Prep For Jackopierce

In 1985, Westport celebrated our 150th anniversary as a town. One of the big events was supposed to be a concert by Hall & Oates, at Longshore.

It never happened. It was a scam, perpetrated (legend has it) by a local housekeeper. You can read all about it here.

When it was clear that the “Rich Girl” duo would not appear, Staples student Cary Pierce’s band stepped in to play. They weren’t Hall & Oates, but they were a lot better than the alternative (nothing, on a hot summer Sunday).

Cary went on to Southern Methodist University. In Texas he met Jack O’Neill. They joined musical forces. As Jackopierce the duo recorded 6 albums, sold 500,000 records, and toured 3 continents, 9 countries and 44 states.

After a decade, they broke up. Cary moved to Nashville, wrote songs and produced, and worked with the legendary T-Bone Burnett.

In 2002 Jackopierce got back together. They’re one of those musical acts that always bubbled beneath the surface. They don’t have a huge national name. But their fans are many, fervent and loyal.

They’re big enough too to have caught the eye of Vineyard Vines. The current catalog includes a full-page spread on Cary and Jack.

That’s Cary Pierce on the left.

The hook is that one of the duo’s signature songs is called “Vineyard.” (Okay, it’s about Martha’s Vineyard, not Vines, but who’s quibbling?)

Also — perhaps unknown to the tie and polo shirt company — Cary rocked their look all the way back as a Staples student.

He was a preppy decades before Vineyard Vines was even born.

(Hat tip: Jim Honeycutt)

2 responses to “Prep For Jackopierce

  1. Dorrie Barlow Thomas

    “They don’t have a huge national name. But their fans are many, fervent and loyal.” I can attest to this. I live in the Mystic, CT, area and was, one day last summer hanging out with a new friend who is a teacher at my youngest daughter’s school. He was wearing a ball cap with an insignia on it. I didn’t give it much thought until I took in the word beneath the picture…JACKOPIERCE! This guy was wearing their hat! Turns out Jackopierce had played in Martha’s Vineyard and he and his family, vacationing there, saw and loved the show. They even planned their next vacation around the same time frame hoping the band would be there again! I have since met another local person who knows their music–amazing!
    I didn’t know Cary at Staples–he was a few years younger than I–but I saw him in Players, on the stage, and it was clear then that he had an energy & enthusiasm that was intoxicating. Brings a big smile to my face every time I hear the band’s name.

  2. Peter Gambaccini

    I am the happy owner of one of their CDs, “Bringing on the Weather,” and still play it rather often. I had no idea of any Westport connection. You learn things at 06880 every day.