• This Is Rutherford

This is John Macaluso and the Sideshow Heroes

Updated: May 14, 2019

by Jennifer Ersalesi


RHS Graduate, John Macaluso, has been playing music for many years. He learned to play both drums and guitar as a child. As an adult, he enjoys playing guitar with his band Sideshow Heroes as often as he can. This is Rutherford spoke with John about the music he loves to play, where he enjoys playing, his band and why he is proud to call Rutherford his hometown.


John Macaluso. Photo Credit: Time's Arrow Photography

TIR: When did you learn to play guitar?

JM: I started learning guitar when I was 12. And I am still learning.


TIR: Did you play music as a student in the Rutherford school system?

JM: Yes. I played the drums in grammar school and was part of the marching band. I didn’t play anything in the high school band, but I did play guitar in Mr. Resciniti’s Jazz Ensemble. He even gave me the "Louis Armstrong Award". It was a small trophy (he might have found it for all I know-laughs). I played guitar and drums in Popcert several times and also played guitar in a few Christmas assemblies. 


TR: When did you form your band Sideshow Heroes?

JM: We started around October 2016. Our drummer, Freddy, and I decided to start it when our original band (Hot. Blonde. Dead.) had a lot of down time.


Sideshow Heroes: (left to right) Fred Corrubia, Tommy Lepore, John Macaluso, Bill Phayre, and Jason Cicchella

TIR: Who are the other band members?

JM: Tommy Lepore is our vocalist, Bill Phayre plays guitar and keyboards, Jason Cicchella plays bass and Freddy Corrubia plays drums.


TIR: Where have you performed?

JM: We have mostly performed in the north Bergen county area - Tommy Fox’s, Allendale Bar and Grill, Lou’s Tavern, Gerry’s Place, The Emerson Hotel, Blackjack Mulligan’s (in Secaucus) and Molly McGuire’s (in Clark).


TIR: Where are your favorite places to perform?

JM: My favorite place was The Brighton Bar in Long Branch, but that was with my original band. I once played CBGB as well, and that was awesome (smiles). With the cover band, though, I can’t really say I have a favorite. Hopefully the Park Tavern will be once we play there!

Sideshow Heroes

TIR: What types of music do you perform?

JM: It always sounds cliché, but we do all types of music. As a cover band, we really have to cater to the crowd. If they want to head bang, we break out the hard rock. If they want to dance, we play our dance set. We try not to cover the same songs as every other cover band out there, so we throw in some different, off the beaten path tunes too. You might hear us cover artists such as: Guns N' Roses, Johnny Cash, Green Day, the Everly Brothers, Seven Mary Three, Gin Blossoms, Beastie Boys, Darius Rucker, Modern English, Salt N' Pepa, etc.


TIR: Who are you influenced by?

JM: I’ve always been really into heavy metal. I learned how to play guitar on songs from bands like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, etc., as well as some much heavier bands, too. But over the years I’ve taken lessons in Jazz, blues and classical guitar, so influences can come from anywhere.

Sideshow Heroes

TIR: What song(s) do you enjoying playing the most?

JM: We play Cancion del Mariachi. It’s the song in the beginning of Desperado. It’s fun to incorporate some classical guitar into the cover band. Crazy Train (Ozzy) is just plain fun. My original band used to cover Master of Puppets by Metallica, and it doesn’t get much better than that. I also have a strange obsession with playing Cumbersome by Seven Mary Three, for some unexplainable reason.

John Macaluso

TIR: Have you written any songs?

JM: Yes. Besides the cover band, I’ve been writing and performing songs with my original heavy metal band, Hot. Blonde. Dead for about twelve years. I was also in an original band with the Sideshow Heroes singer, Tommy Lepore, called Provolone Jones.


TIR: What do you enjoy most about playing gigs?

JM: Seeing people’s faces light up when you start playing one of their favorite songs. Then you know you’ve struck a chord with someone (ahem, thank you...laughs).


TIR: Where can we see you perform next?

JM: We are playing at The New Park tavern in East Rutherford May 17th at 9 pm!!! Can’t wait.

John and Jackie Macaluso

TIR: Tell us about your family.

JM: I have been married to wife Jackie for ten years. We have a son, Cameron, who is seven years old.


Cameron Macaluso

TIR: How long have you lived in Rutherford?

JM: I have lived in Rutherford since I was four years old. I have been here most of that time, except for the brief time Jackie and I lived in Old Bridge. Once we had our son we moved back to Rutherford. We like it here, because it is a nice town and a great community. Most importantly, there is a lot of good eating (smiles).


For more information about John's Band, Sideshow Heroes, find them on Facebook and Instagram and at www.sideshowheroes.com.


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