Dishing with Dee: Vallone’s 50th rocking birthday bash a family affair

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Without a doubt, this week’s big bash was unequivocally Peter Vallone Jr.’s 50th Rockin’ Birthday Party at the Central Lounge on Steinway Street in Astoria last Thursday night. It featured the reunion of the Vallone Brothers Band. The band consisted of Peter Jr. on the base guitar, brother Paul on the drums, brother Perry on the guitar and Eddie Luise on the guitar.

Joining the band was mom Teena Vallone wailing on the sax. Brother Paul gave up his seat at the drums and the audience was treated to a special musical guest appearance when Police Commissioner Ray Kelly took over. Ray is a heck of a drummer and without a doubt could qualify for a permanent seat in the Vallone Brothers Band. They sounded quite professional, not at all like an Amateur Hour group.

Niece Samantha and Catena Vallone, Paul’s oldest daughter, both belted out renditions of popular songs to the music of the Vallone Brothers Band. They sounded great, as they both have really good voices.

What a musically talented family the Vallones are. Dad Peter Sr. was in the background smiling for days as he was that proud of his family. When asked what musical instrument he played, he responded, “None. I’m the dancer in the family and do a mean jitterbug.”

According to Peter Jr., the party was a great success, as over 450 people attended and they raised more than $15,000. A most impressive start for his next campaign. For those of you who have never been to the Central Lounge, it is a most conducive place to hold a party. The food, drinks and sushi bar are excellent.

The luminaries in attendance while we were there were Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and her husband Don and city Public Advocate Bill de Blasio as well as many others too numerous to mention. What a wonderful turnout. Everyone was jammed in like sardines.

From the enthusiasm of the crowd it certainly seems like it will be a shoe-in for Peter Jr.’s next election. Good luck and thank you for inviting me to your birthday party, as it was not only fun but something quite different from the usual run-of-the-mill fund-raiser.

The night before was also an interesting night. The Queensborough Hill Neighborhood Association held its March meeting in the Palace Diner’s Party Room in Flushing.

The guest speaker was de Blasio, who had many interesting solutions for some of the city’s problems — plus, he was advancing what he thought could be workable solutions. That is the same de Blasio I ran into the following night at Peter Jr.’s party in Astoria. Bill is from Brooklyn and the job is in Manhattan. Could his soirées into Queens two nights in a row be a prelude to a run for mayor? Hmm .... I must say I was most favorably impressed by him. He projects a capable, competent image, not an arrogant one like so many others. He also did not promise pie in the sky. His suggestions were both sane and sensible and, what’s more, doable. I’m sure we will have lots more to say about him in the future.

If you noticed, both Vallone and de Blasio are starting early. The name of the game is to achieve name and face recognition and fund-raisers must also be started rather early, as it costs so much more today to run a successful campaign than it did a few years ago. Good luck to both of you, and I am sure our paths will cross many times on the campaign trail.

Congratulations to my good friend Jim Rodgers on becoming a proud grandfather. His daughter, the Royal Princess Caitlin Morse Rodgers, gave birth on March 7 to George Anthony Bayner IV, who weighed in at 9.2 pounds and is 21 1/2 inches long. He looks as though he might be a linebacker candidate. Back off, girls, who have your eye on the prize, the heir apparent has arrived. Once again, congratulations and best wishes to mom, dad, grandfather and baby George.

That’s it for this week.

I look forward to hearing from you with information on people, parties and politics or gossip. I like receiving your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at deerrichard@aol.com.

Don’t forget to check out the Focus on Queens page.

Till next week, Dee.

Updated 10:56 am, October 12, 2011
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