Readers of the Avery & Angela series know that the series is rich in music. In many ways Avery sees the world through the lens of music, his entire life feeling as though it’s scored or sound tracked in some way. As such, there are a LOT of musical references in the series and I thought it would be fun to give readers a little primer/listening guide, should they want to “listen along” to the book. Each link will lead you to a music clip or further reading if it’s not a song itself that’s referenced.
Page #3: This is the first mention of the Indigo Girls “Closer to Fine,” which appears later in the book as well.
Page #11: “Madam Marie” is not a song, but a reference to a character in the Bruce Springsteen song “4th of July, Asbury Park.” He mentions how “The cops finally busted Madame Marie for tellin’ fortunes better than they do.” The character is widely considered to be based on the real Marie Costello, who’s story is fascinating in its own right.
Page #20: The Grape Street Pub in Manayunk, PA is a real music club that I had the privilege to perform during my brief stint living and working outside of Philadelphia in 1995-96. I played there at least once a week for that year, which was a really hard year for me. I got to know some amazing artists, like JUNE RICH, who are mentioned in the book a couple of times, especially their bassist who I was friendly with during that year.
It’s not overstating it to say that that club may be the only reason that I got through that year.
Page #22: Don McLean’s “American Pie” is mentioned here, along with a story about Avery forgetting the words to the song. This happened to me during a show at The College of Wooster in either 1992 or 1993. It’s the only performance of mine from the 1990’s of which there appears to be no audio recording. There are still too many words in that stupid song.
Page #47-John Mayer plays Albert King at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is referenced
Page #68: Astronaut playing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” in outer space is referenced.
Page #73: Closer to Fine performed, without using any of the words in the manuscript, because they wanted $300 for the rights.
Page #78: The Smiths song “There is a light” is referenced.
Page #79: Avery’s original song “There is a light that never goes out” is performed.
Page #92: Bobby Rydell “Wildwood Days” plays on the boardwalk a lot.
Page #93: John P. Kee’s “Jesus is Real” performed at the chapel. It's not performed this well in the book.
Pages #96-7: “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever” performed at the chapel. I was able to get rights to this for the manuscript. The clip is the one I watched repeatedly as I wrote this scene.
Page #102: “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” plays at Winterwood. I've ruined this song for my eldest child. Ask me how sometime. It's funny. (to me)
Page #122: A Reggae version of the Beatles “Twist and Shout” is played by young upstarts “Skipping Detention.” Fun fact: the band I played with during the summer of 1991, “The Simpletons” used to goof around with the song in this way. The name “Skipping Detention” was created by a friend in response to a contest I ran on Facebook to find a unique name. The winner got nothing but bragging rights.
Pages #127-128: The songs “Into the Mystic,” “Good Riddance,” “Sweet Caroline,” and both Sam Cooke and Bruce Springsteen’s versions of “Mary’s Place” are referenced as being part of the evening set list for THE Cozy Morely’s at the Anchor Inn.
Fun Fact: Cozy Morley was a real entertainer in Wildwood, NJ for decades. There’s a statue of him to this day on North Wildwood. Also, the Anchor Inn was a real place. It’s gone now but I loved it, so I put it into my book because it’s my world.
Pages #132-133: AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long,” Beach Boy’s “I Get Around,” Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally,” Beiber’s “Love Yourself,” Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl,” and Flogging Molly’s “What’s Left of the Flag” are referenced as past of THE Cozy Morley’s set.
Page #135: “We’re Having a Party” is performed in the Southside Johnny style as opposed to the original Sam Cooke arrangement.
Page #139: "Everlong" by Foo Fighters is performed. I really wanted to get the rights to this but couldn’t afford them. I think the scene works well regardless and the clip I linked here is the one I watched over and over again writing this scene. Sorry about the spitting.
Page #144: Avery performs his original song, “The Garden” for the first time.
Page #193: “Jungleland” by Bruce Springsteen plays as Avery and Angie sit in the Tracer in Pin Oak Manor . Bruce was kind enough to allow me to use a few lines of his epic song. He and his people were simply amazing to work with.
Page #211: Flash Mob dance party on route 130 North to Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance.” The video (which is super fun) linked here is the one I watched as I wrote the scene, driving my son nuts. Fun fact: Pam and Kelly, who Avery dances with, are real friends who won the right to appear in that scene in one of my Facebook contests.
Page #221: Benny Goodman’s “Stompin’ at the Savoy” is referenced in backstory.
Page #252: “Penguin Dream Warriors” are not a real band, but they should be. I got the name as a combination of a Facebook contest response and a “Bloom County” book.
“Thunderegg” on the other hand a real band that you should be listening to right now. Their lead singer is a pal from childhood.
Page #258: Bruce’s “The Ties that Bind,” and “The Price you Pay” from the iconic “The River” album are referenced as is Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World.” Fun Fact: The title of book #3 in the Avery & Angela series was almost “The Price you Pay.”
So, now you have a way to listen to every song in the book! There are original songs in books #2 and #3 as well that you can check out HERE!
Like and comment below and let me know what your favorites are! Thanks for your support and stay safe!