CLIFTON, N.J. -- Was it a hack, a hoax? Puzzled and outraged friends and fans wanted to know why the fake-news death of Clifton native Steve Tarkanish was purportedly posted by actor Kevin Bacon on his Facebook page Monday morning.
Tarkanish, best known for creating one of the Garden State's most popular cover bands ever, the Nerds -- confirmed just after noon Monday that he was, in fact, fine.
"I have been hacked," Tarkanish, 65, posted just before 1 p.m. "I am hiring a professional company to investigate this matter. I will post an explanation when I discover what has happened."
Not everyone was immediately buying it.
"I said to him, 'Really, dude? Today of all days? When people are remembering the lost lives of 9/11?" a close friend told Daily Voice. I told him if he was hacked he needed to contact Facebook and change his password.
"That crazy-ass post on his page that was supposedly from Kevin Bacon had his fingerprints all over it."
You have to know his history, friends emphasized.
Tarkanish has made some amazing claims that no one has been able to substantiate:
- A drummer, he's played in Las Vegas behind Tony Bennett, Diana Ross, Liza Minnelli, Dizzy Gillespie and the Fifth Dimension, among others;
- Growing up in Clifton, he claims to have come to know, among others, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen (Passaic) and guitarist extraordinaire Joe Walsh (Montclair);
- He also boasted of being responsible for being Led Zeppelin to the U.S. and Guns & Roses to New Jersey.
"I have known him from 7th grade and at one time we were very close," an associate told Daiy Voice. "I have no sour grapes -- it's just that I have quite an extensive resume in the music business and it took a lot of hard work."Meanwhile, he just makes stuff up and puts it out there. Led Zepplin? We were kids in high school when they came out."
One thing is true: Tarkanish is known for coming up with the costume gimmicky that created the Nerds -- a New Jersey music institution loosely based on an old "Saturday Night Live" skit.
The members of the band, who celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2015, all looked like nerds but played lots of funk and R&B.
They became one of the few cover bands from New Jersey (or anywhere, for that matter) to play at major venues in New York City -- including a sold-out gig at Carnegie Hall.
Tarkanish's company, STARS Productions, and known throughout the industry. also represents the Amish Outlaws, the Benjamins, Sreaming Broccoli and the Flying Mueller Brothers, among many others.
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