Temple Pilots Launch Open Audition for Lead Singer

Jerz Rockers, this is amazing! STP has invited the public to open tryouts to pick the new lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots!

Original Article can be found on Rolling Stone Magazine                BY

“No one will ever ‘replace’ Scott, that was never the intent,” band says jointly. “The intent is to continue on, to evolve and … make music”

“”Stone Temple Pilots are kicking off 2016 with the search for a new singer, following the departure of Chester Bennington last fall. The twist is that they’re opening auditions up to the whole world. Soon, anyone will be able submit an audition to their website of himself or herself singing for an opportunity to join the band.

“We’ve already heard from many talented people, but want to make this an opportunity for many more so we’ve set up a way for you to do just that,” band members Robert and Dean DeLeo and Eric Kretz wrote in a statement on their official site. “If you think you have what it takes to front this band, record with this band, and tour with this band, we would dig hearing from you.”

In the announcement, the band members were careful to pay respect to their founding frontman, Scott Weiland, who died in December. “No one will ever ‘replace’ Scott, that was never the intent,” they wrote. “The intent is for Stone Temple Pilots to continue on, to evolve and to do what we do … make music! We look forward to seeing you.”

Bennington had joined the band in 2013, following a period where Weiland had returned to the group, but he left Stone Temple Pilots last November to focus on his other act, Linkin Park. “Having Chester front two bands of this size and scope was too much for one man to be able to do and so regretfully we had to move onto a new chapter together,” the group explained. This, they said, is why they need fans’ help.

In their singer submission video, the three members are seen playing together for about a minute before they break and Robert addresses the camera. “Hey, Dean and Eric and I are looking for a singer,” he says. “Stone Temple Pilots wants you.””

Read more:
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Getting To Know: Out Of The Beardspace’s Totally Unique Musical Fusion

The original article can be found at

Funk Fusion from Cherry Hill, NJ: Out of the Beardspace is comprised mostly of Cherry Hill School of Rock teachers and/or former students.  Check out this article on their recent performances:


“”In a psychedelic explosion of sound and color, Out Of The Beardspace emerges with an incredibly unique blend of improvisation and compositional prowess. Their songs fuse jazz, pop, funk, and rock, mixed together into one fascinating Beardly Beast that has cultivated a loyal following.

Members of the band formed out of a School of Rock program, which enabled them to tour across the world with stars like Jon Anderson (Yes) and Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction). Once graduated, the members reconvened to form this incredible band back in 2011, and have been on a tear ever since. They’ve shared bills with groups likeMoon Hooch, Lettuce, Consider the Source, Lettuce, EOTO and more, but there’s no telling how high they’ll climb.

“”So what does a live blend of jazz, jam, pop, funk and rock sound like? Check out some footage from the band’s performance of “Closer To The Source” from Camp Jam 2014, showcasing the band’s enormous talents.

Between the changes between sections, complex vocal harmonies, and virtuosic musicianship, it’s no surprise that Out Of The Beardspace is making waves in the live music scene.

Perhaps most impressive of all is their annual festival, Beardfest, which continues to grow with each passing year. With acts like American Babies, Moon Hooch, Swift Technique, JoJo Mayer’s Nerve Duo, After Funk and more, it’s never a dull moment at Beardfest…””


Band of the Week: GREEN LANGUAGE

Following their record release concert held May 9th 2014 at the Ocean City Music Pier- which showcased talent from NJ/NYC like The Rivals, Bad Look , The Outlips- popular new South Jerz band, Green Language, is named band of the week & selected to play in hometown’s historic parade…

Original Article from Press of Atlantic City, April 8 2015



“Relatives singing together have that certain sound, like the Everly Brothers,” says frontman Eddie Shiffler, who plays guitar and writes the majority of the band’s material. “When I realized we could do some three-part harmonies, it was really exciting.”

Shiffler formed the band after returning to the area from New York City, where he performed for the past several years. The band’s style is inspired by British invasion bands of the 1960s, grunge bands of the 1990s and reggae music.

Shiffler’s lyrics allude to the Bible and mythology. In conversation, Shiffler references the myth of Osiris and the true origins of Cinderella.

“I’ve found that I’m really inspired by the fusion of ancient mythology and modern society,” he says. “I think there’s a hidden connection between ancient myths and their subconscious influences on modern society. ‘Green Language’ implies the hidden message that’s found within nature and art.”

Fans with quick feet can catch the band as they perform at Ocean City’s Doo Dah Parade noon Saturday. Green Language will perform on a float, as it rides down Asbury Avenue and onto the Boardwalk.

The band’s mascot, “The Green Man,” will accompany them, passing out download cards and CD copies of Green Language’s self-recorded debut.

Shiffler said he believes there is a lot of talent in South Jersey music.

“South Jersey is a great place,” he says. “We’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

Who are they: Eddie Shiffler: vocals, guitar; Steve Cavaretta: guitar; John Shiffler: bass, vocals; Ryan Shiffler: drums.””

Eddie Shiffler’s Return to Ocean City Means More Entertainment for South Jerz

Original Article is posted by OCSentinel, and can be found [HERE]


Eddie Shiffler is back. This talented singer, songwriter and band leader’s return to Ocean City means more quality entertainment and interesting programs for the community.

Before leaving Ocean City to tour with his bands, Eddie worked for the Ocean City Fine Arts League where he helped establish the league with the late Jim Penland and others. For five years he lived in New York where he established his new band, Dogz of Zeus and worked for the New York Mets.

Eddie is not only a talented musician but also a fluent writer, knowledgeable about many subjects. Your first opportunity to enjoy his talents will be on Wednesday, Feb. 26 when he presents a free talk on the “History of Money” at the Ocean City Library, 1735 Simpson Ave., from 7 to 8:50 p.m. in Lecture Room N 110.

Eddie notes that “money is one of the most important and volatile issues in our daily lives, but rarely do people stop to consider its dynamic history: a history steeped in secrecy, power, war, famine and even alchemy.”

This program will include a PowerPoint presentation, short educational videos, images and discussion. It will be an entertaining evening. For more information, contact Karen (609) 399-2434, ext. 5238 or

On Saturday and Sunday, March 15-16, Eddie will perform a musical retrospective at an Ocean City Repertory Theater location. (Because of recent storm damage to the roof of the theater on Asbury Ave., a new location will soon be announced.) Save one of these dates.  The show, called “Rattling Chains” after one of Shiffler’s most popular songs, starts 7 p.m. each night. Musicians who have collaborated with Shiffler over the years will perform with him and the night will close with performances by his new band, “Green Language.” Tickets are $10 from the Theatre, (609) 457-6686 or (347) 813-5090 to purchase directly from Shiffler. For more information,

MORE GOOD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS! The United States Air Force Heritage of America Band-Rhythm in Blue-Jazz Ensemble will perform at the Music Pier on Tuesday, March 25 at 7 p.m. Doors open 6:30 p.m. “Rhythm and Blues” features the diverse talents of 17 professional musicians whose commitment to excellence has earned worldwide acclaim and military distinction. The band incorporates a wide repertoire of jazz and fusion, from Big Band and Swing to cutting edge contemporary music. Admission is free with tickets available at City Hall, 861 Asbury Ave. between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call  (609) 525-9300 first to make certain tickets are ready.

The Jazz Concert follows the MR. MATURE AMERICA PAGEANT by just three days which is set for the Music Pier on Saturday, March 22.  You can take advantage of two entertainment events at one time by picking up tickets to both events when you stop at City Hall. The pageant tickets are $10 with proceeds after expenses benefitting the Ocean City Food Cupboard and the Philippine relief fund.

MR. MATURE AMERICA UPDATE: We have just heard from JoAnne Santori, executive director of the Miss New Jersey Senior America Pageant, an affiliate of the national pageant held in Atlantic City every year. She congratulated on us on initiating the new pageant for men 60 and older. Seems that they were thinking of doing the same thing.  So they want to be part of our program by sending one of their pageant winners to entertain at our event on March 22.

We are also honoring women 60 and over at MMA and have just received confirmation from Mama Dietz, Mrs. Ruth Eni, the president and radio spokesperson for Dietz and Watson that she will be one of the pageant judges. Dietz and Watson is a long time supporter of Ocean City. They are the major sponsor of our Doo Dah Parade set for April 12 and have assisted us with many other special events. Mama Dietz will present large Dietz and Watson hams to all men who compete for MMA.

Other women who will be honored at the pageant will be 81-year-old baton twirler Betty Lambert, who was profiled in the Wall Street Journal; Peggy King, TV and movie singer-entertainer; and Nancy Fox, celebrated soprano, all of whom will entertain during intervals at the pageant.

It’s going to be a fun and informative night. Be there and you can tell your friends, children and grandchildren that you attended an historic event, Mr. Mature America, the first pageant of its kind ever held in the United States. For information, call (609) 525-9300 or email

FOOD IS LOVE DRIVE: Ocean City’s Board of Realtors is holding its annual food drive to assist the Ocean City Ecumenical Council’s Community Food Cupboard through Feb. 28. The Realtors are collecting non-perishable food items including canned items, juice and microwaveable pasta meals plus monetary donations and Shoprite gift cards. Donations can be dropped off at the Board of Realtors Office, 405 22nd Street or call (609) 399-0128 for pick-up service.

Items needed include microwaveable Spaghetti O’s, lasagna, meatballs and spaghetti, ravioli, canned meats, corn beef hash, Spam, Dinty Moore stew, jelly, peanut butter, juice, tomato pasta sauce (26 oz.), canned beans, liquid laundry detergent (48 oz.), dish detergent, paper towels.  Cal Vicki Heebner, (609) 399-0128 or

HUNT EXPANDED: The Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce will hold two Easter Eggs Hunts this year, one on April 12 at 2:30 p.m. (right after the Doo Dah Parade) from the 11th to the 14th Street beaches, five age groups, 100,000 eggs, 5,000 with prizes (the little elves have already started to stuff them), rain date April 13. The other will be April 19 (following the morning Woofin’ Paws Pet Fashion Show, ) rain date April 20.

EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE: a traditional non-denominational service by the sea is set for 6:30 p.m. April 20 at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. Call (609) 525-9300 for more information.

EASTER PROMENADE AND FASHION COMPETITION will be held in front of the Music Pier. Come dressed in your best. The Easter Bunny will be available to pose for photos and there will be chocolate bunnies for the children. Judging begins at 1 p.m. For information, call (609) 525-9300.”