One of Us: Jerry Blavat
My full name is … Gerald Joseph Blavat.
I am a … U.S. citizen, half Italian, half Jewish.
I’ve lived in Philadelphia for … 71 years.
The thing I’d change about myself is … I’d like the ability to know who’s real and who’s not, who’s sincere and who’s full of shit!
My greatest extravagance is … work.
The best place I’ve ever seen … is the mountains and the desert of Palm Springs. My nickname is … the Geator, or the Boss with the Hot Sauce, or, as Frank Sinatra used to call me, Matchstick.
My fictional hero is … Straight Arrow. He was the hero of a radio show, a Comanche who rode a magnificent Palomino named Fury and fought for justice for both white men and the Indians.
My real-life hero is … Crazy Horse. As far as a living person goes, Nelson Mandela. The best thing I own is … my bike.
The secret to aging well is … loving what you do, staying away from negative people, working out every day and drinking fine wine.
My greatest fear is … not satisfying the fans who come to see me.
The best things about the Jersey Shore are … the people, the tomatoes, Wildwood, Sea Isle City and Memories.
If I could do anything else for a job, I’d be … a priest or a teacher.
One thing people generally don’t know about me … is that I’m really a very private person. In my downtime, I’m mellow.
My greatest achievement is … making people happy and keeping this music alive.
The question I get asked the most is … whether I ever get tired of what I’m doing. The answer is no.
Being famous … means that you have an obligation to the people who put you there.
One thing Philly doesn’t have that it really needs is … a return to neighborhoods where people know each other, look out for one another.
My favorite song is … “The Impossible Dream.”
The best book I ever read is … Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
My parents … were divorced but never stopped loving each other. My father was a bookmaker and worked part-time for the railroad. After they separated, my mom worked as a riveter and was able to send my sister Roberta and me to St. Monica’s Day Nursery. My dad taught me the streets; my mother taught me love.