Shark Frenzy-The Secret Party
The NJ Report 5/7/04

In celebration of the release of Shark Frenzy Vol.1, the original line-up of Shark Frenzy reunited for an intimate evening Rock & Roll for a small audience of invited guests consisting of old friends and family.

Fresh from receiving an honorary degree earlier in the day from Kean University, Doctor Richie Sambora grabbed his guitar and joined former bandmates-guitarist/ keyboardist Bruce Foster, bassist Jody Giambelluca, drummer Steve Mosley and percussionist Tim Rudolph for passionate set of Shark Frenzy originals, Beatle & Stones covers and a couple of Richie's favorite Bon Jovi tunes.

The crowd in the small club in Clinton New Jersey were thrilled to be a part of this special event, many of whom were there "back in the day" when the Shark Frenzy vibe was a nightly occurrence throughout the NY/NJ/PA night club and concert scene.

I'm loving the songs on Shark Frenzy Vol.1, incredible songs by a talent laden band who's release is long overdue. Now I can't wait to hear what they've unearthed for Volume 2!

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Six degrees of Richie Sambora
Asbury Park Press 5/14/04 -
By KATHY DZIELAK - Entertainment Editor

When it comes to six degrees of separation, Kevin Bacon has nothing on Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora.

Never was that more apparent than last Thursday, when the Central Jersey-raised Sambora returned to the area to accept an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Kean University, presented during commencement ceremonies at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.

Later that night at the Holiday Inn Select in Clinton, Sambora reunited with old friends, fans and familiar faces from Charley's Uncle in East Brunswick, where the guitarist performed regularly in the late '70s/early '80s before hooking up with what would become the mega-group Bon Jovi.

Thursday night's invitation-only show served as a CD-release party for "Shark Frenzy," featuring early work performed by Sambora and former bandmates Bruce Foster, Jody Giambellucca, Steve Mosely and Tim Rudolph. The event was coordinated by former Charley's Uncle manager Kevin Maxfield, now food and beverage director for the Holiday Inn Select.

Back in the day, it was Maxfield who had booked a young Sambora at the East Brunswick restaurant for as many as three or four nights a week. "I booked him as a single, a duo and a band," recalled Maxfield. "And he still thanks me to this day."

Sambora again demonstrated his gratitude to longtime supporters Thursday with a life-affirming set that included Beatles tunes and a couple of Bon Jovi songs. He good-naturedly signed autographs and posed for photographs before heading back to the West Coast and his wife, actress Heather Locklear.

"I have to go home," said a smiling, sweat-drenched Sambora after the show. "My little daughter's in a play tomorrow. She's the star of 'Peter Rabbit.' "

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Disc-ussion: Swimming (and playing) with the sharks
         Early band exposure served future Bon Jovi guitarist well

Asbury Park Press 5/14/04 -

A labor of love for Oceanport songwriter Bruce Foster, "Shark Frenzy" captures the lively days of an unlikely scene.

In the late 1970s, Foster and other local musicians held court several nights a week at Charley's Uncle, a steakhouse in a strip mall off Route 18 in East Brunswick. The shows developed a loyal following, especially once a teenage guitarist named Richie Sambora entered the fray.

As Foster recalls in the liner notes to "Shark Frenzy:"

"An immediately likeable 18-year-old named Richie Sambora asked if he could jam with us. To my band's amazement, I agreed. We started playing 'Kansas City,' a song everybody knows. Richie's rhythm playing was OK, so I said, 'Richie, take a solo.' He flipped the toggle switch on his Les Paul custom and played one beautiful, sustained note that sounded like a violin. Before he played the next note, I turned to him and said, 'You're in the band.' "

This was, of course, years before Sambora would walk up to Jon Bon Jovi and ask to join his band.

So the little music scene in East Brunswick got a sneak peek at someone who would soon become an internationally loved guitar hero.

His work with Foster's band Shark Frenzy marked Sambora's introduction to the recording studio. More than 20 years later, Foster went through demo tapes, live cuts and mixes, some of which had been damaged by a flood, and restored them to radio-ready perfection.

The result is a re-release of Shark Frenzy's most frenzied hits.

The album cover shows Sambora and Foster in the early days, both looking pretty much the same as they do today, long-ish hair and all.

The music is very much of its time -- there are elements of new wave, there are tracks influenced by The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and there is Sambora's youthful, driving guitar throughout it all.

"Come Saturday Night" owes a big debt to the Bay City Rollers, but is just as fun -- a simple, teen anthem to the weekend.

If The Ramones had decided to go the arena-rock route, rather than cultivate a punk scene in the Bowery, they might've played something like Foster's "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young."

The percussion-heavy "Law of the Jungle" makes room for plenty of sinewy guitar, while "The One With Angel Eyes" is pure Jersey bar band.

Cutest of all is "Laura's Birthday," a live cover of the Beatles' classic birthday song, which is preceded by a plea to the band by Laura's friend. Laura, it seems, is not having a happy birthday, and needs to be cheered up.

Shark Frenzy is only too happy to oblige, and it's impressive how quickly the band launches into the song.

This CD is a great artifact of New Jersey rock 'n' roll, well suited for anyone curious to the roots of all that big-haired power rock of the '80s.