Reunited – for One Night

The Caulfields are set to play 40th Anniversary Halloween Loop Costume Ball

The Caulfields are getting back together, but like many memorable occasions, it may only be for a night.

“It’s going to be interesting,” says John Faye, lead singer for the trio. “It’s going to be a Halloween party situation.”

Literally. The Caulfields are playing Out & About’s 40th Anniversary Halloween Loop Costume Ball on Saturday, Oct. 26, at The Queen.

Composed of Faye, Sam Musumeci, and Ritchie Rubini, The Caulfields were a rock band that emerged from Newark in 1994 with Whirligig, a debut album that secured their dream and sparked a whirlwind career. “Devil’s Diary” off of Whirligig was released to significant radio play and even an MTV music video.

They have played throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia and even did one show in East Berlin right after the Berlin Wall crumbled. However, the last time they took the stage for a Halloween concert was as the Beat Clinic in the late ‘80s. Faye used that as an opportunity to wear a toilet seat around his head. “I remember people being really like ‘this is a disgrace,’” he says. Musumeci, who plays bass for The Caulfields and, back in the day, for the Beat Clinic, added a critical detail: “We would start the show with an actual toilet on stage.” A shocking scene—the raw muck of rock under elegant chandeliers and a stage flanked by velvet seats.

Their theatrical throne (read toilet) was first discovered on a neighbor’s lawn near Faye’s mother’s house in Newark. He saw it, and in the middle of the night he picked it up and hid it in nearby hedges.

As the Beat Clinic, they played before showings of Rocky Horror Picture Show at the State Theatre in Newark, which is now a Grotto Pizza. As The Caulfields, they made an impression on those for whom heartbreak arrives in critical blows, where lyrics wrapped in anguish are clung to as life vests.

Unfortunately, soon after the release of their second album, L (1997), The Caulfields dissolved, along with A&M Records. The grunge era was over, and the internet had injected itself into every facet of the music industry, completely changing how music was made and consumed.

But the internet also had a positive effect; it allowed fans to reconnect with the angst-powered rock from their youth. Faye posted on Facebook about The Caulfields’ reunion show and was flooded with likes and shares.

“All of these people came out of the woodwork, [writing] ‘I loved that, it meant so much to me.’ And that’s pretty cool,” he says. “You don’t know that’s going to happen until 25 years go by.”  He is working on a memoir titled Days That Came and Went.

I ask Faye and Musumerci if they plan to wear anything spooky to the costume ball. Faye laughs. “We’re going to dress up like a ‘90s rock band.” 

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