If in the end, we are measured by the smiles we provoke and the laughter we create, Lou E. DeMartino was a skyscraper of a man.
Today we share the sad news of a great loss for the New Jersey music scene: Lou E. DeMartino, bass player for 20 years in Joe d’Urso Stone Caravan has passed away. Mr. Lou was a gentle man, a kind soul, and a great rock’n’roll aficionado. I first saw him on stage on 2000 during my journey to the USA to see the Madison Square Garden shows, it was a long rock’n’roll night in Sea Bright featuring Willie Nile, Joe Grushecky, John Eddie and Joe d’Urso and his band. I didn’t know much of their music at the time, but I remember the energy and happiness they brought with their set, and Mr Lou onstage was a thing to see: big smiles, his Rickenbacker bass played down by the knees, blowing up across the stage with jumps and leaps, and his faces, boy, do I have to begin with the faces he made on stage?
Then we met him a few years later in the first trip of the Stone Caravan overseas, they stayed a few weeks, big pizzas and pasta and fish (oh, the horror of the Americans drinking a cappuccino after the “fritto misto” 🙂 ), rock shows, trips to the shore with big laughs seeing them ogling the nudities on the beach prohibited in America.They came back many times, and I kept going to the States to see Bruce, and our paths crossed sometimes: I cannot say that we were friends, but if we met he always insisted on buying us a beer (“Because you’ve come all this way to see some rock’n’roll!”) and share some small talks on music and rock’n’roll.
I wrote him when I started this page, asking an opinion, he very kindly answered me, always with his trademark signature “LLU” which he explained meant “Lou Loves You.” I know, this sounds corny, because you didn’t know him, but the guy was real, a man who smiled big big smiles that could light up your day.
I remember that one night after a gig the bar put on some music, precisely the Grease soundtrack, and some of us were tired but we rushed the dancefloor anyway because, you know, it’s Grease!
Mr Lou joined us, we spent twenty minutes rocking and rolling at the sound of John Travolta and Sha Na Na, ending with We go together as grand finale, where Mr. Lou picked me up and danced with me.
I think life sometimes doesn’t get better than this, a summer night, some rock’n’roll, cold beer and a gentle man who wants to dance with you.
Tonight I’m gonna go home and listen to some Stone Caravan music and have a cold beer for Mr. Lou, a great man, a gentle and sweet man, who touched so many lives from that stage.
Thanks for the ride Mr. Lou, it was too short and we have to let you go, but you left a gentle mark on us, and you will not be forgotten.