Take A Hot Rod Lincoln Ride with Commander Cody; country rockers Kinderhook opens

Take a ride on a Hot Rod Lincoln when country rock legend, Commander Cody, takes the Vasa Park stage with special guests, Kinderhook, on Saturday, March 23.
The show, presented by Vasa Park and held in its Cultural Center, brings together two groups influential in the 1970s rock innovation scene that also included acts like The Byrds, Poco, and The Eagles.

Tickets for what will surely be an entertaining show are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and music start at 7:15 with local country favorite, Kevin Defeo. Food and a full bar will be available.

The Commander Cody Band, spearheaded by George Frayne IV (aka Commander Cody), features a special blend of old-time rock ‘n’ roll, redneck country, boogie-woogie, and swing. His band, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, formed in 1967, has been said to “virtually define American roots music” and is best known for their hit, “Hot Rod Lincoln.” The band was known for marathon live shows and to this day, the Commander is considered one of the most entertaining musicians in the business.

Special guests, Kinderhook, also know a thing or two about rock ‘n’ roll. This renowned New Jersey band began by playing for drinks and tips at a taco joint near Rutgers University, where they formed in the ‘70s, to sharing the stage with the likes of The Byrds, David Bromberg, Alabama and many others at major rock clubs and festivals. Re-formed eight years ago, Kinderhook recently released its first studio-produced CD, which has received great reviews, and includes the critically acclaimed "Run, Boy, Run" and tongue in cheek "Unfriended".

Opening the evening is singer-songwriter Kevin DeFeo. His music combines influences from classic and outlaw country musicians as well as a bit of doo-wop. Based out of Northwest New Jersey, DeFeo’s songwriting is heartfelt, truthful storytelling blended with wit and humor.

Vasa Cultural Center is located at 1 Vasa Drive in Budd Lake, just off Route 46. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door (cash only). All seats are general admission.

Vasa Park offers an array of events throughout the year, for members and the general public. It offers indoor and outdoor facilities for private events as well. Visit vasaparknj.com for more information.  

Jody Price: Grandson of Vincent Price

Twenty years after his death, Vincent Price still commands the attention of generations of horror movie fans, with one in particular: Vincent's grandson, Jody.

Vincent, a Yale graduate, began by playing the straight man, the lead, but “he fell into horror movies,” said New Jersey resident Jody Price of his grandfather. “He loved camp.”

Born in St. Louis in 1911, Vincent’s first on-screen appearance was 75 years ago as the romantic lead in1938’s “Service de Luxe,” a role far from the face of classic horror he would soon become. It was three years later that his first plunge into sci-fi and horror hit the screens, a movie called “The Invisible Man Returns.”

This led to roles in dozens of iconic movies, from the original versions of “The Fly” (60th anniversary marked this year) and “House of Wax” (55th anniversary), as well as a series of Edgar Allen Poe film adaptations.

For children of the ‘80s, he can be recognized opposite Johnny Depp as the inventor in “Edward Scissorhands” and as the speaker in Michael Jackson’s highly acclaimed “Thriller.”

But Jody’s favorites have always been “The House on Haunted Hill,” which terrified his brother for a full month as kids, and “The Conquerer Worm,” in which his grandfather is hacked to bits with an axe.

“For someone who was not an A-list star, his impact was amazing,” he said.

His name is even tied now to a Facebook fan page, where generation and nation-crossing fans share their favorite Vincent Price moments.

But Vincent Price not only enjoyed playing the horror roles that made him famous, Jody said, but his guest appearances on kids’ TV, from animated guest spots on “Scooby Doo” to the recurring role of Egghead on the ‘60s Batman series. He also had a short but hilarious bit on “The Muppet Show” in which Kermit turns into a vampire.

Jody is a computer programmer and locally-renowned acoustic guitarist who had his own piece of national fame in a 1999 Simpsons episode after that year's Super Bowl in which the ghost of Vincent Price tells Marge Simpson that his grandson, Jody, will deliver the missing piece of a celebrity craft kit. As a musical performer, Jody frequently entertains crowds at restaurants and special events.

But Jody’s fondest memories of his grandfather are not film-related.

He remembers his grandfather as the opposite of the often-evil characters he played, as a life- and art-loving man who had an affinity for storytelling and cooking. When out to dinner with his family, Vincent Price would ask autograph seekers to please wait until after they had eaten. When Jody graduated from Newark Academy in 1980, it was Vincent Price who was the keynote speaker.

Always a champion for education and the arts, it is his personal fine art pieces that are on permanent display at East Los Angeles College’s Vincent Price Art Museum.

Jody enjoys talking with Vincent Price and horror movie fans, reminiscing about films and personal memories alike. He is available to speak at colleges, symposiums, celebrations, or any horror-related event.