There are eight million stories in the Stripped-Naked-by-Sandy City.
This is one of them.
From Thursday’s New York Times (dead-tree headline):
In the 38 years since Kenny Vance moved into his oceanfront home at the end of Beach 137th Street in the Rockaways, the house became a repository of his half-century musical career as a singer, songwriter and producer.
“It was my little museum,” said Mr. Vance, 68, an original member of Jay and the Americans, which was an opening act for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and the musical director behind many prominent films and television shows, including “Saturday Night Live.”
Over the years, he improved the modest beach house in the Belle Harbor section of Queens into a comfortable two-story refuge of rejuvenation that enabled him to keep a busy performance schedule.
That’s all gone now, as Times reporter Corey Kilgannon chronicles:
And now in the sand was a bulky roll of two-inch audio tape: the master recording of the “Animal House” soundtrack, which Mr. Vance also produced.
“I had a tape of John Belushi singing a dirty version of ‘Louie Louie,’ which no one will ever hear now,” said Mr. Vance, who was musical director for “Saturday Night Live” in the early 1980s. The backhoe scooped up a poster of Kenny Vance and the Planotones, his current group . . .
Nearby was half of a 45 disc of “Looking for an Echo,” a Vance hit. And there was a sand-encrusted cassette tape of his own compositions with the handwritten label “7 Songs.” “I have no idea what it is,” he said.
Just as Kenny Vance has no idea what the future holds. But that won’t hold him back.
Mr. Vance, who is divorced, has not let what has happened stop him from performing. He has a show scheduled Saturday in Red Bank, N.J.
“Performing is my medicine,” he said, adding that his most poignant find in the wreckage was a photograph of him performing with the singer Johnny Maestro, who died in 2010.
“I cried when I found that,” he said. “I realized that I’m lucky, because I’m still here.”
Actually, everyone’s lucky he’s still here.