Only in Jersey: 3/7/12

It’s Wednesday! We’re halfway through the week, and it’s time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Who would've thought of West Orange as "status symbol land"?

In the wake of Davy Jones’ untimely death last week, I’ve discovered at least two connections The Monkees have to the Garden State. First, I was very surprised to learn that one of their hit songs, “Pleasant Valley Sunday,’ was written about life in West Orange, of all places. Yup, that’s right: the tune, penned by Carole King and her then-husband, Gerry Goffin, was inspired by their time living on Pleasant Valley Way in the township’s Watchung Mountains. Kinda gives new meaning to the lyrics, huh?
The local rock group down the street
Is trying hard to learn their song
Serenade the weekend squire
Who just came out to mow his lawn

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care

See Mrs. Gray
She’s proud today
Because her roses are in bloom
Mr. Green
He’s so serene
He’s got a TV in every room

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don’t understand

Creature comfort goals
They only numb my soul and make it hard for me to see
My thoughts all seem to stray to places far away
I need a change of scenery

The second Monkees/Garden State connection, which I recall but had forgotten, is that the band filmed the video for its ’86 comeback hit, “That Was Then, This Is Now,” at Great Adventure’s arena in Jackson. The song and video only feature Monkees Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, although apparently Davy was part of the tour.

Only in Jersey: 3/6/12

It’s Tuesday! Time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

The Vanity Fair spread includes new images of the cast (some of those last seen alive, above, and dead, below) by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz./Photo credit Vanity Fair

This year marks five years since HBO’s brilliant, Jersey-immersed series “The Sopranos” ended. And the April issue of Vanity Fair commemorates the anniversary with a look back at the show, which includes new interviews with all of the principals, including Clifton/North Caldwell-raised creator David Chase and stars James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) of Park Ridge, Edie Falco (Carmela Soprano), Lorraine Bracco (Dr. Jennifer Melfi) and more. Among the interesting tidbits:

Steven Van Zandt (Silvio Dante) talks about the infamous (off-camera) scene in which he kills Adriana La Cerva (Drea de Matteo): “So for – whatever – six hours, you have to beat this girl up, drag her out of the car, throw her on the ground. That was really difficult. I felt so exhausted at the end of that day. I said to Drea, ‘You better win the damn Emmy after all this, you know, make it worth it.’ And she did.”

David Chase originally wanted Steven Van Zandt for the role of Tony Soprano.

Tony Sirico (Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri) and Frank Vincent (Phil Leotardo) auditioned for Corrado “Uncle Junior” Soprano, but Dominic Chianese got the part.

Steven Schirripa (Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri) wore fat suits for the first two seasons of the show: “And then I guess, in Season Four, David thought I was fat enough on my own, so he let me get rid of it.”

Steven Schirripa talks about the pay dispute between James Gandolfini and HBO, which delayed filming: “After Season Four, Jim called all the regulars into his trailer and gave us $33,333 each, every single one of us… That’s like buying everybody an SUV. He said, ‘Thanks for sticking by me.'”

Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) on the series controversial ending: “I thought it was a great ending. A lot of people hated it and thought it was a cop-out, but I thought it was the proper way. Knowing David Chase, he never liked to wrap things up neatly. I never expected it to be either a cliffhanger so people would wait for the movie or wait for another season or just some like really final thing. But I think he’s (Tony) dead, is what I think. David was trying to put us in the place of the last things you see before you die. You remember some little details and something catches your eye and that’s it. You don’t know the aftermath because you’re gone.”

You can see more of Annie Leibowitz’s images here. If you are a big “Sopranos” fan, you will definitely want to pick up Vanity Fair this month!

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My very own “Dog” day afternoon

Duane “Dog” Chapman was all about the Garden State yesterday.

Yes, Dog's tan is really as dark as person as it is in this picture./All photos by Ava Gacser

In addition to appearing on Livingston native Chelsea Handler’s late-night talk show, “Chelsea Lately” (check out the video below), the star of A&E’s series “Dog the Bounty Hunter” – along with his wife, Beth – stopped by Clifton to meet fans and sign copies of his new book, “Where Mercy is Shown, Mercy Is Given.”

I didn't realize at the time I took this picture of the arrival that I also managed to *capture* the Dog. Yay!

As you can imagine, it was pandemonium from the moment the pair walked into Barnes & Noble with an A&E cameraman in tow. Fans – who comprised wide array of ages – were told from the get-go that the event would be taped for possible use on the show. (I can only hope footage from yesterday will be shown!)

The line of fans waiting – which I heard was estimated at 500 – moved very quickly. Fans were told Dog could not pose for photos or personalize books. However, I found him more accommodating when it was my turn.

Two women directly in front of me moved aside and suddenly I was front and center. A security guard told me to go up to Dog, who was waiting, pen poised. I walked up to him, said hello and it was nice meeting him and extended my hand. He shook it.

Then he said (and I’m paraphrasing because I can’t remember it exactly), “Wow, you must be important if you got to cut the line. What’s your name?”

I told him, and he personalized my book.

And that was it; after a four-hour wait, it was over in a matter of seconds. But I don’t regret a minute of it.

After taking a few more photos of Dog, I moved over to greet Beth, who was chatting with fans and posing for photos.

I asked her to take a photo with me and she pleasantly complied. When I thanked her, she said, “It was my pleasure.”

It’s always nice to discover that people you admire on television are just as pleasant in person.

Here are two more photos I took of Dog:

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Police arrest, charge “Real Housewives of New Jersey” hubby with DWI

The cameras may be rolling for a second season of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” but it’s a “Real” husband who’s getting a lot of unwanted attention.

Teresa Giudice's hubby, Joe, was charged with DWI early this morning in New Jersey./Credit Bravo

Teresa Giudice’s “happy wife, happy life” hubby was arrested last night and charged with driving while intoxicated following a car accident near his Towaco home.

According to The Daily Record, Giuseppe (Joe) Giudice hit a pole with a 2006 Ford at 1:47 a.m. on Jacksonville Road. When Montville police responded, the paper reports, they discovered Joe, 39, had been drinking.

Joe was transported to Morristown Memorial Hospital with minor injuries and was later released. After providing a blood sample, the Record says, the father of four was charged with DWI. He also received summonses for assorted other infractions, including failure to maintain lane, careless driving and reckless driving.

While in custody, Montville police learned that Joe had outstanding warrants out of another town, Clifton, for violating city ordinances.  As a result, he was transferred to Clifton and held on $2,625 bail before being released, TMZ reports, at 6:20 a.m.

Although neither news report includes info as to the whereabouts of Teresa, her “Real Housewives” co-stars, Caroline Manzo and Jacqueline Laurita, earlier last night tweeted that she was with them, first having drinks at The Standard hotel, followed by dinner at I Trulli, both in New York City. Although Caroline’s tweets do not mention Joe, Jacqueline includes two Joes in her second-to-last tweet of the night:

“At Vig27, with Chris, Joe, Teresa, Joe,Vic, Tamra, & Marcos. Gay bars are the best.”

Could Joe Giudice have been with the group – which evidently also included “Real Housewives of Orange County” star Tamra Barney – prior to his accident and subsequent arrest?

Update

Megan from Bites of the Apple shares her NYC encounter with the “Real Housewives,” just hours before Joe’s crash, right here.

Update Update

The Star-Ledger reports that Joe didn’t just crash his vehicle – a Ford pickup – he flipped it. And when he spoke with a police officer about the accident, he said he had wanted to get rid of the truck anyway, the paper says.

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