Halloween Spirit at The Queen

Halloween Loop Costume Ball - photos provided by New Market Wilm

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“About three years ago, I got an offer to open for Pat Benatar at The Grand Opera House and I was able to retell that story on stage. ‘So, you know, the last time I was on this stage, and I had toilet seat around my neck. And I wanted to officially apologize and we can move on.’”

Forty years ago, the Out & About Halloween Loop started on Market, and as loops are wont to do, things have come full circle. The costumed crowds invaded The Queen last weekend for a celebration of the Halloween spirit that felt like a homecoming, with four classic Delaware bands on stage. As says Out & About Director of Publications Jim`Miller:

The Snap and Montana Wildaxe always put on an entertaining show for their fans. And to see The Caulfields rock it like it was the ‘90s again and to hear The Numbers perform like they did – having not performed together in more than 30 years – was truly impressive. It’s another reminder of the immense amount of talent we’ve had and still have in the Wilmington area.”

Maybe we’re showing our age, but … The Caulfields! John Faye was a founding member of Delaware’s biggest breakout band of the mid ‘90s, before becoming a staple on the local scene with IKE and John & Brittany. We caught up with John to ask how this reunion was really a Halloween debut…

“You know, I don’t think The Caulfields ever played a Loop. But the band that we were all in prior to becoming The Caulfields – The Beat Clinic – did a Halloween Loop one year at The Grand Opera House, in the late 80s.”

“Three of us at The Queen were from The Caulfields lineup that did all the touring, but our guitar player Brett Talley, it was his first time as a Caulfield. He was in IKE in the mid-2000s, and he learned the stuff note-for-note, man. I don’t think The Caulfields ever sounded better.”

“Tony Cappella from Montana Wildaxe was the quarterback of the whole event, in conjunction with the Light Up the Queen Foundation. Caulfields drummer Ritchie Rubini has a long history and friendship with Tony. They play together in the Stone Shakers. Richie was very into the idea of us doing this – and part of it was him saying that The Caulfields should be part of this legacy. We weren’t really ensconced in the scene the way every other bands in the show once was, but we all more than paid our dues in the Delaware music scene.”

“I shudder to think how many years it would be if you added up all the experience of the musicians that played on that stage. We were all in our 20s when we first crossed paths in the Delaware music scene way back when. It almost kind of felt like a reunion or something. Maybe you’re a little nervous going in, not really knowing what it will be like to run into people, and then you find out, to a person, everyone is just so cool and gracious and generous.”

“And our band has an anniversary coming up next year. It’ll be the 25th anniversary of our first album on A&M. So we thought it would be a cool thing to get warmed up for that.”

Did we hear you’ve been working on a book?

“Yeah, about two years ago, I took a little bit of a musical hiatus to try to write a memoir. It’s been a really interesting / slow-going process for the past two years, but I feel really good about what I have so far. It’s been a wild experience of dig into some very old memories, and not only musical ones, but life memories from growing up in Newark. I’m trying to give the reader like the whole experience of what it was like at a certain period in Delaware. I’m hoping to have it done maybe in the middle of next year.”

We feel we have to ask … stories from Market?

“I do write about the time that The Beat Clinic played our first big gig, opening for the comedian Emo Philips at The Grand Opera House. And, you know, 21-year-old me thought it would be a great idea if I wore a toilet seat around my neck during part of the performance, because it kind-of linked up with one of the lyrics. It was just a complete defiling of this very classy situation. I still hear that mentioned once in a while.”