One of Us: Jerry Blavat

It’s summertime, guys and gals, which means you’ll find Philly’s rock-’n’-rollin’ favorite son, DJ and new author ("You Only Rock Once," an autobiography, comes out next month) down the Shore—this time, celebrating 40 years of Margate’s Memories lounge. Here, the Geator with the Heator gets deep about his fans, the phonies and how to age like him (which is to say, not at all)

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.