This weekend, cover bands will expose the greatness of a person who exposed them to New Jersey.
Local bands will pay tribute to band assistant Erica Zwickel, whose bright attitude lit up Fridays and Saturdays at the shore for many years, with a concert at Bar Anticipation, Belmar on June 22. [Editor's
Note: This article was originally published with an incorrect date of July 22.]
Zwickel passed away, at age 30, last December.
“It’s unfortunate that she passed away; we’re just trying to keep her name alive,” said Rob Monte of Dog Voices, a band Zwickel worked with for many years.
“She genuinely loved the whole music scene,” he said. “We want to do this to make people aware of who she was.”
Present to pay respects will be Big Orange Cone, Dog Voices, the Nerds, the Monster, Mugshot, Lifespeed, the Benjamins, Screaming Brocolli and other musicians.
Area musicians will also jam with Monte and the Betty Ford All-Stars.
Zwickel developed the job of cover band assistant into her own entity, Monte said.
“She just transcended that into the entire club scene,” he said.
She helped Big Orange Cone and the Benjamins before they became known, he said.
All the bands playing the event are ones Zwickel helped during their careers. “The bands that are playing are just the ones she was closest to,” Monte said.
She had a knack for doing things her own way, he said.
“She went above and beyond certain things to make everything happen for club owners and bands,” he said.
Monte credits Zwickel for keeping him in the business as long as he’s been in it. Zwickel watched over him since he began, calling him to make sure he would make it to his gigs and offering him a ride
if he needed one, Monte said. “She was my keeper, my mother, my teacher, she was everything rolled into one,” he said.
Monte was just one person she helped.
“She would welcome anybody in with open arms,” Monte said. “She just smiled and said, ‘Anything you need, I’m here for you,' and she meant it.”
Zwickel started out working with Dog Voices after working with the band Voices, which featured some of its current members.
Her task included signing up fans for the band's mailing list, but it went much further than that.
“She worked with our band for 10 years,” Monte said. “Every band has a mailing list girl. She was that times 100.”
Zwickel was the band’s road manager and even made copies of lyrics for Dog Voices, he said.
She was very tight with the three original Dog Voices members still in the band, Monte, guitarist Rich Moscola and drummer Rich Mattalian.
She also supported Monte in the work with a new talent agency he is forming.
The company was named Finley Productions, after the nickname given to Zwickel by writer James Campion.
Money raised at Bar A will go to the charities Zwickel cared for most.
“She had her hand in a couple different charities,” Monte said. These included art, inner city kids and multiple sclerosis, a disease she suffered from, he said.
“We’re just doing this ‘cause it’s the only thing we know how to do,” he said. “We want to give back somehow.”
[ Website: www.dogvoices.com ]