Joe Long, Former Member of Iconic Band The Four Seasons, Dead at 79

by Madison Miller
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Joe Long, who was a member of the American rock band The Four Seasons, has passed away. Long died at the age of 79 after contracting COVID-19. The news was confirmed by a fellow band member, Frankie Valli. He posted on Facebook to inform fans that Long had passed away.

“It is with great sadness that we learned that our dear bandmate, Joe Long, has passed away. We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fans. We will miss Joe.”

It is with great sadness that we learned that our dear bandmate, Joe Long, has passed away. We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fans. We will miss Joe. -Frankie Valli & Bob Gaudio

Posted by Frankie Valli on Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Joe Long had not been an original member of the popular American rock band. Instead, he joined the group in 1965 and then stayed for 10 years. The band had gone through a variety of different musicians over the years.

Joe Long History with the Group

The original bassist was Nick Massi, then he was replaced by Charles Calello, then finally Long had his opportunity. When he eventually left The Four Seasons, Long played for LaBracio and Jersey Bounce, a lesser-known rock band and jazz band.

Joe Long was a proud New Jersey native. In fact, according to New Jersey Arts, the entire group was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2018. Although he played for several rock bands over the years, it wasn’t Long’s favorite genre.

In a 2018 interview on “Rock Under Fire,” Long opened up about his experience making music with the band.

“At the time, I was aware of the Seasons, because they were having all those hits, and they were a Jersey group. I can’t say that I was a big fan, because I was not a big fan of rock ‘n’ roll music. I was playing with show groups in the area, which played rock ‘n’ roll, but mostly played rhythm and blues, which is more associated to jazz … you know, Fats Domino and that era, where the roots were right out of jazz music, jazz-blues,” Long said.

You may recognize The Four Seasons and Joe Long for hits like “C’mon Marianne,” “Tell It to the Rain,” and “Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ’bout Me.)”

Another member of the group, Tommy DeVito, also passed away from the coronavirus at the age of 92 in September.

The Success of The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons reached international success during the 1960s and the 1970s, amidst a huge rise in rock and pop music.

The band is sometimes referred to as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Originally, the band was composed of Valli as the lead singer, Bob Gaudio on the keyboard, Tommy DeVito on lead guitar, and Nick Massi on the electric guitar. Each of them also were backup vocalists.

The Four Seasons is one of the only bands in America able to reach commerical success on the radio during what was known as the “British Invasion.” This is when music from the United Kingdom had become widely popular in the 1960s and was a symbol of counterculture. It includes groups like the Zombies, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and the Kinks, amongst many others.

The Four Seasons and the Beach Boys were the two American bands that remained successful. The group is a part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They have sold more than 100 million records.

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