Why the '12-12-12' Sandy Tribute Is in New York, Not New Jersey

The star-studded benefit concert will be held at Madison Square Garden instead of Boardwalk Hall. Some are wondering why it's not being held at the latter with artists such as Bruce and Bon Jovi headlining.

By David J. Spatz
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Nov. 19, 2012

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The Boss is among many musicians who will play a benefit concert for victims of Sandy at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 12.

Some extra things to chew on — besides turkey — this Thanksgiving:

Erroneous media reports of the destruction of the Atlantic City Boardwalk during Hurricane Sandy had members of the entertainment community wondering if their future paychecks had been washed away along with the boards.

Last week, during back-to-back interviews, Aerosmith bass player Tom Hamilton (read interviews with Joe Perry and Steven Tyler here) and The Moody Blues bassist John Lodge each expressed concern about the town where both bands will be performing over the next eight days.

“Is it as bad as we’re hearing?” asked Hamilton, who expressed relief when he learned that TV and radio network news outlets along with major print media inaccurately reported Sandy’s destruction of the Boardwalk.

Hamilton said he’d heard conflicting reports about what Sandy did (or didn’t) do to Atlantic City. But he also said there was never one word of discussion whether Aerosmith would be able to play its Friday (Nov. 23) night concert in Revel’s Ovation Hall.

“They never said a word about canceling,” he said.

Lodge, who’s been visiting Atlantic City with the Moody Blues for 30 years, was relieved to hear the Boardwalk was mostly intact, save a couple thousand feet of rickety boards in the Inlet section that was going to be replaced anyway.

“Atlantic City always reminded me of Brighton [England],” Lodge told me. Brighton is a major coastal resort in the south of Great Britain and has a boardwalk similar to Atlantic City’s.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked on the [Atlantic City] Boardwalk,” he added. “I love getting up there and seeing the ocean. It would have been a tragedy to have lost [the Boardwalk].”

Based on the media reports he’d seen out of Atlantic City, Lodge was concerned the entire Boardwalk had been washed away during the storm.

“That’s how [the media] made it seem,” he said.

Another longtime Atlantic City entertainer called me the day after Sandy rolled through. Tony Orlando, who had been following the storm from his home outside Branson, Mo, was worried about what he’d seen on television.

“Thank God you answered. Are you OK?” he asked with obvious concern in his voice. “Is Atlantic City OK?”

I told him not to believe everything he’d seen on TV and gave him the accurate story on how Atlantic City had weathered the storm.

“That’s not what I was seeing; I was seeing the Boardwalk floating down the street,” he said. He was relieved when I told him the footage he’d seen was aired out of context and that 99 percent of the Boardwalk had escaped the storm without damage.

* * *

Hurricane Sandy’s flood waters had barely receded when word leaked out — and was then confirmed — that a massive Hurricane Sandy fundraising concert was being planned for Madison Square Garden on Dec. 12.

The core lineup consists of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Jon Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, The Who, Roger Waters, with more artists being added to the show on a daily basis.

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1. Fred Frith said... on Nov 20, 2012 at 04:33PM

“Why not do a benefit in AC as well? There are plenty of musicians with roots in New Jersey / NY region.”


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