Jersey Magazine with Jim Monaghan

Jersey Magazine with Jim Monaghan

Jersey Magazine with Jim Monaghan

Saturday, June 8th, it is Nutley’s Rock Hunger 7, a concert to benefit Nutley Family Service Bureau and this morning here on Jersey Magazine, we have with us Dave Popkin, the president of the Board of Trustees.

Nutley’s Rock Hunger 7 Details

JIM MONAGHAN – Tell us about Rock Hunger 7 for starters.

DAVE POPKIN – Well, I was a casual donor to Nutley Family Service Bureau about eight years ago when then the executive director grabbed me by the ear and dragged me into her offices and said, Hey, who are you? How else can you help me? I need you to be involved.

And I said, well, what do you need? And her name was Eileen Painter and she said that I need to get younger, I need more volunteers, I need more publicity. I just need more. I have more people involved in the organization, we’re growing.

So I said, how about a rock concert? I’ll put it on for free. And she said, you’re hired.

So we gathered three acts that first year at the old canal in Nutley and did a concert, raised a few thousand dollars and it’s continued to grow this year.

We’re trying to raise $15,000 for the food pantry because of the increased need and it’s a great lineup and it’s a labor of love for me.

JM – It’s kind of like the, Hey, let’s put on a show. Mom can make the costumes dad can build the stage.

DP – Pretty much, I mean, the first band that played and they played every time since now my old band, but back then it was my only band called The Attic.

It was my brother, my brother-in-law, his cousin, you know, like that kind of thing, my chiropractor, we just got just got together and did it. And it was so much fun and it’s, it’s become a thing in town and we get, you know, two, three hundred people and it’s, it’s a fun outdoor music festival.

JM – That sounds like a combination of the Beach Boys and the Cowsills with, you know, the family effect going on there.  How many bands do you have lined up for this year’s event?

Rock Hunger 7 Music Lineup

DP – We have four. You would love the headliner, Mother Hubbard because they’re from the William Patterson jazz program.

Most of them, they’re all Jersey guys. Some of them from Nutley in particular and they kind of sound like Steely Dan and they have a record coming out this year. So they’re very good.

They played last year and then we have Sticky Wickets. They’ve been around Nutley since they graduated from Nutley High School in like 1982 or something like that. So they’re local favorites.

The Attic I mentioned will play again. And then my, my current group, Porch Rockers, which is like pop punk and new wave like Ramones and that kind of thing will play again.

So it’s, it’s about four and a half hours of music for 25 bucks.

JM – Tell us more about the Nutley Family Service Bureau and some of the other things that they do, Dave.

DP – We’ve only been around for 111 years and have had pretty similar goals and mission since then. We try to, well, we have over a thousand mental health sessions a month.

We do a food pantry for over 300 households and over 615 individuals from Nutley but also some surrounding towns. Last month, the increase was 15% month over month in terms of the food pantry demand because of pandemic programs, sun setting and because of inflation.

So we gave out over 1800 bags of food. So we need food and we need money to feed people. So that is, you know, a big part of what we do.

And then once we get people into the pantry, we have case management so that we can connect them to other social services, you know, maybe reduced rent somewhere or help with their power bills or, you know, Medicare, Medicaid, things like that.

So it’s been a vital part of our town for a long time. We have over 150 volunteers that help out in a thrift store that raises money for all of our programs. We have a little, you know, campus of a couple buildings right in the center of town near town hall and people refer to us and we just try to help as many of our neighbors as we can.

JM – Food insecurity has been a topic here in New Jersey for a long time. And obviously it comes up, you think of it around the holidays time as we get closer to Thanksgiving, but it is an ongoing thing here in the New Jersey as well as around the country.

And I think, you know, especially here in New Jersey, it’s, you know, Dave, you look at the area that you and I live in. And this is a very affluent part of the country and we don’t think of food insecurity hitting us.

DP – And yet it’s in every town, no matter how wealthy it may or may not be. And what I’ve learned through this is that everybody is there for a different reason. You know, maybe their breadwinner and the family passed away or maybe they’re new to this country or maybe they’re just making minimum wage and they can’t get by.

Maybe they’re, you know, underemployed.

Maybe they have depression.

Like you name it. Like there’s a million reasons why people could need help either short or long term and whatever town you live in. And we’re seeing it, you know, in Nutley, in Belleville, in Bloomfield, like all the towns around here and we’re trying to help as many of these folks as we can.

But it’s been a real problem. And, you know, somebody that you’ve known over the years, Bill Ayers at Why Hunger, you know, Bruce Springsteen, people like that have been a real inspiration for me. And it’s become a cause that’s near and dear to my heart.

So I put in, you know, as they say, a lot of time, talent and treasure to the organization because nobody in this country should go hungry.

JM – We mentioned that this is Rock Hunger 7, the concert that’s coming up in Nutley on Saturday, June 8th. If somebody wanted to do a Rock Hunger show in their own town, how would they go about doing that, Dave?

DP – They would call me. They would go to to get all the information. I’ll basically give anybody the template that wants to do it.

We have a small fee that covers the designers of like posters and stuff like that because we have a template for Rock Hunger that we can hand to anybody’s food pantry, food bank, anything like that where you’re raising money for that cause.

I will give my time to it and help you book the bands, book the venue, and try to expand this because it’s a concept that works. We generally raise over $10,000 on this event.

And for a food pantry, that’s a lot of money. You know, it can buy a lot of dry goods or produce, things like that. So it’s proof of concept, right? It’s worked for us now for seven years and I would love to expand it into some other towns in the area.

JM – On a side note, Dave Popkin and I have known each other what it’s 25 years now, right? I think that’s about right. We worked together with the Newark Bears in Newark and the Atlantic League. They were, at least in the Atlantic League at that time before eventually folding.

And if you’re watching on video, you can see all of the sports memorabilia and the baseballs in Dave’s background, you have a wide variety of sports broadcasting background in addition to the work that you and I did with the Newark Bears. You are, I think I’ve done eight different sports. Is that correct?

DP – I think over a dozen at this point because when they ask, I just say yes, because at this point, at our age, it’s a mental challenge for me. I say, okay, bowling? Yes, I’ll do it. Like swimming and diving. I did that for NJIT in the last year. So I know nothing about swimming and diving. I just kind of called it like a horse race. It was play-by-play and I just went for it.

So it’s like a deep dive, no pun intended on something like that to learn as much as you can about the terminology and the participants. But yeah, baseball, basketball, football, those are soccer, some of my main sports, but I’ve done lacrosse and all kinds of wacky stuff.

My first gig ever was doing sidelines on a lifeguard tournament in Sea Girt, New Jersey.

JM – Easiest sport for you to call. What would it be?

DP – Oh, God. I think basketball at this point because it’s right in front of you and I do so many of those games now. I’ve kind of turned the corner like baseball, my first love.

I mean, you and I called a lot of games together and baseball was my first love. It’s in my bones. I can literally sit down and score a game and call a game and not even think about it. It’s like one of those 10,000 hours, Malcolm Gladwell things.

But basketball, I think, is easiest for me now because I’m in such a groove. This year I did 54 games. I’m very grateful that people want to hire me for that stuff, including Seton Hall.

JM – Hardest sport for you to call.

DP – Hockey. I’ve only done one hockey game. It was on TV. I can never imagine doing hockey on the radio. Kenny Albert, who I’m friendly with, says that’s the easiest for him because you just, you don’t have time to do anything else except call where the puck is.

JM – Kenny is actually the reason I asked you the question because he told me the same thing. It was hockey. He’d grown up watching hockey and for him, it’s the easiest. And I think it would be the hardest. I’ve never called it, but with the line changes and everything, I can’t imagine trying to keep track of all of that.

DP – It’s the hardest. The only thing that was comparable that I think was just as hard or harder was indoor lacrosse because it moves fast like hockey. But it’s kind of hard to see the players’ numbers.

They’re all hammering on each other and it’s very physical. And I did that one on the radio one time with Tina Cervasio many years ago. And it was hard.

JM – You mentioned college basketball, Seton Hall. You broadcast their games for a number of years. Had a marvelous run, ultimately winning the NIT. What was that like?

DP – It was my favorite moment broadcasting, certainly broadcasting sports. The NIT final at Hinkle Field House against Indiana State. So it was essentially a home game for them. It was 99% Columbia Blue for Indiana State, the Sycamores, and Seton Hall in a very close game in the last minute.

And Gary Cohen, who I do the games with, the Mets announcer, was away doing the Mets. So I got to do play-by-play of the semis and the finals out at Hinkle. And it was electric. It was really a high point for me. And I was happy for those guys because they got snubbed.

They were supposed to make the NCAA tournament. There were five bid stealers on that final weekend that won their conference tournaments that weren’t supposed to. So Seton Hall got left out along with St. John’s and Providence and some other big East teams.

And they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. And once they got through that first game against St. Joseph’s, they just cruised all the way to the final and then won a close game. So I was really excited.

And then all the alums and the players and everybody were celebrating afterwards. So it was fun to be out there with them.

JM – One more time for WDA and WMTR listeners who want to learn more about the rock hunger concert seven that’s coming to Nutley on June 8th, Saturday, June 8th. Where can they go, Dave?

DP – They can go to There are sponsorships and tickets available there. The tickets are only $25. Goes right to the pantry to a great cause. 

  • Rock N Ruff

    WDHA’s Rock N’ Ruff has a PAWFECT guy this week! Meet DEXTER! From The Denville Animal Shelter– Dexter is a young pup- just about 5 months old and came to the shelter with his sister Morgan, two great puppies with so much to offer.

    Both are waiting for their forever homes- and both pups are fantastic. As you can see in our Rock N’ Ruff video, Dexter is such an affectionate pup, who just wants to meet, greet, kiss, and hang with you. He’s an absolute love! Dexter and Morgan are both up for adoption via my good friend Meredith Petrillo at The Denville Animal Shelter (I’ve adopted twice from the shelter and so have many WDHA staffers). Dexter is very engaged in his human companions, SUPER DUPER friendly, very smart, aims to please, and is already housebroken! For a young pup that is awesome!

    Dexter appears to be a Hound/Lab mix and has the most beautiful golden eyes that will melt your heart. he is a truly joyful dog. Perfect energy and as with any younger dog, will need someone who can give this pup the time he deserves.

    Dexter would also love a companion to play with so if you have another dog, set up a meet and greet. An older brother or sister would be awesome for him. Check out Dexter’s Rock N’ Ruff video below and listen for his spot on WDHA. He’s a total rockstar rescue pup!

    Rock N’ Ruff Video

    How Can You Adopt Dexter, his sister, or any of the Denville Residents?

    It’s quite simple – The best way is to fill out an application, call and speak to Meredith Petrillo at 973-983-7538 and set up a meet and greet, or visit the Friends Of The Denville Animal Shelter Facebook Page or send an email to [email protected]

    Photo Credit- Denville Animal Shelter
    Dexter is so handsome!

    We would love to see this young guy find the perfect home because he deserves it! 

    Denville Animal Shelter
    Dexter and his sister Morgan
    Denville animal shelter
    He’s gorgeous!

    Let’s get Dexter home-  Opt To Adopt!

    More Pet-Related Stories and Events

    WDHA’s Dog days Of Summer Event- Join Us 6/1

    Our WDHA Rock N’ Ruff Adoptables

    WDHA’s Rockers and Dogs Exclusive Photo Gallery

    The Benefits Of Adopting A Senior Pet

  • Local Look

    Looking for something fun to do in the area? Chris Swendeman has you covered with this week’s Local Look.

    There are always so many fun events happening in our local communities.  Check out what’s in store for this week in New Jersey.

      • Get a taste of Spain today at Woodbridge for the Feria de Sevilla Festival. You can immerse yourself in vibrant colors, sounds, tastes, and smells of Spain.  Don’t forget to bring the lawn chair as well. The event takes place from 2.30 to 6 PM with food, workshops, music, dancing, and so much more. Get more details at
      • If you’re a Disney fan, the Mayo Performing Arts Center is the place for you for the final day of their spring performance of Beauty and the Beast based on the animated film. There are two shows today, noon and 5:30. Head over to for tickets and more info.
      • And next Saturday, June 8th, head over to Nutley for a great cause as the Nutley Family Bureau hosts Rock Hunger 7 at the Old Canal Inn. Four bands will be performing including the Attic, the Sticky Wickets, the Porch Rockers, and Mother Hubbard. The event runs from 2 to 6:30 PM and the outdoor show will be moved inside in case of rain. There will be a cash bar and 50-50 raffle as well. Tickets are just $25 and proceeds stay local at the Nutley Family Bureau’s food pantry. Visit for further details.

      And that’s your Local Look for this week on The Jersey Magazine.  If you’d like your event to be featured on The Local Look, you can email us at [email protected].  See you next week on 105.5 WDHA.

Sign me up for the WDHA D-Club email newsletter!

Join the WDHA D-Club for access to all the perks delivered right to your inbox from The Rock of New Jersey! Get exclusive presale codes for upcoming shows, updates with your favorite rockers, contest info, and more.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.