Frank Iero made an appearance at A&M Music Center's Grand Opening in Lyndhurst Tuesday to perform a few songs, sign some albums, meet some people, and overall support a long time veteran of the arts, shop owner Allen.
Of course, we got the inside scoop about why the shop was opening in our interview with Allen, and even got to sit down and talk to Frank about what's happening now that My Chemical Romance has officially disbanded.
From wall to wall the crowd was packed into a tiny room to hear Frank perform three songs recently written and one only performed once for a podcast mentioned on an earlier article. Despite the intense heat, and the size of the crowd, everyone had a great time. Iero even stayed after an hour after the performance and went so far as to go up and down the line spanning around two blocks to make sure everyone got to meet him, take pictures, sign autographs, and get a glimpse of this NJ icon.
Examiner: You were a teacher at Queen of Peace before this, why get out of that business to open a record store?
Allen: There hasn't been a record store in this area for a very long time, I think the nearest might be in Hackensack. My love of the arts, and of music, just prompted me to buy out this little space and I'm glad I did.
Examiner: Do you think this will become a cultural icon for Lyndhurst in the near future? We obviously don't have many in this area.
Allen: Absolutely. I'm hopeful that a number of people will come here and get inspired, and even when the local groups come and say that 'my band just put out a record, do you think you could sell it here?' And the answer is absolutely yes. I want this to be a touchstone for them. I want (A&M) to become a forum for everyone to come and talk about music especially classic rock which is what we're geared towards, but also local music, and really anything, and I hope this will put Lyndhurst on the map. I don't expect to make a great deal of money here, but as long as I can keep it open and get people to say, 'Hey there's a record store! Can you believe that?' It's exciting.
Examiner: And you have some interesting guests here today other than Frank.
Allen: Yes, we have a young teenager who flew all the way in from South London to be here today, it's her 13th birthday. I'm very happy with the turnout in general, this place looks amazing. It really makes me happy that so many people came here today.
Examiner: You mentioned this isn't going to be the last performance.
Allen: No, it won't. Every month we're going to have someone new in here to perform and to meet people, and it will be a really special thing. Next month it'll be a little bit of an older crowd into 60's and 70's music.
Examiner: There may even be a few younger people who are interested in checking it out, college kids.
Allen: And they're more than welcome.
Examiner: So how did you meet Frank? You mentioned you two are long time friends.
Allen: When I was a teacher he was my former student. And when he was a junior in high school, they cut the music program. He ended up getting into my Modern European History Course, and he heard through some of the faculty that I was in a band when I was his age and through college, so he started to gravitate towards me naturally. After school a few days we'd hang out a little, and he then asked me if I wanted to start a music club. And 15 years later, it's still active there. And I'm really proud of that.
Examiner: That's really amazing.
Allen: He would always come back to celebrate with us too after he'd left the school and graduated. On the tenth anniversary, on the 15th anniversary, he was there to celebrate it still running, and he remained a close friend of mine even throughout all the bands he was in. The band right before My Chemical Romance even, he was in a band called Pencey Prep, and he brought me the CD in the jewel case, he had "I want to thank the following people for never giving up on me." Next to Richie Havens was my name. And even with all the places he's been and the people he's met, he's the same great guy that he's always been. Fame has done nothing to change this man.
Examiner: I want to thank you both for taking the time to talk to us, it's been a real honor and a privilege. If I could, Frank, I'd just like to know for the fans of NJ, what's next now that MCR is done?
Frank: You know, I don't know yet. I've got a few songs, and we're working on a new record, but you know, we'll see what happens. Only time will tell at this point.
Examiner: It's been a pleasure, thank you so much.
What's next for the former MCR Guitarist? Who knows. As he said, we'll have to wait and see what happens. He gave a phenomenal performance with three songs performed on acoustic guitar for a full room audience, and we could not have been happier to be there.
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