(born in Elizabeth, New Jersey
on September 5
as Joseph LaBracio
) is best known as the bass guitarist for The Four Seasons
. At their peak, The Four Seasons made recordings that expressed the tough-but-tender sensibility of their home turf in the Northeast much in the way the Beach Boys
encapsulated the world of Southern California in harmony and song. In the words of Billy Joel
, a longtime fan who grew up listening to them on Long Island, "The Four Seasons had wonderful chord progressions, beautiful writing, terrific production, fantastic harmony, records that really spoke to us."
Joe LaBracio (Joe Long) is a classically trained musician and studied with Alfonse Strazza
, a primo bassist and the principal bassist for the New York Philharmonic
. However, a severe hand injury forced Joe to give up the rigors of playing classical bass and switch to the Fender
bass-guitar. He then began listening more to rock and roll
and became a rock 'n roll player for several local New Jersey bands before joining with his fellow "Jersey Boys
", The Four Seasons in 1965 as a replacement for Charles Calello
, who temporarily replaced Nick Massi
. Joe Long contributed much to the group’s innovative musical style and famous on stage antics. Joe Long continued to record, perform and tour with The Four Seasons through the mid-1970s. After leaving the group Joe Long formed the rock 'n roll group LaBracio and later the jazz
band Jersey Bounce. In a recent interview Joe Long stated that, "I still play an occasional gig. And, I have done a few recording sessions with Tommy (DeVito). For the most part, though, I am retired."