Jersey Shore Band Spotlight: Shorty Long And The Jersey Horns
Since 105.7 the Hawk's Bar Band Competition will be starting soon, I decided to put my live and local voice, eyes, and ears to work! John Kern, bass player for Shorty Long and the Jersey Horns is a friend of mine and also my daughter's guitar teacher. I sat down with John to learn the background of the band's roots. Here's what he had to say.
So in late 1995, I was looking to start a cover band... at the time there was a band called “big orange cone“ and they were killin' it!
All good lookin' guys ....my friend Nick Cilli was working with me at a music store and I showed him one of their flyers ... I said “we could do that no problem“ go out start a band, get chicks lol! I thought we were on the same page mentally 4 maybe 5 guys go out and tear it up so he invites me to a jam session in his basement. I brought Mike Soresso (Now of Katfish Lucy) he’s a really AMAZING vocalist and fit the bill look wise. The drummer was Billy Belford a badass drummer and another heartthrob lol! And then I look down and there is this little wise-ass that looks like one of the Shriner's kids in a wheelchair that plays for tips at the ocean county mall. I said nick WTF is he doing here?? Nick says “he’ll be perfect just wait."
The kid in the wheelchair can sense I don’t want him in the band and he starts making jokes about me and my mother everything...so I went back and roasted him and we became friends ever since.
Oh yeah, Shorty has “OI” Osteogenesis Imperfecta it’s also known as brittle bone disease, which means his bones don’t have enough collagen.
We played a lot of shows and would come back to Nick's basement with half the crowd.
Sometimes we would forget shorty in the van and leave him out there all night!
It was his van but we used it to move the PA equipment. The van had hand controls and a lift but the equipment often left shorty trapped in the driver's seat.
One time he climbed out of the van and climbed up the stairs got into the house climbed down the stairs and knocked on the door ....we were all partying and thought it might be the cops ... Billy answered the door, failing to look down said .. no ones here and shut the door again.
We’ve got a million stories like that lol!
That band was called THE FILL INS and broke up around ‘99. Shorty (Ricky Tisch) moved to FLA and screwed up a deal he had with universal or Disney I forget, but moved back to NJ and we decided to start back up as Shorty Long And The Jersey Horns.
We added our female vocalist Dee Farace in ‘06 and Coretta Davis joined around 2012. The horn section is constantly changing but you can usually find my son Danny playing Trumpet as well as Bass and Drums as well as fronting the band on some of the newer stuff. Ronnie Brooks is the other wheelchair-bound member he often starts the show with our national anthem, which he has sung for the NBA NFL and several POTUS!
People often ask about the little cars we use we started doing this because when we played on the boardwalk in Seaside or Point Pleasant people didn’t really know what to make of shorty .... they would sometime point and say awww ... at the same time shorty would be eyeing up hot women. Anyway it was Halloween and we took a Barbie Jeep and made it look like Dracula and put shorty dressed like a vampire in it and he sang crazy train ..... people loved it so we built all kinds of custom entrance rides that he can drive around and sing and even play remote keyboards
We’ve so far had him drive out in a tractor, boat, fire truck, Santa's sleigh, pimp car, motorized Easter basket, and Thanksgiving turkey, just to name a few.
We've played from Boston to Pittsburgh to Key West ...and roughly 200 shows per year pre COVID. We’ve done PreShows performed with or opened for Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cheap Trick, Neil Diamond, Tom Petty, Run DMC, The NHL, NBA, and NFL.
Our current lineup is:
Ricky Tisch Vox/Keys
Dee Farace Vox
Coretta Davis Vox
Danny Kern Trumpet/Bass/Drums/Vox
Paul Baccash Guitar/Vox
Tommy Karrick Drums/Vox
Scott Solomon Sax
Dan Fitzgerald Sax/Bass
Bobby Sholz Trombone/Bass
John Kern Bass/Vox
Ronnie Brooks Vox
Check them out on Facebook - Shorty Long & The Jersey Horns or meet me at Riv's Hub in Toms River Saturday, November 7th at 6 p.m. and see for yourself!