Charlotte Nagy had a front row seat to Superstorm Sandy.
Nagy, then a 16-year-old living with her parents in Rumson, documented her experiences on video. She posted it to YouTube on Nov. 3, 2012, five days after the storm touched down at the Jersey Shore on Oct. 29.
“Hurricane Sandy: A Documentary” put a human face on the destruction.
“For me I hate watching it because it does feel like I’m reading a page out of a diary,” Nagy said. “I was so young and dramatic … But at the same time it was my way of expressing myself when it was such a crazy time and we didn’t know what was going on. There was no power. We didn’t know if there were people in Sea Bright. We didn’t know if people lost their lives. It was a scary time and for me it was my own creative outlet.”
The rock group Train saw the video and came to Sea Bright to perform an outdoor concert for 500 residents, first responders and National Guardsmen on a bitter cold December night. The event was broadcast by VH1, and it included an interview with Nagy about her film.
“I had met them a couple of times,” said Nagy of Train. “It was a really cool teenage girl experience to have (my favorite band perform), … but I had no idea so much was going to come out of that. I was kind of like, ‘I like this song (“Brick by Brick”), it works for this part of the video. Alright, now it’s time to rebuild.’ “
Jersey Shore music helped locals buck up to face Sandy’s aftermath, and Jersey Shore music stars helped draw national attention to the plight the area faced.
The owner of Anjelica’s on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright put up a sign over what remained: “No Retreat … No Surrender,” from the Bruce Springsteen song, “No Surrender.” Sandy fundraising movements took their names from Springsteen songs, including “Sea Bright Rising” and “10th Avenue Freeze-out” in Belmar.
More:Sandy crushed the Jersey Shore. Here’s how the rescue plan washed away the middle class
Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi appeared on national fundraisers, including the televised “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together” Red Cross benefit Nov. 2, 2012, on NBC, and the “12-12-12 (A Concert For Sandy Relief)” on Dec. 12, 2012, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Springsteen and Bon Jovi subsequently joined the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund advisory board, which was created by then New Jersey first lady Mary Pat Christie to help the state’s long-term recovery effort. Bon Jovi asked officials from his hometown of Sayreville what was needed. A rezoning of the area, they said, which had been damaged in previous hurricanes.
“I was able to relay that story in my first conversation with Gov. Christie. Party politics were taken off the table — he heard me loud and clear,” said Bon Jovi previously to the Asbury Park Press. “He rezoned Sayreville as the model of what he knew to do to help Sandy victims.”
Musicians brought it home. Bobby Bandiera wore a blue Donovan’s Reef sweatshirt while backing Bon Jovi on guitar during the “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together” special. Donovan’s was demolished in the storm, and has since been rebuilt.
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Steve Forbert, who had moved to the Jersey Shore, released the song “Sandy” days after the storm. Danny Clinch and Tim Donnelly, the promoters of the future Sea.Hear.Now fest in Asbury Park, staged On the Beach, starring My Morning Jacket, Brian Fallon, Nicole Atkins and more at the city’s Paramount Theater in January 2013.
Nagy has stayed connected to the Jersey Shore music scene, working in managerial and video production roles. She’s even in front of the camera in the recent “All Day I Dream About” music video from Atlantic Records artist Joe P, a Red Bank resident.
She’s well versed in the power of music and that unique Jersey attitude.
“It says something about people from Jersey, in general,” said Nagy of her Sandy experiences. “Say what you will about New Jersey, but when we need to rally together for something, we’ll do it best.”
Trashy Halloween fun
Do you “boo”?
The second annual Boo Brunch and Art Share takes place at noon Sunday, Oct. 30, at the House of Trash in Asbury Park. Artists and businesses are encouraged to bring any tricks and treats of their respective trades to this local “net-twerking” event, said House of Trash owner and city rock ‘n’ roller Joy Vay.
More:Halloween haunts, drinks and more to get you in the spooky spirit at the Shore
All are welcome, and costumed attendees will receive 20 percent off their purchase. Everyone will receive a House of Trash bag of tricks. Sugah Queen is the musical guest.
Go: House of Trash Boo Brunch and Art Share, noon to 5 pm Sunday, Oct. 30, House of Trash, 1310 Asbury Park. Free; facebook.com/HouseofTrashBoutique.
Halloween on the boardwalk
All are invited — including all friendly aliens — to Mr. Tickle Hands’ Halloween costume party on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Langosta Lounge on the boardwalk in Asbury Park.
The best costume wins a Tickle Hands merch bundle.
“Everyone from outer space and humans can mingle together,” said Peter Mantas of the Langosta Lounge.
Tickle Hands, aka Roshane Karunaratne and Andrew Robinson, are lighting things up — literally — in Asbury Park with their synthy disco multimedia parties.
More:12 Halloween drinks to try at the Jersey Shore — if you dare
Back at Langosta on Halloween, the final Stringbean Boardwalk Social Club of the season takes place at 8 pm on Monday, Oct. 31, with Sweet Joey’s Thing of Beauty opening.
Go: Mr. Tickle Hand’s Halloween costume, 9 pm Saturday, Oct. 29, Langosta Lounge, Boardwalk, Asbury Park. Free; langostalounge.com.
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Chris Jordan, a Jersey Shore native, covers music and entertainment for the USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; [email protected]