John Luraschi

1952 - 2009

An Upstage Club regular, Johnny Luraschi used to come to the club from his home in Belmar, sometimes with his neighbor, a young keyboard player named David Sancious. Luraschi’s older brother, Eddie, was a bouncer at the club. A bass player, Johnny got his first guitar when he was 8. Before he came to the Upstage, Luraschi’s first band was the Sting Rays in 1964 and later was a 14-year-old bass player with a surf band, Artie Paloso and the Surftones. After the Upstage days, Luraschi played in a series of seminal Asbury bands, including Billy and the Kids, Sonny Kenn Blues Band, Cahoots,Cold, Blast & Steel, The George Theiss Band, The Disco Rejects, Hot Romance, Whistler and the Wheels, the Nicky Addeo Band, the Fabulous Z Band, Steel Mill Retro and Boccigalupe & the Bad Boys. After being diagnosed with the lung cancer that would take his life, Luraschi released a cd, “The End of the Road,” which features a duet with Bruce Springsteen on the song, “Savin’ Up.” Johnny’s studio work also included a number of albums including "Hot Romance", "Spirit of Asbury Park" and "Summer of ’89". Vini Lopez, who played with Luraschi in The Disco Rejects and Steel Mill Retro, said Luraschi’s bass-playing was “rock solid, and that allows the rest of the musicians to go off on their tangents." In 1976 John was mentioned in the Springsteen penned liner notes on the back of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes’ debut album, “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” and in 1990, John was awarded the Society of Associated Performers Bassist of the Year Award. The year 2008 saw Johnny named a ”Creator of the Sound Asbury Park” and added to the Sounds Of Asbury Park (SOAP) monument next to the Paramount Theatre on Ocean and 5th Aves. Luraschi succumbed to lung cancer in 2009.