This bar-band-made-good is best known for its top-ten hit “On The Dark Side” from its soundtrack for the 1983 movie “Eddie and The Cruisers.” Fortunately for this Sunfest roving reporter, this was the third song on the set-list, but unfortunately this was apparently still early enough in the show for the sound engineers to be having issues, as John Cafferty’s vocal was so low as to be almost inaudible. Everyone in the crowd knew the words, though, and they were happy to turn that part of the performance in a group sing-along.
Immediately afterwards, John’s mike got turned up enough for the crowd to hear his story about working with Ben E. King, who had passed away two days earlier. The legendary ‘60s soul singer did a guest vocal for the “Cruisers” soundtrack on the song “Boardwalk Angel.” According to John, Ben was very complimentary about Cafferty’s writing for that ballad, so the group then performed the tune as a posthumous tribute.
Cafferty made a point of singling out the group’s sax player, Michael “Tunes” Antunes, who was not only one of the band’s original members, but also the only one to have an acting part in the Cruisers movie, as a member of the fictional band.