Basic Background Info

Birth: Unknown
Location: New Jersey
Band: Father Fox, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes
Genres: Rock
Instruments: Drums, Percussion
Occupation: Musician, Photographer



Joe Bellia was first drawn to the art of drums in February of 1964 while watching The Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show. Jealousy caused him to downplay his enthusiasm the next day around the young girls who were smitten with the band, as they swooned over the previous night's performance. Joe Bellia stated, "If it wasn't for them, I might have been a doctor or something. See what too much TV can do to you?"

For his tenth birthday Joe Bellia got a set of sticks, a practice pad, and drum lessons. Six months later, the drumstick-carrying ten-year-old watched a neighbor's band rehearse across the street. The lead singer asked the drummer to let Bellia sit down and play with them. After Bellia played "Wipeout," the lead singer asked him to replace their drummer. For their first gig, a party on the beach, Bellia earned $2.00.

As time passed, Joe Bellia immersed himself in the South Jersey music scene and began studying under Joe Morello. When he was sixteen, Joe Bellia saw Bruce Springsteen in a Steel Mill concert at The Scene in South Amboy in New Jersey; Springsteen's guitar playing blew away Bellia.

Joe Bellia then played with a band called Father Fox. Father Fox, and bands like Steel Mill and the Blackberry Booze Band, regularly played at the Stony End in Long Branch, New Jersey. Bellia watched other bands perform at the Stony End at every opportunity. Joe reflected, '[The Stony End] was a cool place!' He recalled the owner closing the doors of the club at the end of the night, but allowing a group of people to stay after hours, hang out all night, and dance and play until sunrise. Then Joe Bellia would sleep on the beach all day before going home, cleaning up, and going back to the club to play at night.

Springsteen occasionally stopped by Father Fox's performances; at the time Springsteen was focused on writing music rather than playing guitar. When Springsteen eventually held auditions for his band, Vinnie Lopez suggested Joe Bellia audition, but Bellia was content in Father Fox.

In 1978, Southside Johnny's new band, The Asbury Jukes, was looking for a new drummer. They asked Joe Bellia, a regular in their audience, to audition. Although he diligently learned their music for the audition, The Asbury Jukes chose Steve Becker over Bellia. Although Bellia was disappointed, he was happy for his friend Becker.

In the late 1980's, Joe Bellia joined up with Dave Mason. During a performance with Joey & the Works at the Stone Pony, Dave Mason's road manager came in looking for a new drummer and asked if Bellia was interested. Joe Bellia quickly accepted and played with Dave Mason for three years, traveling all over the world.

Bobby Bandiera, who played with Springsteen and Bon Jovi, invited Joe Bellia, who had occasionally subbed for Bandiera's drummer, to join him on a tour to Moscow and Madrid in early 1998 with his own band. Later that same year, The Jukes invited Bellia to join them on four gigs in California gigs; at the same time Bandiera called up Bellia for some sub work. Joe Bellia played with The Jukes until the summer of 2000, but still subbed occasionally for Louie Appel and Marco Melis.



Album Year Album Name Album Band
1989 Night To Remember Cyndi Lauper
1989 Rude Awakening Soundtrack Various Artists
1997 Due Rights Michael Raye
2004 Is My Father There? Bobby Bandiera
2004 Follow Through Eddie Manion
2005 TBA Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes
2005 Blind Faith Mickey Kemp


  • "It was that famous Sunday night in February of 1964. I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. If it wasn't for them, I might have been a doctor or something." -Had all o fhis and the bands gear stolen one night after playing a show with Dave Mason in Houston, Texas. Tico Torres heard about what happened and invited Bellia over to take what he needed from his owncollection and return it when he got back on his feet. Bellia says it's a moment he will never forget.
  • Bellia met Southside Johnny Lyons when Bellia's band Father Fox and Lyons' band The Blackberry Booze Band both regularly played at the Stony End in Long Branch, New Jersey.
  • Dave Mason played with Jimi Hendrix and Traffic before starting his own band.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Drum Workshop
Hardware: Drum Workshop

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