TRIBUTES: Remembrances mount in the final goodbyes to Steve Lenge, a North Jersey icon whose life was snuffed when he crossed the paths of two out-of-control speeders heading to a sidejob he loved.
Inside Things From England on Tuesday (PHOTOS: CLIFFVIEW PILOT)
Among the tributes are one by a fellow rock-and-roll traveler who owes Steve a great debt.
Another is from Steve’s most trusted employee at the Things From England record shop in Cliffside Park:
By Kelly Schirmer
I’ve been working for Steve since I was 16 years old. Through high school and college, he was flexible and understanding around my busy and changing schedule. Then, after some time, he also began to give me more responsibility, until I was able to run the show without him being there.
I believe his trust that I can handle his business and his training has made me who I am.
Through the last six years working with Steve, I learned a lot about him. Not only was he a driven businessman — he was hilarious and caring.
The days we worked together would fly by. He had me cracking up laughing whenever he started singing songs that came of the radio, changing the lyrics into his own silly sentences.
He also loved the catchiness of certain songs and would shout,”Hey Sista! Soul Sista!” whenever that song came on. Eventually, he began calling me Soul Sista.
When I would edit video jobs, Steve left numbers between each scene to mark an edit. He would always find funny ways to tape these numbers, which I would discover later. He once used a little wire figure his younger daughter made to hold the number sign. I could tell stories for days about the hilarious things he did.
That’s why everyone who knew Steve loved him. People would come in the store and immediately ask for him. And he took as much time as needed with each and every customer. The amount of patience he had was incredible.
He was that kind of person. He always helped and always wanted the best for you.
His passing was extremely shocking for everyone. But it was also sweet to come in and find flowers at the store. I hope in the days ahead we all move from the tragic circumstances to remembrances of his amazing personality.
Thank you, Steve!
By Tony Senatore
Steve Lenge was a dear friend of mine. We didn’t go out clubbing , or spend much time socializing, but for 25 years, he was a big part of my life. I can tell you a million stories of all the amazing music he procured for me before the advent of the Internet – but, for now, I just want to focus on one particular tale.
I have raised my niece, Alexandra, since she was born 19 years ago. She is the daughter I never had, and I love her dearly. Through all the trials and tribulations of my life, as well as my recent 50th birthday, I’ve come to believe that being there for her in every way might just be the reason I was put on this earth. Tony Senatore
I often used to wheel her baby carriage past Things From England . Steve would wave, and I’d sometimes stop in to chat or pick up a special-order CD that he got for me.
Fast forward to 2007: Alexandra, now a huge music fan, is crazy for My Chemical Romance. They were playing at Nassau Coliseum and she desperately wanted me to take here – but she waited until the show was sold out to mention it.
I figured my only option was to bring her to the arena and take my chances with the scalpers. But Steve told me to be patient, to trust him.
Now it’s the day of the show, and just around 6 o’clock my phone rings. It’s Steve, and he’s got two tickets at face value – great seats, too – just for me.
No sooner did the arena go dark than the opening notes from “The Black Parade” sounded. The lights exploded on – and there was Alexandra, barely 100 feet from her hero, Gerard Way.
As long as I live, I will never forget the look on her face. She was mesmerized.
At the crash site
And I was grateful to Steve, who came through for me big time, producing a cherished Kodak moment that will live with me forever.
Thank you, Steve, for giving me that memory. Thank you even more for the one you gave Alexandra.
Thanks also for telling me how much you respected the work I put in to being a father to her, how it meant more than any of my accomplishments in the music business. Coming from you, a stand-up guy if ever there was one, a dad to two daughters of your own, it meant a lot.
I wish I could have gotten the chance to see you just one more time before you left.
Instead, I refuse to delete your cell phone number from my Blackberry.
I hope you don’t mind.
Bassist Tony Senatore of Cliffside Park is in high demand as a session man. He has played and sat in with a number of artists over the years, most recently with Genya Ravan, the band DOGMA and Jersey blues legends Billy Hector and the Fairlanes. Senatore also produced the first-ever instructional DVD on playing the 12-string bass.
Monday, 14 May 2012 11:28 Jerry DeMarco
TRIBUTE: Steve Lenge, the motorcyclist who died when his bike was rammed by a speeding Ferrari at the Meadowlands over the weekend, was a hell of a drummer who went on to become one of the first and most successful indie record store owners in the U.S. The 56-year-old father of two was once North Jersey’s King of Import Music. He was also the first kid I met when my family moved to 67th Street and Newkirk Avenue in North Bergen.
Outside Steve’s store this morning
(Wes Drake / Drake Photography HD )
Monday, 14 May 2012 16:48 Christina Basile
A FAN WRITES: One of my friends just forwarded me “ Tribute to Things From England owner, indie pioneer: Steve Lenge ” from CLIFFVIEW PILOT today. You hit the nail on the head. Not only was he an indie music pioneer — he was also a local legend. I was devastated when I heard the news.
Christina “Chrissy” Basile (INSET: Steve Lenge / Photo of “Things From England” by Drake Photography HD )
I first met Steve when I was 12 years old and huge into heavy metal. Things From England was THE store to go to for one-of-a-kind music imports. I practically grew up in that store.
Steve was the type of person who got to know his customers. He knew what I liked, how my tastes changed and what I wanted. I will never forget the first thing I bought from him – a Slayer “Angel of Death” picture disc that he procured from God-only-knows where.
YOU SAW IT HERE FIRST:
has obtained the mugshots of two men charged with death by auto in the crash that killed record store owner Steve Lenge.
As the website first reported exclusively, Joseph A. Ferretti, 28, of Dumont, posted property as his full $50,000 bond and was released Monday night pending a court appearance.
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